Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

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This Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip is a must-make for the Super Bowl, but also for any game day, picnic, or potluck! It’s spicy, cheesy, and creamy, and you’d never guess it’s healthy, vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free! Plus, it’s made with just 10 ingredients and everything gets dumped in the Instant Pot! *includes stovetop instructions*
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
4.9 from 27 votes

This Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip is one of the best inventions ever. I don’t know if recipes qualify as “inventions,” but let me tell you, you’re gonna love this recipe SO much.

cheesy buffalo dip in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and beers

Why you’ll love this buffalo cauliflower dip

Easy

This might be the easiest recipe on my blog. All you do is dump 10 ingredients into the Instant Pot, give it a quick stir, and turn on the Pressure Cook setting. When the time is up, perform a quick pressure release, and add the contents to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, and voila!

Seriously, that’s it. No hands-on cooking.

Quick

As you can imagine, this recipe is also quick. The only prep work involved is cutting up some cauliflower into florets, and chopping up half an onion and a few garlic cloves. This should take no more than 5 minutes.

And then the you pressure cook it in the Instant Pot for 7 minutes! Of course, it does take some additional time for the Instant Pot to build pressure, but since there’s minimal liquid in this recipe, it comes to pressure pretty quickly. And then you perform a quick pressure release (no waiting time there), and it takes a minute to blend.

That’s just 20 minutes, start to finish! And unlike many vegan sauce/dip recipes that use cashews, you don’t even have to soak the cashews in this recipe! The high pressure of the Instant Pot will soften those babies up on its own!

10 Ingredients

Yes, there are only 10 ingredients in this recipe, and nothing is an exotic or difficult-to-find ingredient!

Healthy

I know, something that has CHEESY BUFFALO in the title doesn’t sound healthy, but it is! It’s vegan, gluten-free, and even oil-free! It’s made with cauliflower, onions, garlic, and gets thick and creamy from a combination of cashews, cannellini beans, and plant-based milk.

Disclaimer: while this recipe is, in my opinion, healthy, it is fairly high in sodium, almost exclusively due to the buffalo hot sauce. If you are on a very low-sodium diet, this might not be the best recipe for you, or limit yourself to just a spoon or two.

Also, as I mention in the Tips section below, this dip is quite spicy as written, so you can always reduce the amount of hot sauce, and that will also reduce the overall sodium content.

Flavorful

Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

4.9 from 27 votes
This Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip is a must-make for the Super Bowl, but also for any game day, picnic, or potluck! It’s spicy, cheesy, and creamy, and you’d never guess it’s healthy, vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free! Plus, it’s made with just 10 ingredients and everything gets dumped in the Instant Pot! *includes stovetop instructions*
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: cauliflower, dip, gluten-free, no added oil, soy-free
Serving size: 16

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (140-150g) raw cashews
  • 1 3/4 cups (440g) cooked cannellini beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups (160-170g) cauliflower florets
  • 3/4 cup (180mL)* Frank’s Redhot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Xtra Hot Sauce**
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika***
  • 3/4 cup (180mL) unsweetened plain almond milk or other nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup (~30-45g) nutritional yeast****

Optional Toppings

  • Chopped cilantro and/or green onions

For Serving

  • Tortilla chips or crackers

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  • Lightly grease the inner pot of the Instant Pot with a bit of oil or cooking spray. This is to make cleanup easy, but it’s optional. Feel free to omit if you are oil-free.
  • Place the chopped onions, chopped garlic, cashews, cannellini beans, cauliflower florets, hot sauce, coconut sugar, paprika, almond milk, and nutritional yeast in the inner pot of Instant Pot and stir well to combine.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook/Manual setting and set to high pressure for 7 minutes.
  • Once the 7-minute timer has completed and beeps, perform a quick pressure release by switching the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting and open the pot.
  • Open the pot and, and carefully transfer the mixture to a blender. Be sure to remove the center cap from the blender lid to vent steam, but cover the hole with a kitchen towel. Blend until the dip is smooth, thick, and creamy. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender, but it will take several minutes, and the texture will be chunkier and not as smooth.
  • Allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

Stovetop Directions

  • Soak the cashews. Cover the cashews in boiling water and soak for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can soak them in cold water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic. Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil or cooking oil* of choice. Once hot, add the diced onion and a pinch of salt and stir together for 1 minute. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes to prevent the garlic from burning. Turn off the heat.
  • Steam the cauliflower. Bring about 1/4 inch of water to a boil in a large frying pan. Then add the cauliflower florets. Cover the pan and steam until very soft and tender, about 7-9 minutes. Drain any remaining water to prevent the dip from becoming watery.
    1. You can also steam cauliflower in the microwave or in a steamer basket. For the microwave.
  • Assemble the Dip. Place the sautéed onions, soaked and drained cashews, and steamed cauliflower in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients—drained cannellini beans, hot sauce, sugar, paprika, plant-based milk, and nutritional yeast. Be sure to remove the center cap from the blender lid to vent steam, but cover the hole with a kitchen towel. Blend until the dip is smooth, thick, and creamy.
  • Allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving
  • *If you are oil-free, sauté the onions and garlic in water instead.

