This is now my go-to recipe for get-togethers…. perfect for game day! It takes about 60 seconds to whip up and I haven’t found a person yet that doesn’t love it! It’s creamy, cheesy and bursting with flavor. You’ll never guess the secret ingredient….
Indulging frequently on Mexican food was a hefty contributor to pushing my weight to almost 200lbs back in my 20’s! (See before and after pics here) I LOVE cheese, and queso was a huge craving for me. Over the years after I got healthy and dropped the weight, I rarely would splurge on queso when at a restaurant…. and when I did I would feel bloated and congested the next day. It just wasn’t worth the misery, but I secretly did miss that smooth, creamy, cheesy taste.
So back to the secret ingredient…. cashews! The cashews add that creamy, rich texture, while cutting down on the amount of dairy needed for the recipe. Not to mention they are loaded with fiber, protein and minerals which ups the nutrition of this queso. I personally don’t like eating too much dairy. I feel and look best when I keep it very limited in my diet. So this queso recipe is a real treat for me since it does contain some dairy. To me it tastes just like the white queso you order in Mexican restaurants!
Have you ever read the labels on store-bought queso dips? Wow! They contain overly processed cheeses and a long list of unnecessary ingredients, like corn oil, corn starch, MSG, sugar, maltodextrin, artificial flavors, colors, etc, etc….. it is franken-food at it’s best!
AND then what do we use to dip into this chemical concoction? Corn chips. Most likely genetically modified and full of mycotoxins. (Thanks Doug for educating us on how devastating these mycotoxins are to our health!) Ahhh, and I used to live off this stuff!! A better option for dipping- Benitos bean and flax chips. I love them! A perfect substitution for tortilla chips. I only purchase the pinto bean and flax flavor or the black bean flavor. The others have added yeast, so be careful if you are avoiding yeast.
So how did I come up with this recipe? Well I have to give a huge thanks to Chef Natalie Jacocks. Chef Natalie is one talented chef! So talented that she won Food Network’s reality cooking competition, Chopped. I’m such a huge fan of the show! If you’re not familiar with it, the judges give the contestants all of these crazy random ingredients that you would normally NEVER pair together and they have to make something that tastes AND looks amazing, all while being timed…. a near impossible task for even the most gifted chef. And to make it even more impressive she was 5 months pregnant! I guess those unusual pregnancy cravings were able to be put to good use!
I had the honor and privilege to team up with Chef Natalie on a project a few months ago. One of our tasks was to make a healthy queso dip. We put our heads together and this is what we came up with! Thanks Natalie!!
Creamy Queso Dip Recipe
Rich, creamy, cheesy….. this tastes just like the white queso you order in Mexican restaurants! It literally takes 60 seconds to buzz up in a high-powered blender. A crowd pleaser for game day or any party!
- ½ cup raw, unsalted cashew pieces
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces organic cream cheese – full fat
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- ½ cup salsa
- ½ cup (large handful) cilantro, to taste
- Add broth, cashews, cream cheese and salt into a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend on high for about 2 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Add salsa and cilantro until well incorporated. If you blend these last two ingredients too long the dip will turn green… still tasty, but not as appetizing to look at.
- Eat at room temperature or warm on the stove on medium-low. Stir often so it does not get clumpy or scorched at the bottom.
- Serve with Beanitos bean and flax chips and/or veggies like baby sweet peppers, broccoli florets or cucumbers. Store leftover dip in a glass Pyrex bowl with a lid. Will last for 3-4 days properly stored in the refrigerator.
Phase 1 Friendly
If you use a food processor vs. a high-powered blender it takes a few minutes longer to get the consistency completely creamy. I like the consistency of using the blender better, but the blender over processes the cilantro and turns it green, so if you have this problem you can chop and stir the cilantro in by hand.
Make sure your chicken broth is yeast and sugar free.
I prefer chicken broth in this recipe, as opposed to veggie broth. It enhances the cheesy taste.
Whole Foods Market 365 brand salsa is made with apple cider vinegar and is sugar-free
I do not recommend low-fat or fat-free anything… it’s too processed. It’s healthier and more satisfying to get the real thing.
If it is thicker than you desire or if you need to thin out the next day, just add another splash of chicken broth.
If you want to soak the cashews in purified water and sea salt 4-6 hours prior to making this recipe, feel free. Do not soak longer than 6 hours, they will become bitter. Soaking helps to make the nuts more digestible. In a perfect world I would like to do this, but for me I honestly just don’t have time, or plan that far in advance.
I’ve noticed lower quality cashews can have a slightly earthy flavor. If you notice this try another brand of higher quality cashews.