A spicy, cheesy dip, made using, the ever so healthy and versatile cauliflower! Serve it over steamed broccoli, dunk with chips, crackers or even raw veggies! Simple to make, and easy to devour.
This recipe was originally published in August 2019. It has been updated for content and photos.
Cauliflower is great for FAR more than just steamed. Like my Buffalo “wings” or this incredible Bolognese, this vegan cauliflower cheese sauce transforms your favourite big white veggie into something truly incredible!
It’s perfect for movie night, game day, or any time you’re feeling snacky.
PS. Check out this collection for more snack-y, perfect for game day appetizers.
Here’s why you’ll love this dip!
- It’s HEALTHY – like most recipes you’ll find here, on the blog. But this one is not only filled with nutrient dense ingredients, but it’s oil free, low in calories and virtually fat free, making it diet friendly! (Just be sure to choose diet friendly dippers too!)
- Simple to prepare and can be made in advance. You can make this dip up to 3 days ahead and reheat when ready to serve.
- Customizable to your heat preference. I like 1-2 jalapeno’s, but Nick, AKA Mr. Healthy Kitchen is happier with 3-4. Use as few or as many as you’d like.
- It’s a crowd pleaser! Who doesn’t love dip? Especially a spicy, cheesy dip that’s perfect with so many things!
Is it allergen friendly?
Yes! This dip is super allergen friendly!
Unlike many dairy free cheese dips that are cashew based, this vegan cauliflower cheese sauce is 100% nut free.
As an added bonus, it’s gluten free and a simple swap makes it soy free too, if needed.
How to make it
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
To make your cauliflower cheese sauce, AKA ‘jalapeno popper dip’, gather your ingredients. Then halve or quarter your onion and break your cauliflower into florets.
Arrange the cauliflower florets, garlic (with the peel on so it doesn’t burn), quartered onion and jalapeno in a single layer on a baking tray. (photo 1)
Bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and cauliflower is fork tender. (photo 2)
Transfer the cooked veggies to a blender, and add all the remaining ingredients. (photo 3-4)
Blend everything until smooth and desired consistency is reached. (photo 5)
NOTE: At this point, taste for salt and add more if needed. You may also add a little more broth if needed to thin out your dip.
Serve your vegan cauliflower cheese warm with raw veggies, chips, crackers, pitas, or anything else you’d like!
How long does it keep?
If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days.
You may reheat on stove top or in your microwave before serving. Although you may also enjoy this dip cold, warm tastes best.
Alternatively, you may make this dish, well in advance and freeze air tight for up to 3 months. Make sure to let the dip cool completely before freezing.
Substitutions & Variations
For the spice level. If you want a more subtle heat, use just 1 jalapeno, and remove the seeds for even less spice.
If you don’t have any jalapenos, use 1-2 teaspoons of your favourite hot sauce instead.
For soy free, you may sub the tamari or soy sauce for coconut aminos. Alternatively, you may skip it and add a little more salt to taste.
What if I don’t like nutritional yeast?
If you don’t have or don’t like nutritional yeast, you may skip it or use less, but keep in mind, you’ll also be losing out on its naturally cheesy flavour.
To make up for it, you may sub the nutritional yeast for additional spices, like onion or garlic powder, ground dried mushrooms or bouillon powder.
Some miso paste or tahini would also add great flavour here.
- Adjust the amount of broth to a consistency of your liking. I found one cup to give the perfect consistency, but start with ¾ cup if you want a thicker dip and add more, as needed.
- If you have a powerful blender, like a Vitamix, run it a little longer to make sure your cauliflower cheese sauce is nice and hot before serving.
- Make it ahead to save time. You can easily reheat the dip before serving (or serve cold). It tastes great both ways, but I do prefer this one warm.
- Use your vegan cauliflower cheese in a variety of ways. Use it as a dip with veggies for a light snack, with chips or crackers for a treat, or pour it over your broccoli, asparagus or any of your favourite steamed veggies.
More delicious dips and sauces
- Sweet & Spicy Mango Salsa
- Dill Pickle White Bean Dip
- Vegan Onion Gravy
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Vegan Buffalo Sauce [No Butter or Oil]
- Oil Free Cowboy Caviar Dip
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
- 4.5 cups cauliflower florets from approx. 1 small cauliflower or half large
- 2-3 jalapenos
- 1 yellow onion quartered
- 2-3 cloves garlic unpeeled
- ¾-1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce if not avoiding gluten
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F convection bake and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Then, arrange your cauliflower florets, quartered onion, jalapeno and garlic in a single layer.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown and cauliflower is fork tender.
- Then transfer your roasted veggies (remove the peel from the garlic first) along with all remaining ingredients to a blender. Process until smooth and then taste and add more salt if needed or more broth to thin as desired. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips or pitas.
Do you think this would taste good without any jalapenos? I really don’t like spicy, but the rest of the dip ingredients sound pretty tasty.
Hi Laurie, I think it will taste good but might need a little something for flavour to make up for the missing spice. Maybe some additional nutritional yeast, and/or smoked paprika. 🙂
Curious weight of cauliflower? Buy rice cauliflower so hard to calculate.
Hi Jenn, use approx. 300g of your cauliflower rice and start with the lesser amount of broth.
Made this tonight and poured it over broccoli, so so good! Thanks for the great recipe Rosa!
Great idea using with broccoli! Love it.