Notes

*As noted above, if you are sensitive to spicy food or trying to reduce sodium intake, use less hot sauce, about 1/2 cup (120 mL).
** If you can’t find Frank’s hot sauce, you can use Cholula, Tabasco, or any hot sauce of your preference. Or, you can even make your own hot sauce (this is a copycat recipe for Frank’s hot sauce).
*** The smoked paprika brings a very subtle smoky flavor, but I’ve also made this recipe with regular paprika and it’s great either way.
**** If you are using grams, the reason for the variation is that there is variability between brands of nutritional yeast. For instance, some brands say 1 tablespoon = 5 grams, others say 1 tablespoon = 8 or 9 grams.

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61 comments on Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

  1. Cheryl Zinkievich

    How does this handle rewarming? TIA:)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Cheryl, it should be good reheated once!

  2. Sean Macleish

    5 stars
    I just made it in my IP and it’s delicious. Very easy to make. Great dip. Thank you.

  3. Rani

    5 stars
    Oh wow! This was so good! Easy to make, and the flavors are amazing.

  4. Sierra

    Can I use great northern beans in place of cannellini beans?

  5. Kathrine Paterson

    5 stars
    Absolutely the best cheese sauce I have made. I am eating it right off the spoon!
    It was also super easy to make.

  6. Kortneii MacKenzie

    5 stars
    I forgot the sugar. Oops but I didn’t add the full amount of hot sauce so it might not be needed. Also my cashews, cauliflower and onions probably weren’t prepared fully so my dip is a little bumpy. But wow delicious! Easy to make on the stove a few more dishes than the insta pot method. Delish! Thanks Nisha

  7. Iralyn

    4 stars
    Taste was great! This would have been a definite five star and super easy, if I hadn’t kept getting the burn notice on my Instant Pot. I coated the pot in oil before adding everything. After getting the notice, I stirred, added more liquid, tried doing low pressure instead and nothing worked. Finally just let it sit in there hot until the cauliflower was tender enough to blend. Not sure why this happened or what to do about it. This also happens whenever I try to cook steel cut oats in the IP. So frustrating! Great recipe, though!

  8. Stephanie

    5 stars
    This is amazing! I’ve had a lot of good cheeze sauces, but this one, just in a bowl with chunks of avocado and air fried tortilla chips, and I’m in heaven while eating healthy!

  9. Suzanne

    5 stars
    Thank you for another great recipe. At the last minute I realized I was out of cashews and subbed almonds and the result was still delicious. I turned the leftovers into soup (adding water) and it was also amazing! Love the versatility of this recipe!

  10. Elena

    5 stars
    This was SUCH a hit at our mini Super Bowl gathering! The tiny amount we brought back home will be used like we use hummus!

  11. Ingrid

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe!!! An absolute favorite. Thank you

  12. Abbie

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this is so delicious! I was a little afraid of the spice level, so I cut back to 1/2 cup on the hot sauce but I think I could have handled the 3/4 cup for next time. Either way, this was so good as a dip or in wraps!

  13. Lisa

    5 stars
    Yummy, yummy yummy! Once again your recipe delivers on taste!

  14. Elaine

    I dont have cannalini beans, I have garbanzo and pinto. Would one of them work better than the other?

    1. Jessica

      I made it with garbanzo beans and it is SO good!

  15. Nina

    5 stars
    I just made this for tonight’s Super Bowl party. I’m going to have to leave some home for myself. This is so delicious!

  16. Tina

    5 stars
    I just made this for the Super Bowl event tonight. It is so tasty, flavorful, and delicious. I will be making this forever.

  17. Nicole

    3 stars
    I really wanted to love this dish but it just didn’t come together. I’m not sure if I needed to measure on a scale instead of measuring cups because the nutritional yeast was just really overwhelming (even though I normally like it). I’m trying to find a way to salvage it because no one in my family will touch it as a stand alone dip.

    1. Nisha

      Hi Nicole, sorry to hear that. I’ve noticed that nutritional yeast brands vary quite a bit in their measurements, so it’s possible sticking to grams would be more helpful. I never notice the taste of it in this dip, it’s more of a background subtle cheesy note. You could probably turn it into a layer dip with guacamole, black beans, salsa, etc.

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