People are often amazed at the flavors you can create with naturally dairy-free foods. This cheesy red pepper dip is a delicious example. It’s a blend of raw foods, including macadamia nuts, red bell peppers, and miso, that has a wonderfully addictive, cheesy taste. It isn’t trying to be cheese, but it does fill that void while providing loads of nutrients.
People Go Nuts for this Dairy-Free Cheesy Red Pepper Dip
This recipe was originally shared with us by Erika of Vivapura, a superfood company. That was way back in 2010, but they are still around and so is this delicious recipe! We’ve simply updated it and have answers to your FAQs.
Why Macadamia Nuts? Will Other Nuts be as Good?
Erika says she is “obsessed with the combination of fresh red peppers and macadamia nuts.” She uses this combination in often in recipes. Macadamia nuts are creamy and rich, so they blend up well. But cashews are a great stand in for a little less money. Almonds or walnuts are also great with red peppers, but have a more pronounced taste.
Don’t I Need to Soak the Nuts?
Some people opt to soak nuts before blending them. Erika doesn’t in this recipe. Macadamia nuts are soft enough that you can blend them in without soaking. The unsoaked nuts then absorb some of the mixture and thicken the spread. If you opt to soak the nuts first, start with less water. The saturated nuts won’t readily absorb as much of the water.
What Can I Substitute for the Nutritional Yeast?
If you simply aren’t a big fan of nutritional yeast, try adding it to taste. This cheesy red pepper dip doesn’t have a high ratio of nutritional yeast, like some dairy-free recipes do, so it doesn’t tend to overpower the taste. If you simply don’t use this ingredient, you can omit it. The dip won’t be as cheesy, but will still be tasty!
Where Do I Get Red Pepper Miso?
It’s made by South River Miso and sold in specialty stores. Most grocery stores carry both red and white or light miso brands, which are all fine in this recipe. Miso provides umami and saltiness that also encourage that cheesy flavor. Look for miso in both the international food aisle (shelf stable) and in the refrigerated sections near the produce. You can also order various brands of miso on Amazon.
Can I Freeze this Cheesy Red Pepper Dip?
Yes, you can! Or you can simply make a half batch or even a quarter batch in your blender. If making a small batch, you can pre-process the nuts in an electric spice grinder before adding them to your blender.
Special Diet Notes: Cheesy Red Pepper Dip
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and paleo.
- 2 cups macadamia nuts (can sub cashews or walnuts)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons red miso (Erika uses red pepper miso; you can substitute a light miso)
- 1 large lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Place the macadamia nuts in your food processor, and process until the nuts are finely chopped and starting to clump up.
- Add the nutritional yeast, miso, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and black pepper to your food processor and start running the processor. As it processes, slowly drizzle in the water through the shoot. Once the water is incorporated, start feeding the bell pepper pieces through the spout. Process until smooth or still a bit coarse, if preferred.
- Add the basil and pulse to combine, if using.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.