Here are some irresistible vegan dip recipes to serve for a special occasion – or any occastion.
These dips are all whole foods plant-based, vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, and with nut-free options.
Vegan dip recipes to impress!
Initially I created this post to offer a collection of vegan dip recipes to ring in the new year.
However, why focus on one day of the year when these dip recipes are a win any day of the year!
And, if you have a special occasion to plan for, these are most definitely party-worthy, wow-factor dips. So, let’s get going:
8. Romesc-oat Sauce
This recipe comes from Let Them Eat Vegan. It’s rich and velvety, and the lightly-toasted oats and nuts give it an exquisite flavor along with the smoked paprika.
If you need a nut-free recipe, try this Roasted Red Pepper Dip instead.
- ½ cup toasted rolled oats use certified gf for gluten-free version, see note
- 1 ¼ cups roasted red pepper about 1½ medium/large red peppers, see note
- 1 medium-large clove garlic
- ½ cup toasted almonds
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar see note about peppers
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 2-5 tbsp water as needed to thin as desired (use lesser amount for dip, see note)
In a food processor, combine all ingredients, starting with about 2 tablespoons of the water, and puree until smooth, adding more water to thin as desired. Season to taste with additional salt and/or pepper (if using the sauce straight as a dip or spread or to top vegetables, and so forth, you probably won’t need extra seasoning, but if tossing into pasta, you may want to add extra salt to the sauce or add it when mixing with the pasta).
- If This Apron Could Talk: When thinning, add the water about a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve the desired consistency. Keep in mind that when using for pasta, you can thin later by adding some pasta cooking water, rather than dilute the sauce when first pureeing it. If you chill the sauce, it will thicken more as it refrigerates, as the oats continue to absorb any moisture.
- Ingredients 411: Place the oats on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden, tossing once or twice. Watch closely, as the oats can burn quickly. You can use roasted red peppers from a jar, or roast them yourself; see “Plant-Powered Pantry,” page xxxviii of Let Them Eat Vegan. If using jarred peppers, check the ingredients for vinegar. If they are marinated in vinegar, you may want to omit the vinegar altogether or reduce, adjusting to taste.
- Serving Suggestions: Kept thick, this sauce can be used as a spread or dip. It is like a roasted red pepper dip but with more texture and a deeper flavor profile. Try it as a base for your next pizza! It can also be thinned slightly to use as a sauce to kick up unseasoned tofu or beans, and of course, to toss with pasta.
7. White Bean Hummus
This is one of those ‘oldies but goodies’. It’s from my hummus chapter in ed&bv, and readers have loved it for a long time. Me too!
Serve it up with crudite, or some veggie crackers, or pitas, chips, whatever you like!
White Bean Hummus with Fresh Basil and Thyme
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans (white kidney beans) (drained and rinsed if using canned beans)
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 small to medium clove garlic sliced
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar see note
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2½ – 3 tsp fresh thyme roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil torn or roughly chopped
- 1-3 tbsp water as needed, to thin dip as desired
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a food processor, combine all ingredients except water, thyme, and basil. Purée until smooth, gradually adding water as desired to thin dip and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add thyme and basil and purée briefly to incorporate ingredients. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
- This dip tastes lovely even with just 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. But, you can omit it altogether for an oil-free version. I have used a raspberry-flavored red wine vinegar in place of the lemon juice in this dip, and it adds a beautiful flavor.
- You can make this dip look very elegant. As described in the chapter introduction, pipe the dip into mini-bell peppers (cut in half), halved grape tomatoes, or endive leaves. Alternatively, spread it thinly on slices of bread with a layer of “shaved” cucumber (using a vegetable peeler to remove thin strips lengthwise off cucumber, before reaching the seedy portion). Cut crusts off bread and slice in strips or cut in shapes with cookie cutters
As vegan dip recipes go, this one is rawesome! I hear from readers saying they are scraping the food processor clean, it’s so more-ish.
Serve it a bowl with crackers (raw or otherwise), or tucked into mini bell peppers, endive leaves, or cherry tomatoes. Or, use it as a filling for rolls for finger food (ex: baked mini phyllo rolls). This past Christmas, I layered it with roasted mushrooms as a phyllo main dish. It was exquisite!
Rawesome Nut Dip
Made entirely with raw ingredients, this dip will knock your socks off. It’s a snap to prepare and is perfect for summer picnics, to nibble with raw veggies, or as a spread on crackers and breads.
