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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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
- 3 – 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 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.
- Add taco seasoning, coconut cream and cashew cream. Stir until smooth.
- Add chili and diced tomatoes. Stir until smooth. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add nutritional yeast and salt, to taste, and stir until smooth.
- 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”.