Loaded Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip is a delicious ooey gooey cheesy dip that’s topped with a 100% plant-based Mexican spiced “meat”. It’s smooth and creamy, with a little smoky kick. And you won’t even realize it’s 100% plant-based.
Since nacho cheese dip is super popular on my site, this Loaded Nacho Cheez Dip recipe totally jumped out at me. Want to check out my other recipes? My popular Velveeta Nacho Cheese Dip and real cheese nacho cheese sauce.
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Cooking with Plant-Based Meat
This recipe comes to us from the beautiful new book “Cooking with Plant-Based Meat” from America’s Test Kitchen. With 75 vegan and vegetarian recipes for all your meaty cravings. And I’ve included a review of this book as well.
ATK sent me a copy of the book and asked me to share it with my readers.
I just love America’s Test Kitchen. The shows, the books, the recipes, I think they do a great job. And this cookbook is right in line with the great work they do!
The main focus of this new cookbook is those plant-based meats that you’ve been hearing all about, Impossible burgers, Beyond burgers, and other brands.
Those meats are sold in grocery stores now, and this book will help you learn how to use them.
The book starts off with some quick notes about the terminology of this new food. Some brands call their products “meat,” some say “burger,” you might hear “veggie beef,” “meaty grounds,” or “plant-based meat,” but this cookbook has decided to use the term “meat”.
For simplicity, I’ll call it “plant-based meat,” or “meat” as well.
There are so many brands out there, and ATK has tested them for us and given their opinions on the different brands. The top choice was Impossible Foods raw bulk meat Impossible Burger, so that’s what I went with as well.
I thought it was amazing that this meat actually browns! It goes from a red raw ground beef look to a nice browned Maillard reaction in just a few minutes.
It browns because the legume derived heme protein (heme is a type of iron containing molecule), soy leghemoglobin, influences the reaction.
Cooking with plant-based meat isn’t just a one for one substitute for animal meat because plant-based cooks more quickly than animal meat, it doesn’t shrink as much as animal meat, and releases less liquid than regular meat.
So, this cookbook really comes in handy. And the recipes sound so good. I’m looking forward to trying their pan-fried dumplings (page 36), breakfast sausage sandwiches (page 66), and chorizo and potato tacos with salsa verde (page 75).
The cookbook gives you 12 tips for working with plant-based meats, including using less salt and using a nonstick skillet.
My first choice of recipes to make from the book was actually the first recipe in the book, meaty loaded nacho dip (page 16). A recipe I have decided to call loaded vegan nacho cheese dip. And oh my gosh was it good!
In their description of the recipe, they state that it’s “mandatory fare at any Big Game watch party.” And I agree. Put this out, and no one will be able to tell that it isn’t regular meat and cheese, but it will mean that everyone, including the vegans, can have a great appetizer dip to celebrate with.
With its familiar yellow-orange color, cheesy flavor, and ultra-creamy texture, you’ll have a hard time believing that this sauce is vegan.
This sauce combines boiled potatoes for starchiness and a carrot for color. See how versatile carrots are?!? These are whirred in the blender at high speed to release as much starch from the potatoes as possible.
Nutritional yeast and mustard powder add funk, and a little vinegar adds tang.
What does vegan nacho cheese taste like?
It tastes cheesy and a tad bit smoky with a great balance of spicy, savory, and sharp flavors. It’s creamy and rich, and the meaty topping adds a nice heartiness to it.
I had my husband (a meat-eater) taste test it, and he totally thought it was regular dairy cheese dip. He even thought it had bacon in it because of the nice smoky flavor.
The meaty topping is lightly spicy with plant-based meat, poblano chile, onion, and garlic.
The cheese sauce gets its great cheese-like ooey gooey consistency from a cooked potato. That potato releases its starch to make a nice thick dippable cheese sauce.
And the color from this cheddar-looking dip comes from the carrot.
The dip also has chipotle for smoky spiciness and nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.
Looking for another healthy vegan snack? Be sure to check out my Stove Top Popcorn for tips & tricks on how to make perfect popcorn.
This easy plant-based cheese sauce recipe is made from nutritious vegetables, nutritional yeast, and spices. And the meaty topping is made with poblano chile, red onion, spices, and that plant-based meat.
It has no nuts, no milk, and no cashews, but instead gets its creaminess and color from potato and carrot. And it’s a great option for the Lactose intolerant.
How to make the best loaded vegan nacho cheese
Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and instructions.
Make the cheese sauce
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes and carrot and cook until tender, about 12 minutes; drain well.
Toss the cooked vegetables into a blender, and add water, oil, nutritional yeast, vinegar, ½ teaspoon chipotle paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and mustard powder.
I used my favorite chipotle paste rather than mincing a canned chipotle. Saves so much time and effort to use the already made chipotle paste. And, I just store it in the freezer for when I need it.
Process the mixture on high speed until very smooth. Season the dip with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the meat topping
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add two-thirds of the chopped onion, the poblano, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and remaining ½ teaspoon chipotle paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add plant-based meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. It’s interesting to watch the “meat” brown!
Transfer dip to serving bowl and top with plant-based beef mixture. Sprinkle with tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining onion. Serve with chips for dipping.
How to serve
I’ve garnished it with red onion, canned Ro-tel tomatoes, and cilantro.
But you can also try fresh tomatoes, avocados, candied jalapenos, or sliced green onions.
Serve it with chips or veggie sticks.
Serve nacho cheese sauce over chips to make loaded vegan nachos!
Or spoon it over steamed broccoli or baked potatoes.
Try it slathered on a black bean burger for a saucy meal.
To rewarm dip, microwave it, covered, in 30-second bursts, stirring each time, and thinning with water if needed. Or rewarm it on the stove top.
More great vegan recipes
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Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip
- 12 ounces russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small carrot peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (1/3 cup)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/8 teaspoons table salt divided
- 1 teaspoon chipotle paste divided
- 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 small red onion chopped fine, divided
- 1/3 cup minced poblano chile
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 ounces plant-based ground “meat”
- 2 tablespoons drained ro-tel tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Make cheese sauce
- Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes and carrot and cook until tender, about 12 minutes; drain well.12 ounces russet potatoes, 1 small carrot
- Combine cooked vegetables, 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil, nutritional yeast, vinegar, ½ teaspoon chipotle paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and mustard powder in blender. Pulse until chopped and combined, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of blender jar several times. Process mixture on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Season the dip with salt and pepper to taste.3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar, 1 1/8 teaspoons table salt, 1 teaspoon chipotle paste, 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
Make meaty topping
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add two-thirds of the onion, the poblano and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and remaining ½ teaspoon chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add plant-based meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 1/8 teaspoons table salt, 1 teaspoon chipotle paste, 1 small red onion, 1/3 cup minced poblano chile, 1 garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander, 4 ounces plant-based ground “meat”
- Transfer dip to serving bowl and top with plant-based beef mixture. Sprinkle with tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining onion. Serve with chips for dipping.2 tablespoons drained ro-tel tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.