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Vegan Cauliflower Queso

Recipe and photo by Ellie of  Hungry by Nature.

Recipe and photo by Ellie of Hungry by Nature.

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, we’re sharing a fresh new take on a crowd-pleasing Tex-Mex appetizer from our friend Ellie (Hungry by Nature). This Vegan Cauliflower Queso is a healthy and dairy free version of your favorite cheesy dip! It’s made with roasted cauliflower, diced green chiles, spices, and nutritional yeast for that “cheesy” flavor. It’s super creamy, and even more delicious! We’ve found that it’s perfect for snacking on with chips, or drizzled over salads and burrito bowls!

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower florets* (1 medium head of cauliflower)

  • 6 cloves garlic*, whole and peeled

  • 1 medium yellow onion*, sliced

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil*

  • 3 Tbsp Taco seasoning (such as Trader Joe’s), divided

  • 1 c raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours or overnight

  • 1 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk* or vegetable broth

  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast

  • 2-4 oz cans diced green chiles

  • 1/2 c water

  • Optional toppings: sliced jalapeño, fresh cilantro, finely chopped red onion*, cherry tomatoes*

    *Ingredient available to add to your Imperfect box

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Place the cauliflower, garlic, and onions on baking sheet, making sure the veggies are in a single layer. If your veggies overlap, spread between two sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons taco seasoning. Toss to coat.

  3. Roast until golden and tender, about 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

  4. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender, and add in the soaked cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt, and remaining 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning. Blend until very smooth, adding water a few tablespoons at a time as needed to reach your desired consistency. (I added about 1/2 cup water for a very thick queso.)

  5. Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium until warm. Stir in the drained chiles. Taste and add salt of additional taco seasoning if desired.

  6. Serve in a bowl as a dip or drizzle over chips with your desired toppings for nachos!

Recipe Notes and Variations

If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can easily recreate it with the spices you likely already have in your pantry. As a start, try mixing two parts of chili powder to one part ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Taste, then adjust the seasonings to your personal preferences. For a smokier and spicier recipe, try incorporating a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. You can also use this recipe to use up any bell peppers or tomatoes that you have around by roasting them and adding them to the mix.