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup raw pine nuts or more walnuts or other nuts like cashews
- 1/2 cup red or orange bell pepper chopped
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 very small clove garlic sliced, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 to 6 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
In a food processor, combine nuts, bell pepper, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and water (starting with 4 tbsp), and purée until fairly smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times. Add basil and thyme, and purée again until well combined and to desired smoothness. Add more lemon juice to taste and/or water to thin dip if desired. Makes 1 3/4 cups.
- You may change the proportions of nuts in this recipe or substitute with other nuts or seeds. Note that nuts differ in natural sweetness and bitterness: cashews, almonds, and pistachios have sweeter flavors, whereas walnuts and pine nuts have more savory and bitter tones. Since substitutions will affect the overall flavor, you may want to adjust lemon juice or salt to taste.
- This dip has a slight “cheesy” taste, and is a good cheese replacement, such as a layer for lasagna, filling for ravioli, or sandwich spread. For a cheesier flavor, you can add 1–2 tbsp nutritional yeast, although nutritional yeast may not be considered “raw.”
5. Red Lentil Hummus
I’ve heard readers say that this is the only hummus they’ve enjoyed, or their kids will eat. I think it’s the combination of the very mellow, smooth lentils along with the smoked paprika. Do not skip that smoked paprika!
Red Lentil Hummus
- 1 cup dried red lentils rinsed (see note)
- 2 cups water for cooking lentils
- 1-2 medium-large cloves garlic see note
- 3½ – 4 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon lemon zest see note
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place lentils and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Cover and let cook until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are fully softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 1/2 hour or longer. In a food processor, add the cooked lentils, garlic, tahini, sea salt, coriander (start with 1/2 tsp), lemon zest, paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add more garlic, coriander, or salt to taste. This mixture is much looser than a traditional hummus. When refrigerated, it thickens considerably. So, you can enjoy it a little thinner, or wait until it is chilled. Serve with whole grain pitas or tortillas.
- Lentils Note: You can make the lentils a day or two in advance, and then refrigerate until ready to use. They will already be chilled for this dip, and therefore the puree will be thicker.
- Garlic Note: Adjust garlic to taste. I use one clove when serving for the family, but you can use more for adults.
- Lemon Zest Note: While zest may seem like an unusual addition here, it truly adds some lovely flavor.
- Ideas: Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to this puree for extra spice. You can bump up the garlic quotient for adults, and also try adding a punch of heat with hot sauce.
- If you want to add fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or parsley, wait until the dip is cooled and then puree through.
- Kitchen Tip: You can always make a double batch if you think you’d like to store portions of this dip in the freezer!
Dressing, yes, but this recipe is also easily a vegan dip. Just make it with a touch less water, and it will be spectacular for a dip with tender baby potatoes (or potato wedges), chips, or veggies. This recipe is from my Plant-Powered Dressings ebook, and is vegan, oil-free, nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. If you don’t have it or don’t want to pick it up, try this Ranch version.
One of the recipes from The Cheese Trap, this is a wonderful dip/spread for breads, crostini, and crackers for any party!
2. Vegveeta Dip
Let Them Eat Vegan Absolutely one of my most popular vegan dip recipes from. This is your go-to hot cheesy dip, try it as a fondue or drizzled on nachos, or stir in some salsa for dipping. True winner!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 tbsp tahini or 1/8 cup pine nuts
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup + 1-3 tbsp plain unsweetened almond milk see note
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp prepared yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/2 tsp little scant paprika
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp turmeric for color
- optional: 1 ½ -2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until very, very smooth (start with 1 cup + 1 tbsp milk). Transfer mixture to a small/medium saucepan, and heat over low/low-medium heat for 5-8 minutes, until mixture is starting to slowly bubble and thicken (stir frequently through heating). To thin sauce slightly, stir in another 1-2 tbsp of milk. Avoid thickening sauce over high heat (or increasing heat too quickly), since this sauce can scorch easily. Once sauce has thickened, transfer to a serving dish… and get dipping! Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Milk Note: I prefer to use plain unsweetened almond milk or soy milk in this recipe.
Cooking Note: The color of this dip will deepen with heating. When first blended, it is quite light without much color, but with heating, more yellow/orange color develops.
Options: For a nacho “Vegveeta”-style dip, try stirring about 1/3 – ½ cup of your fave salsa into the heated sauce. Other add-in’s to consider (add after blending/warming sauce): – a handful of sliced green onions – chopped sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed, drained) or fresh chopped tomatoes – sliced olives – chopped parsley or cilantro. – for heat-lovers, a few tablespoons of chopped jalapeno peppers or a few dashes of hot sauce.
Coming in at #1 for a reason! This recipe is often imitated, never duplicated. I’ve seen many iterations of it online, this is the original that readers have loved for years.
Which dip is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! x Dreena