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.
Why you’ll love this buffalo cauliflower dip
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.
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!
Yes, there are only 10 ingredients in this recipe, and nothing is an exotic or difficult-to-find ingredient!
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.
PS: Looking for more buffalo flavored snacks for game day? Try these Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower bites!
- 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****
- Chopped cilantro and/or green onions
- Tortilla chips or crackers
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.
- 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.