Maybe it’s that around the holidays you’re eating in other folks’ homes more often, but I get so. sick. of. hummus during this time of year. Well-meaning hosts tack hummus onto a spread so the vegans will have something to snack on, and it is so kind of them to accommodate! Most of the time, I’m happy to devour veggies and crackers dipped in hummus, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up with other vegan dips instead!
I think that one of the things that puts people off when it comes to veganism is the perception that our food choices are limited. It’s easy to assume that vegans eat salad, hummus, and not much else, and I love sharing tasty vegan recipes to highlight the variety and deliciousness that you can have in a vegan diet!
There are actually lots of tasty vegan dips and spreads besides hummus, and they’re often just as easy to make. Next time you’re planning a party spread or just looking to beef up your on-hand snack selection, try one of these delicious vegan dips instead!
Up Next: Cashew Queso
Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by whitneyinchicago
1. Cashew Queso
I will start by saying this up front: you can serve this like queso, but unless you’ve been vegan for a while, it does not taste like cheese. What it does taste like is creamy, decadent, and delicious! You can experiment with different mix-ins, but here’s a very basic cashew queso recipe.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours. The soaking is key, so don’t skip this step!
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast – you can find this in the bulk bins at your natural food store. Don’t leave this out – it won’t taste right without it.
- 2 cloves garlic
Drain the cashews, then toss all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor. Blend until it’s smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the carafe, as needed. Have patience – if you keep blending, this will get a smooth texture!
Up Next: Smoky Black Bean Dip
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by fotosvanrobin
2. Smoky Black Bean Dip
Bean dips can take on so many fun flavors, and this recipe gets its smoky flavor from roasted hot peppers. YUM! You can do an all black bean version, or mix up your beans. In the photo above, I used half black and half white beans.
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce, to taste
- 1/2 adobo pepper, diced super-fine with the seeds removed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
You can make this dip in a blender or in a bowl. For the blender version, toss all of the ingredients into the blender, and let ‘er rip! If you’d rather make this manually, use a fork or potato masher to mush up the beans really well, then stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Up Next: Cheater’s Guacamole
photo by Becky Striepe
3. Cheater’s Guacamole
Guacamole is such a classic, and most guacamole recipes are vegan by default. I came up with this recipe in a pinch one evening, when I forgot we had company coming over and didn’t want to leave my guests without something to munch on.
- 2 chopped Haas avocados
- 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa (or more, to taste)
Mix those suckers up in the same bowl you’ll use for serving, throw some chips on the side, and pretend you knew all along that you’d invited those friends over for boardgames!
Up Next: Mango Salsa
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by You As a Machine
4. Mango Salsa
Serving up salsa in the winter might feel a little bit out of season, but a fresh, fruity salsa is delicious any time of year!
- 2 mangoes, diced
- 1 Haas avocado, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, halved, seeded, and minced
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Toss all of the ingredients together, and let them chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to let the flavors meld a bit.
Up Next: Vegan Nutella
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Fit Kitchen
5. Vegan Nutella
Who says that all dips have to be savory? Serve this up with sliced fruit, and get ready to wow your guests when you tell them that you made this from scratch! I like apple and pear slices and strawberries for dipping. Y-U-M!
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seed oil
Put the hazelnuts into your blender or food processor and blend. At first, you’ll have a coarse meal, then a finer meal, and then an even finer meal. Just keep blending, stopping to stir every once in a while and give your blender’s motor a break. A few minutes after you feel like quitting, magic will happen: that hazelnut meal will suddenly turn into a rich, creamy butter. Yay!
Spoon that hazelnut butter into a bowl and fold in the other ingredients, stirring well to incorporate.
Do you have a favorite vegan dip that’s not hummus? I’d love to hear your faves in the comments!
photo by Becky Striepe