Fall’s arrival is marked with warm sweaters, vibrant landscapes, pumpkin spice everything and football. When you live in a college town like I do, you need a go-to tailgating recipe.

This clean taco dip packs a nutrient punch with fiber, healthy fats, protein and veggies. It just so happens to be vegan with the addition of a fabulous chili-spiced cashew sour cream and it tastes amazing!

Even if football isn't your thing, make this dip for your next movie marathon, potluck, or any time you’re craving Mexican food.

Taco Dip With Chili-Spiced Cashew Cream

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for chili-spiced cashew cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. onion powder

Ingredients for refried black beans

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-ounce BPA-free cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup water
  • Toppings of choice, such as diced avocado, tomato, scallion, daiya cheese, black olives, pickled jalapeño, baby spinach and chopped romaine lettuce

Directions

Cover the cashews in water, refrigerate and soak overnight. Drain and discard water. Combine cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder and salt in a blender. Blend. Slowly pour in water while blending until very smooth.

Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add beans, cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Mash beans until smooth. Add salsa and stir. Add water if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let cool.

Spread refried beans in an even layer on a serving dish. Spread the chili spiced cashew sour cream in a thin layer over the beans. Top with plenty of veggies. Serve with carrot and celery sticks or tortilla chips.

Note: because they are unexpected in this dish, let others know it contains nuts to avoid allergic reactions. For a nut-free version (that’s not vegan), substitute 2/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt for the cashews and combine with spices, no need for the blender.


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