This nut-free, and practically fat-free vegan queso dip is so easy to make and tastes delish. The secret ingredient? Butternut squash.
I love nuts and the taste of cheese as much as the next person, but as I'm entering my late 30s, unfortunately I've really had to watch my fat intake. The older I get the more I'm on board with the high carb low fat vegan diet because I've found this more than anything keeps me on the leaner side. I'm not super strict about it (love my avocado and peanut butter!), but I try to cut out fat and oil if I can without losing out on keeping things tasty.
The good news I've found is that there is usually a healthy alternative that is just as flavorful.
Why Butternut Squash Makes a Great Vegan Cheese Base
I've tried making vegan cheese with cashews (which tastes delicious, but super high in fat) and also with eggplant (thanks to The Minimalist Baker). The eggplant recipe tasted super delicious too. The issue was I found it was a bit too many steps to take with the eggplant to prep it for the dip and you don't get that much out of it.
The great thing about using butternut squash as a base is that if you get a good sized squash, it makes a lot of dip. And there's no need to add any flour to thicken it.
The recipe is easy without a lot of prep aside from cooking the squash. Just a bit of olive oil, salt and then just pop it in the oven. Set it and forget it for about an hour. I would recommend baking two squashes on a Sunday so you can whip up some cheese dip quickly later in the week.
It's that good.
Nut-Free Vegan Cheese Queso Dip with Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- 4 to 5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon of red paper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 lemon wedge
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Lightly coat squash in olive oil and sprinkle salt on the inside.
- Bake squash for about 1 hour or when the inside is soft.
- Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool.
- Remove skin from the squash. Peeling the skin off can be kind of a pain, so I just cut it off. Super easy and quick.
- Cut the squash into medium size pieces. Toss half into a food processer and blend with one cup of almond milk. Add the other half the squash and blend with the second cup of almond milk.
- Add the 4 table spoons of nutritional yeast and garlic cloves, and blend.
- Add cumin, salt, red pepper flakes and lemon juice and blend again until smooth.
- Add the dip to a sauce pan and heat on medium.
- Taste to see if more salt or nutritional yeast is needed.
- Serve warm to hot!
There are multiple ways to use this cheese dip. You can mix it with chunky salsa to make it a queso and serve with chips. I also used this to make vegan macaroni and cheese, and it worked really well. Or use it on tacos or enchiladas, lots of possibilities here!
Note: This dip is more on the thick side. If you want to thin it out, just add more almond milk.
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Disclaimer: All information on Salt and Ritual is based on my experience and is provided for educational and general informational purposes only. The topics discussed in this post may not be suitable for your particularly situation and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek professional medical advice before trying anything you read online. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and your individual results may vary.