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Dairy Free Taco Dip

This easy, healthy Dairy Free Taco Dip is the perfect warm appetizer for your next party.
Prep Time25 mins
Standing Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: Appetizers, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Author: Laura Marzen, RD


  • 1 cup raw cashews (unsalted, unroasted)*
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (in a carton, not canned)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ of a 4-oz jar pimientos, undrained (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 ounces ground turkey** or ground beef
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper***
  • ½ cup jarred salsa**
  • Gluten free tortilla chips and/or raw vegetable dippers (such as pepper strips, carrot sticks, or jicama sticks)


  • In a medium bowl combine cashews and enough very hot water to cover the cashews by about 1 inch. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. Drain cashews in a colander; rinse with cold water. Drain well.
  • In a blender combine drained cashews, ¾ cup water, the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and pimientos. Cover; blend until very smooth, scraping sides of blender as needed. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan cook turkey over medium heat until no longer pink, stirring to break up turkey into small pieces as it cooks. If necessary, drain off fat. Sprinkle turkey with salt, garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper; stir to coat turkey with spices.
  • Add pureed cashew mixture and the salsa to saucepan with turkey mixture (mixture will be thin). Cook and stir over medium heat until dip is just boiling. Reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until dip has thickened to a dipping consistency, stirring frequently.
  • Transfer dip to a small slow cooker or crock set over a heating unit. Use the “warm” or “low” setting to keep the dip warm for serving. Serve dip with tortilla chips or vegetable dippers. Stir the dip occasionally to prevent a thin crust from forming on the top or keep the lid on to prevent that from happening.
  • Serve dip warm with tortilla chips and/or vegetable dippers.


* If you can't eat cashews, you can use 3/4 cup raw, unsalted blanched almonds (slivered almonds work because they are blanched) and 1/4 cup, raw, unsalted macadamia nuts instead of the cashews. Decrease the water to 2/3 cup; you may have to cook the dip a few minutes longer to get it to a thick dipping consistency. Because of the different nuts, the dip made with almonds and macadamia nuts will look a little grainy and won't be quite as smooth and creamy compared to the dip made with cashews. The flavor is great though!
** I prefer using lean ground turkey (which is typically 93% lean) rather than extra-lean ground turkey for this recipe.
*** If you prefer less spicy food, use a bit less cayenne pepper and use a mild salsa.
Yield: 3 ½ cups (14, ¼-cup servings)