This easy Vegan Cashew and Basil "Cheese" Dip is a healthy swap for the typical high-fat and dairy-loaded dip. Served with gluten-free crackers or fresh veggies, it's the perfect healthy dip to bring to your next holiday party or gathering!
I know; you're probably thinking why in the world would I combine cashews with basil and call it a "cheese" dip? Before you think I'm crazy and write off this recipe, hear me out...
During the holidays, and pretty much at all parities throughout the year (the Super Bowl is right around the corner!) every dip is loaded with cheese and cream. While these foods taste great, (seriously; I'm not a cheese hater) it's definitely not a healthy food choice.
I've cut out dairy almost entirely from my diet (except when I splurge) because most dairy products are high in saturated fat, which I want to stay as far away from as possible.
Since I still love cheese, lately I've been experimenting with a lot of vegan "cheese" dishes made from nuts. When you soak nuts overnight and blend them in the food processor, it's amazing how many yummy recipes you can create!
So when I was in search of a healthy dairy-free dip I could bring to parties as a healthy option, I created this easy vegan cashew and basil "cheese" dip by throwing some soaked cashews and herbs into my food processor.
The basil gives this recipe a really nice savory flavor, while adding a pop of color to this otherwise brown colored dish. The fresh lemon and garlic add an explosion of flavor in each bite.
I love eating this dip with ALDI's gluten-free sea salt multi-seed crackers. They are seriously ADDICTIVE!! If you want to go even healthier, this vegan dip also tastes great with fresh veggies like carrots, peppers, and cucumbers.
Bring this dip to your next party and don't tell your guests it's vegan. I guarantee they will have NO CLUE it's made with cashews and is healthy ;)
Want more holiday recipes? Check out my Sweet Potato Rounds with Herbed Ricotta, Cranberry, and Pistachios, Bacon Wrapped Dates, and Chocolate Peppermint No-Bake Energy Balls for other healthy holiday party appetizers!
A summary of all these Healthy Holiday Party Appetizer recipes can be found here.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and hashtag #live2thriveKS so I can see all the tasty recipes you make. ♥
Start to Finish: 5 minutes
- 1 cup raw, chopped cashews, soaked overnight*
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-3 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk, or dairy-free milk of choice (more to desired consistency)
- 6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste**
- Gluten-free crackers or fresh veggies for serving (optional)
- Rinse and drain your cashews, then pour them into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add lemon juice, garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. Blend until the cashews are broken down.
- Add almond milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and continue blending until the mixture is smooth and to your desired consistency.
- Transfer the dip into a small bowl and mix in chopped basil leaves, fresh cracked pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with gluten-free crackers or fresh veggies.
*If you forgot to soak your cashews overnight, soak your cashews in some boiling water for an 30 minutes to an hour. Then drain, rinse, and proceed with the recipe.
**Salt is super important here because normal cheese is rather salty. Be sure you're adding enough!