Happy Friday Fabbies! Today’s recipe is SO long overdue ya’ll. If you’ve been following me or this blog for a while, then you know that I posted my original vegan rotel dip recipe almost 3 years ago. You can find the original recipe here. I would make rotel dip often, for our kids’ weekly movie nights or for whenever we wanted some. I’ve made vegan rotel dip for many of my friends and family as well. I also made some vegan rotel dip for a group of fabulous non-vegan folks back in December 2017 when I went to Art Basel to be a part of my friend Billy Joe’s epic art exhibition, and they loved it! (You can see how that Art Basel weekend all went down on my Youtube Channel here.) That vegan rotel dip has been a fave for many of you readers too! The original recipe I posted almost 3 years ago is still one of my most viewed posts on this blog, and people have messaged me saying they have made it and loved it!
In my journey of always trying to improve my health and eat foods that are beneficial to me (as opposed to detrimental), I am always trying to clean up my diet. While yes, I am vegan and love to eat healthy the majority of the time, I still love to indulge in vegan “junk food” every now and then, and let’s be honest, vegan cheese dip probably isn’t at the top of the healthy food dishes now is it? But because rotel dip is SO beloved by me and my family alike, I was thinking to myself, “surely there is a way that I could make this dish even healthier?!” Canned foods are convenient because they cut down the cook time, and canned rotel is the main ingredient in the original recipe. However, surely we can make our own tomatoes and green chiles?! Which is what rotel is:
Anything made fresh is always better than anything that comes in a can or package. And for the cheese aspect, I’ve known for awhile that really all you need is a good nut to make some vegan cheese, (which is way healthier than processed vegan cheese), so I took stroll down Pinterest last Fall and I came across tons of homemade vegan cheese recipes. I ended up putting together my own version of a vegan cheese recipe based on what I had found online. It turns out, making vegan cheese is relatively simple! Again, a blender will you be your best friend whenever you’re trying to make sauces, dips, etc. So you will definitely need a high speed blender.
After making this cheese on its own (before attempting to make it with rotel dip), I found that it is easy and DELICIOUS!! I typically make the cheese with cashews, but I have made walnut and almond cheese too and those are great too! Cashew cheese is my favorite though. So I’ve made this version of rotel since, minus the time I went to Memphis this past June when I made the original version because there wasn’t a blender at our Airbnb. (Or at least I didn’t see it. haha)
However, living in Mexico, they do not sell Field Roast sausages here, so when Supreme went to LA a few weeks ago for work, I made sure to hop on Instacart and order all of our vegan favorites that Mexico doesn’t sell in the markets or grocery stores, and have Supreme to bring back with him. So I loaded up on vegan sausages, hot dogs, corn dogs, you name it! And because we had vegan sausage, I made the homemade version of rotel yesterday after not having any for a few months. And wouldn’t ya know, it was just as good as I remembered! Ha! I also posted a photo of the rotel dip on my Instagram Stories:
After posting this, so many people messaged me asking for the recipe, so I FINALLYYYYY (after almost a year omg), am posting the new and improved recipe!
Cue the fireworks!
While this version is a bit healthier than the previous recipe, I promise you the flavor is just as good. There are actually 2 parts to this recipe, as you can use the homemade cheese sauce for other things as well:
For the Vegan Cheeze Sauce You Will Need:
- 1/2 a pound or 1 pound (If you’re making a large amount) of raw, unsalted cashews (*Note, 16 ounces is 1 pound)
- zest of lemon or lime
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1.5 tablespoon of sea salt (or to taste)
- onion powder to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- smoked paprika (not pictured)
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers. (or whatever peppers you prefer. If you want it even spicier you can use habañero peppers, and of course if you don’t like it spicy at all, just omit the peppers all together. 🙂
- Optional: Fresh cilantro (I add cilantro to everything haha!)
- 1 cup of water (or more or less depending on how many cashews you add. The thicker you want your cheese to be, the less water you add. If you want it to be a little less thick add more water.)
- To make the sauce more “yellow”, you can add red bell peppers as well
- A Blender to blend it all up in
Add all of the above ingredients to the blender and blend on high until the cheeze becomes nice and smooth. Add water as you need to, as you blend.
After you blend, the cheese should be nice and smooth, as pictured above. *Also wanted to note, sometimes when I’m making this cheese sauce for the rotel dip, I add tomatoes and more jalapeños to the cashew mixture and it adds another layer of yummy flavor to the overall dish. But the cheese sauce without those additions is so delicious too, and can also be used to make other dishes like broccoli and cheese (which I’m making tomorrow haha), quesadillas, lasagnas, and whatever else!
After your blend the cheese dip, transfer to a bowl and store in the refrigerator while you prepare the 2nd part of the rotel dip.
For the Rotel Dip You Will Need:
- About 10 roma tomatoes
- A handful or two of fresh cilatnro, chopped.
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 bunch of green onions (or more if you’d like), chopped
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 pack of Field Roast Vegan Italian Sausage (add another pack if you want to make a bigger portion) Also, this brand has 2 other flavors: Mexican Chipotle Sausage and Apple Sage Sausage, and all 3 flavors work well with this recipe. You can find these at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Krogers, and at most other grocery stores in the vegan meat section. (And of course, the vegan meat can be omitted altogether and you can just make it as a “meatless” cheese dip too.) **Edited to add, you can use vegan ground beef instead of sausage also. I just prefer the taste Field Roast sausage**
- 1.5 tablespoons of smoked paprika
- 1.5 tablespoons of onion powder
- 1.5 tablespoons of Slap Ya Mama or your desired seasonings
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup of salsa. (My homemade salsa recipe is bomb with this rotel)
- 1.5 tablespoon of cooking oil. (I use grapeseed oil)
- Large Pot
While your homemade cheese is in the fridge cooling, begin chopping your sausage, tomatoes, green onions, green bell pepper, cilantro, red onion:
After you have everything nicely chopped, get a large pot and put about 1.5 tablespoon of grapeseed oil (or extra virgin olive oil) in the bottom, and cut stove on medium heat. Once the pot heats up, add the red onions and the chopped sausages:
Add your desired seasonings, and let the sausage and veggies cook on medium to low heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. ***Note, I use kitchen scissors and continue to cut up the vegan sausage even more in the pot while it’s cooking. This helps ground the sausage up into smaller pieces where it would resemble the size of ground beef. This is totally optional though.***
Next, get your homemade cheese out of the fridge, and pour in generously around the pot, stirring the cheese sauce in:
It make take just a tad bit longer to make this version of the vegan rotel dip, but that’s expected! It’s all homemade minus the sausage! And I promise it tastes…dare I say it…BETTER than the original! Give the new recipe a try and let me know how it turns out! I hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!