A delicious plant-based version of everybody's favorite appetizer!
New and unique recipes are fun to try out, but sometimes you just want a tried and true classic. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t put a healthier spin on your favorite appetizers. That’s exactly what we’ve done with this Creamy Vegan Spinach Dip. It offers all of the traditional, drool-worthy flavors you love, but it’s a whole lot healthier! As a bonus, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, made with all vegan ingredients, and also happens to be low-carb. Yum!
Plant-Based but Oh-So-Creamy!
Spinach dip has been a go-to appetizer for decades in homes all across the country — and understandably so! It’s smooth, creamy, and absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, many spinach dip recipes use high-fat, high-calorie ingredients. Mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, or a combination of the three are commonly used as the creamy base for most spinach dip recipes.
While mayonnaise does not contain dairy, it does contain eggs, which keeps it from being a vegan ingredient. Mayo also contains unhealthy fats, preservatives, and calories that aren’t conducive to weight loss. Sour cream and cream cheese are both dairy products, so they’re not plant-based either. And, like mayo, they both contain unhealthy saturated fats.
So, if our Creamy Vegan Spinach Dip doesn’t contain any of these ingredients, where does it get its smooth texture from? Cashews! Soaking the cashews in water will soften them up. Then, when they’re blended, they’ll be nice and smooth! You’ll also add in a bit of water, or you can use almond milk for a creamier, plant-based option.
What About the Cheesy Flavor?
The cashews create a wonderful creamy consistency, but spinach dip is also known for its lightly cheesy flavor. This is where the nutritional yeast comes in! Nutritional yeast adds protein and plenty of other nutrients, making it a go-to option as a vegan cheese replacement. Adding it to the cashew blend will create that classic smooth and cheesy dip! Garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, and salt will add a nice, zingy kick too.
So Many Ways to Serve this Scrumptious Appetizer
First off, this tasty Creamy Vegan Spinach Dip appetizer can be served hot or cold. We recommend cold in the warmer months but hot for the holidays. If you choose to serve it hot, you can sprinkle some of our Dairy-Free Parmesan on top for an extra flavor boost.
In addition to being plant-based, our spinach dip is also low-carb! If you want to keep it that way, you can serve it with low-carb items. A few tasty examples might be sliced red peppers, carrot sticks, or cucumber slices. This Creamy Vegan Spinach Dip also makes a great filling for keto-friendly turkey, ham, or cheese roll-ups if you’re not following a plant-based diet.
Classic serving options include pita bread or crackers. My personal favorite way to serve spinach dip is in a pumpernickel bread bowl. Hollow out the middle, place the spinach dip inside of it, and then use the cut out pieces to dig in! You can also use the leftovers as a yummy sandwich spread!
Creamy Vegan Spinach Dip
- 1-1/2 cups cashews raw
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast plus additional, to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional, to taste
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
- 10 ounces spinach packaged, frozen and thawed
- 3 green onions chopped
- ground black pepper to taste
- For the creamiest dip, cover the cashews with cold water. Let them sit for about 4 hours before draining and rinsing them. If you have a high-powered blender, you may be able to skip this step.
- Place the cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and lemon juice, in the blender or a food processor. Blend the mixture until it becomes a smooth paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the water and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach. Add it to the blender along with the green onions. Pulse until the mixture is well-combined. You can stop when there are large chunks of spinach in the dip, or continue processing until the entire dip is bright green.
- Taste the dip and season it with salt and pepper, to taste. You can add additional nutritional yeast to amplify the cheesy flavor.
- Store in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors meld.
- Serve cold, at room temperature, or heat in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 to 10 minutes to serve warm.
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