Dairy Free Chili Con Queso Dip

This is the ultimate Dairy-Free Chili Con Queso Dip. It comes together in a flash with canned ingredients from your pantry, and it’s the perfect dip for the upcoming football season – with plenty to feed those hungry guests! Makes about 12 servings.

dairy free chili con queso

This post has been sponsored by Cans Get You Cooking. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dairy-free dips can be a tricky thing. They seem to rely on overly processed dairy-free substitutes, or they’re just not close enough to the real thing to be satisfying. But, this Dairy-Free Chili Con Queso is different. I’ve used a blend of homemade cashew cream and canned coconut milk to create a creamy base for flavorful chili, spicy tomatoes and chiles.

dairy free chili con queso

To make this dip, simple and realistic for any occasion, I really took advantage of the flexibility that canned foods provide. I always have my pantry stocked with a variety of canned ingredients, including diced tomatoes and chopped green chiles. It keeps me from having to run to the store, and it also significantly cuts down on my prep time, which is something I really value now that we’re living dairy free and I have two kids running around the house. Other than making the cashew cream and chopping the cilantro, this recipe requires barely any prep at all.

dairy free chili con queso

Prep your coconut and cashew cream

Start by chilling your canned coconut milk in the fridge and making your cashew cream. You can do this step up to a few days in advance, and it will make your life a lot easier if you’re entertaining. When you’re ready, just open the can, scoop the thick part of the coconut milk from the top of the can and measure in it with a solid measuring cup. Save the remaining coconut water for your favorite smoothie.

blending cashews for cashew cream

To make your cashew cream, place 1 cup of raw cashews in a stockpot and cover with water. Bring them to a boil and let them cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Then, remove them from heat and let them cool. Pop them into a food processor or blender and blend them with whatever dairy-free milk you have on hand (I used cashew milk). Blend until the cashew cream is super smooth. If you need to, scrape the sides as you go. Set the cashew cream aside or refrigerate until you’re ready to make your dip.

dairy free chili con queso

How to make dairy free chili con queso

When you’re ready to make your dip, heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small can of chopped green chiles and some minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Then, add your taco seasoning, coconut cream and cashew cream.

Next you’ll add one can of chili without beans and one [drained] can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. I love using canned chili for this recipe because I don’t have any waste. One of my favorite things about using canned foods in general is our lack of waste. One can provides enough chili for the recipe. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I don’t need to make my own. It’s so easy.

Give it all a good stir, and let your dip simmer for a while over low heat. I also like to add a bit of nutritional yeast to my dip to help mimic the flavor of cheese as well as a little bit of salt to bring out the flavors.

After about 10 minutes, remove your dip from the heat and let it cool for a while. Top with fresh cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

dairy free chili con queso

Not only does using canned ingredients, like canned tomatoes, make this quick and easy but our family is also loving canned foods for their nutritional punch. Kids and adults who used six+ canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber.

Minimal clean-up and maximum nutrition? Yes, please! If you’re seeking more canned food benefits or recipe ideas, check out cansgetyoucooking.com or check out #CansGetYouCooking!

dairy free chili con queso

Tips for making dairy free queso

  • Prepare your coconut and cashew cream ahead of time.
  • Use canned ingredients to make this recipe quick and easy.
  • Add nutritional yeast to create a “cheesy” flavor. If you don’t have it, it’s ok to omit. The recipe will still be great.

dairy free chili con queso

More awesome game day recipes:


Dairy Free Chili Con Queso Dip

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup cashew cream (see notes)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (see notes)
  • 1 15-ounce can chili no beans
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt, to taste
  • 34 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil, chopped green chiles and minced garlic. Saute until fragrant, stirring as needed, about 1 minute.
  2. Add taco seasoning, coconut cream and cashew cream. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add chili and diced tomatoes. Stir until smooth. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add nutritional yeast and salt, to taste, and stir until smooth.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Top with fresh cilantro before serving.


To make cashew cream: Boil 1 cup of raw cashews in water for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in water. Drain. Blend in a food processor or blender with 1 cup nut milk until smooth, scraping sides as needed.

To make coconut cream: Place 1 can coconut milk in the fridge to cool for several hours. Open can and remove the thicker part of the coconut milk. Discard the remaining “water”.

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  • Reply
    November 6, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Hello! This sounds awesome but if my husband knew it had coconut cream in it he would not try it. Does this at all taste like coconuts? Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      November 6, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      There’s no way he’s going to be able to taste it! I use a combination of the two creams to make sure that neither flavor is too prominent.

  • Reply
    November 16, 2018 at 10:33 am

    This is an insult to all Queso lovers everywhere……What is Queso without actual QUESO??????

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      November 16, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      You do realize this is a dairy free website, right? I’m sorry if the lack of queso upset you, but the title of the post literally says “dairy free”, so I don’t know what you were expecting to get.

    • Reply
      January 9, 2019 at 11:37 pm

      Queso lover here and I disagree! My child has a dairy allergy and this is really good for anyone looking to omit dairy

  • Reply
    May 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    After making the cashew cream with 1 cup of cashews and 1 cup of cashew milk, do you use the entire yield of that process or just 1 cup’s worth of the final cashew cream?

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