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 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 35 mins
4.9 from 45 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 45 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
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.

Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

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87 comments on Instant Pot Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

  1. Lynn

    Wow! Really good and spicy. Super easy to make. It makes a large batch. Can I freeze it? Any suggestions on what I might use it for besides chips?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Lynn, glad you love it! Other ways you can eat this dip are over fries, in a grilled cheese, on top of potato skins, as a fry dip, it could even be a pasta sauce?, or used as the sauce on a pizza? Hope that helped!

  2. Susan

    5 stars
    Another winner from Rainbow Plant Life! This dip is delicious and so easy to make. I have made it two times now–once on the stovetop and once in the Instapot. Both times it turned out perfect. The flavor is more complex than one might first suspect when reading through the recipe. Thank you for making life more delicious, fun and beautiful, Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      What a lovely comment! Thank you so much, Susan :) We are honored you love the recipes so much!

  3. Sarah

    5 stars
    Tasted so much like the buffalo chicken dip that I miss! Loved it. Thank you!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Sarah. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  4. Victoria

    5 stars
    Okay, this was my first instapot receipt and I uses Chula hot sauce and wow was the heat delicious and gave it a Mexican flare! Quick question, this made a lot for just me and my sister can it be stored in the freezer?

    Also! We mixed this with refried beans…. heaven! It was perfect!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Victoria, it may lose some of its creaminess by being frozen but we think it could be done. Defrost in the fridge overnight and blend with a little additional nondairy milk before heating. Glad you loved it!

  5. Erin

    3 stars
    I was excited to try this recipe but unfortunately I had a lot of trouble making this in the instant pot. I tried 3 times and each time got the “burn” or overheat notification, even after adding extra liquid relative to the recipe. In the end I sautéed on the stove until it was soft enough to blend but the texture came out closer to a hummus than a queso. Flavor wise it was pretty good but I was saddened that is was so troublesome for me to make, since it looks like from reviews most others have had great success. Would be curious to know if anyone else has experienced the same issues and how they resolved them.

    1. Ashley

      I also got the burn message repeatedly! So frustrating! This has happened to me with other recipes as well and when I’ve gone digging for solutions all I could find is that maybe it’s the model of instant pot we are using. I’m actually making this dip today for 4th of July because it’s still delicious! I’m trying out the stove top method this time around.

  6. Scott

    5 stars
    Super good. Thanks Nisha! I had it at all temperature levels (warm, room temperature, and cold), and it was good every which way. I’d imagine the temperature probably just depends on personal preference. I served it with tortilla chips, pita chips, and also raw celery, carrots, and bell peppers. All good. For me, the buffalo taste was a bit lacking immediately out of the blender. I drizzled additional buffalo sauce and hot sauce on top of the dip, much like one would do with olive oil on top of hummus, and that both kicked up the heat; but mainly amped up the buffalo flavor I was looking for. I’m attempting to go vegan for the month of March, and I promise this dip will become a feature as my friends, family, and I binge college basketball all month. Thanks again!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Scott!

  7. Delnora

    5 stars
    This is incredible. So clever and original. And easy. I served it warm. But I think it might have been even better the next day cold! Will definitely make again – and keep in mind as a “what can I bring? how about an app? ” option in the future. Thank you, Nisha! looking forward to buying your next book!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for the lovely review, Delnora! We can’t wait for you to see the new cookbook!

  8. Elizabeth W.

    5 stars
    Made this for the Super Bowl yesterday and it was a hit! Followed the measurements as written and it was delicious! Might actually do a little more Frank’s next time but honestly this was great as-is. Our friends all commented on how good it was, and a couple even asked for the recipe. Another amazing recipe from Rainbow Plant Life!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth!

  9. Kerry

    This looks so good! Could you recommend a way to make it kid friendly heat/spice wise? Thank you!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks, Kerry! You could try removing most/all of the hot sauce and adding some vegetable broth in place. Enjoy!

  10. Lind

    5 stars
    I have made this SOOOOO many times! Absolutely love it & it’s extra easy using an Instapot.
    Is it spicy, yes…but I think tolerable to most. You can always dial down the Franks, or as Nisha says, use your hot sauce of choice. Personally, I love this recipe as is & so did everyone I served it to!
    Besides using it as a dip, I’ve used it to spread in wraps.
    Love all your recipes as well as your presentation Nisha!!!!
    Linda

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Lind, So glad to hear you love this recipe!

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