Confident home cooking
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Appetizers, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Cashew Dip

by Nick

Betsy and I spent a few days in Nashville before Thanksgiving last week and one of the restaurants that we decided to hit up was a vegetarian/vegan spot called The Wild Cow.

As you probably know, I’m neither vegetarian or vegan, but I do generally like vegetarian food.  I love stuff like tofu and tempeh.  I find it delicious if cooked correctly so I was excited to check this place out.

The meal was excellent.  Betsy has some delicious sweet potato tacos and her mom had some lentils that were some of the best lentils I’ve had.

Honestly, the thing I thought was the best though was the appetizer that we got which was a cashew dip.  I asked the server what was in it and after a long, lackadaisical stare he said:

“Umm… cashews.”

After I a gave him a Three Stooges like smack (sound), he also told me that there was chickpeas in it also.

That’s a start I guess.  I took it from there.  It’s possible that my version turned out even better than theirs…

Yield
Makes 4 Cups of dip.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Cashew Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups roasted cashews
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Pita chips

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Drain chickpeas and add them to a bowl filled with cool water. Rub chickpeas together gently between your hands to remove their thin outer, tough skin. The skins should float to the top of the water and then you can scoop them off. You don't need to worry about getting them all.

2) Add chickpeas to a food processor with cashews and pulse until they are in a rough paste.

3) Drizzle in olive oil, lemon juice, and coconut milk and continue to process. If the dip is a bit thick, add in more coconut milk until it reached desired texture.

4) Season with salt.

5) Serve dip sprinkled with paprika. Serve with pita chips.

Dip Basics

This dip is really similar to a hummus, but I think the flavors are way more interesting than most hummus.  It’s slightly sweet and creamy and great on pita chips or veggies.

The base of the dip is these two things.

cashews

The basics.

Basically, we just process these guys together, but before doing so, I recommend a step that some people are going to find annoying and skip.

That’s okay.  But don’t blame me when your dip isn’t silky smooth.

The step is peeling the chickpeas.  As you can see, chickpeas have this tough outer skin on them.  It’s translucent so you can’t really see it until you get it off of the chickpeas.

peeling

Strange skins…

The problem I’ve found is that no matter how much you process, these things just never break down 100%.  This is probably why your homemade hummus isn’t as smooth as store bought hummus.

The best way to peel the things is to drain them and dump them in a large bowl with cold water.  Using your hands, rub the chickpeas together underwater and the skins will float to the surface.

Then you can just skim them off.

See this?  You can’t process this into a smooth anything.

molt

Imagine processing that…

I usually spend just a few minutes doing this and I shoot for 95% of the chickpeas.  As you can see, I miss some.

Having some un-peeled ones won’t kill you.  The slightly lighter chickpeas still have the skin on them and I just left it at this point.

not perfect

Not perfect, but it’ll work.

Making the Dip

Once you get that annoying step out of the way, just toss the chickpeas and cashews in a food processor and pulse them until they are in a rough paste.

Easy enough.

processing

A good start.

Then add in your lemon and olive oil and continue to pulse it.

lemon

I froze time for this. No big deal.

The Secret Ingredient

The real key to this dip is to find a way to make it really creamy without adding actual cream to it (I tried to stick to the vegan thing).

Coconut milk was my answer and I think it worked better than actual cream would have worked honestly.  It added the texture I was looking for and also gave the dip a very soft sweetness.

coconut

Make it creamy!

Pulse this all together and taste it for salt.  It might need a pinch of salt depending on whether or not your cashews were salted or not.

If your dip is still really thick, feel free  to add in a bit more coconut milk until it reaches the consistency you want.

smooth

Smooth stuff.

You can serve this as-is or sprinkle the dip with some paprika like I did for the first photo.

This is really addictive stuff.

dip

This is good stuff.

This is one of those recipes that is awesome to serve at a party.  People will be beating down your door for the recipe.

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23 comments on “Cashew Dip

  1. Nice lemon action shot!

    Sounds great, will have to make this for my next pot luck. You know I am still making your hot corn dip for pot lucks, actually making it for office party next week! Everyone loves it!

  2. This sounds delicious.

    Sadly, I have a miserable allergy to coconut. It was a problem in the 80’s because I swear every baked good (and many other processed foods) at every store seemed to have coconut oil or coconut. They stopped using it (health?) and I started making food at home a lot more (yay unprocessed!), but now it seems coconut milk and coconut is all the rage in recipes. sigh.

    A.n.y.w.a.y :), what would you recommend to use instead of coconut milk for this? Keeping it vegan, healthy, and all? A nut milk?

      1. Water would work just fine, too. That’s what I use when I make cashew cream and cashew cheese (both vegan).

        1. When making regular hummus, I save back some of the juice from the can of chickpeas and use that as my thinner. I can’t imagine that wouldn’t work in this recipe as well.

  3. I actually don’t use a food processor whenever I make hummus, and instead use a blendtec blender, and my hummus always comes out really smooth even with the skin on. Guess that’s one alternative for people who don’t want to bother peeling the chickpeas!

  4. I make hummus all the time and never even considered peeling the chickpeas! I always wondered how to make my hummus more creamy… is it more tahini, more water? I will have to try this out, thank you so much for the tip!

  5. Hooray for cashews! They’re so versatile and make eating vegan so much easier (welcome back, creamy sauces and dips!)

    For a sweet dip, I substitute pumpkin for the chickpeas, and add hazelnut milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dip with gingersnaps or graham crackers.

    For a more savory/herby dip, I add 1/2c. nutritional yeast, garlic, and whatever herbs I’m feeling like to make a cheesy dip.

    I also thin the savory version out with some reserved pasta cooking water and add extra nutritional yeast and vegan cheese (I like Daiya) to make my “Mac-UN-Cheese”, which all the dairy fanatics in my family LOVE.

    You can also use cashews to make a really thick, creamy vegan ice cream. :)

  6. I started removing the chickpea skins on my homemade hummus awhile back, and was SHOCKED how much more delicious the results were. I’ll have to try your method of removing the skins next time…I sat at my counter for about 30 minutes and painstakingly removed each one individually.

    This dip sounds great!

  7. Any idea how well this dip would keep for a day or two? Seems like it should be fine, although I imagine maybe it’d be good to let it heat up to room temp before serving?

    1. Oh it’s great for at least a week… That’s as long as mine lasted. It’s fine straight out of the fridge also!

      1. Oh man, I just made this, and I would like to offer a cautionary word to anyone who is thinking about making it ahead of time: You may not be able to resist eating it. Seriously, seal of approval. Thanks for the delicious vegan eats! You’re one of my favorite blogs to get vegan recipes from since I know you won’t compromise on flavor!

  8. Hi Nick. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. I’ve been wanting to make this cashew dip for a while and was just reminded with your self-promo. Nothing wrong with that. I will say, though, I hated the Wild Cow for so many reasons, but we had terrible meal there and will never go back. I’m like you, love to eat vegetarian food, although I love a good rib eye steak too. Have a great new year blogging, and don’t forget to eat some sauer kraut with that pork for the new year for good luck!

  9. I just made this. It is very tasty and has a delicate, subtle flavor. Conveniently, I had an unopened box of Nut Thins on my counter, and between hubby and me, the Nut Thins are now about half gone.

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