Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

As many of you know, it’s been a stressful past few weeks. But what’s made it easier is knowing that I have this group of people around me cheering for me, sending me notes and reassuring me that everything is going to be okay.

And thankfully, it is.

We came out the other side of a scary situation and in large part it’s because of all the thoughts and prayers that were sent out way. I truly believe that and am humbled by each and every one of you.

Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

When times are tough, all I want to eat is something comforting. Something ultra cheesy or oeey-gooey (or both really), and it has to be delicious.

Cookies would be the obvious choice, to satisfy that ooey-gooey craving, but while I’d love to eat an entire batch of cookies in one sitting, that’s just not something my body would respond well to. Hello, sugar crash!

We need to go in a different direction with this type of craving. Something savory. Something that can be dipped in something ultra cheesy. Yes, dippable. That sounds perfect.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Queso dip.

Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso DipI went the Latin American route for a few reasons. First, I’m obsessed with the flavors. Second, queso is one of my favorite cheesy dipping sauces (which we’ll get to in a minute). And third? Well, third is just that you can pretty much never go wrong using quinoa in this type of cuisine. It just works.

Lately you may have noticed that I’m cooking a lot more plant based. It’s not for any particular reason, it’s just that I’ve found that I don’t miss meat. It’s not something I crave or even look forward to in a meal. So why have it?

For this recipe, I wanted to make something that was packed with protein but skipped the meat. Black beans and quinoa were my starting point, and from there my mind immediately jumped to queso. So instead of making my traditional burger-style quinoa patties, I figured what’s better in queso that something you can dunk and pop into your mouth?

Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

I’m telling you, these black bean quinoa bites dunked in my vegan queso dip will change your life. They’re…

Spicy
Bold
Crunchy
Gluten-Free
Vegan
and totally dunkable

Pretty much my new favorite dinner/lunch/snack on the planet. And while the quinoa bites are utterly delicious, it’s really the queso I’m most excited to talk about.

Vegan Queso Dip with Black Bean Quinoa Bites

For the longest time, I felt like making vegan cheese dips was impossible. Especially cheese dips that actually taste like cheese. But as I’ve played around with raw cashews, I’ve discovered something amazing.

Your really can make a vegan cheese dip (or sauce, or dressing, or cream, etc.) out of nuts. And it’s super easy. All you need is a high-powered blender and you’re off to the races.

I made this vegan queso a little on the spicy side, so you can back down on the heat if you’re not a fan. The cheese flavor comes from the nutritional yeast, then there’s chiles in adobo sauce for some smokiness and heat, and some garlic to round out the flavors.

And I swear, it tastes exactly like queso dip. Delicious with chips, crackers, smothered on tacos, added to a burrito or used as a vessel for black bean quinoa bites :)

Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 20 - 24 bites

Ingredients

    for the quinoa bites:
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 chiles in adobo
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • for the queso dip:
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 chiles in adobo
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa (optional, see note)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Add garlic, shallot, jalapeno, chiles and half the black beans into a food processor and pulse until mixture is coming together, 10 - 15 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add remaining beans, quinoa, chickpea flour and spices and stir together to form a dough. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Shape dough into golf ball-sized patties and place on baking sheet. Repeat until no dough remains.
  5. Bake on center rack for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until bites are browned and crispy on the outside. Remove and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
  6. While the bites are resting, prepare the queso. Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth.
  7. Add blender contents to a sauce pan and heat on low until warm. Transfer to a serving bowl and dust with additional paprika.
  8. Arrange the bites around the bowl of queso on a serving plate. Serve slightly warm.

Notes

If you're not using quinoa in your queso dip, you can substitute with 1 - 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. This will help the mixture stay thick.

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About Queen of Quinoa

Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, the Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients, and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun. After struggling with stomach issues throughout her college years, Alyssa decided enough was enough and took her health into her own hands. She started by removing gluten from her diet and hasn’t looked back since. Two happy years have passed and her stomach issues have practically disappeared. Living gluten-free has also helped her to truly discover her passion for cooking and she has embraced her new lifestyle with open arms. With the Queen of Quinoa, Alyssa shares her gluten-free recipes, many of which are focused on the superfood quinoa, and discusses her journey to living a more fulfilled and healthy life. She now also cooks refined sugar-free and although not all her of recipes are vegan, she has loved learning and experimenting with vegan baking. She lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is surrounded by fresh, local produce and is always inspired by the fabulous seasonal ingredients that make this state so special. She is excited to share her recipes with you, as she helps to uncover the amazing world of quinoa.
This entry was posted in Corn-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-free, Entrees, Gluten-free, International Cuisine, Lunch, Mexican, Quinoa, Recipe Index, Refined Sugar-Free, Sides, Snacks, Soy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

  1. shakti says:

    Oh yes, savoury and vegetarian… perfect!
    And perfect? Oh that lovely dog..please do send to me for I would justice that one, what a cutie!
    She is just on my mind and running ahead of concentration on your lovely recipes!
    Happy another promising veggie is coming along, no.preaching but I serve my veggie foods, the thing is those meaty people eat with gusto, no problems at all.

  2. Monika says:

    I cant have spicy, how do I make the cheesy sause mild, with no hot stuff

  3. Rita Gaul says:

    They sound absolutely great. I am still only allowed juices with 1 serve of quinoa + fruit for breakfast. Hopefully soon will be able to add some more solid foods once my oesophagus has healed and I can swallow them.
    I shall put this one on the list, to try out, but will have to go easy on the jalapeno and chile so will try a substitute – I’ll let you know how they go.
    Can’t wait to try out some of your other recipes too.

  4. I love the fact that for a bit of comfort you went with queso! I would have never guessed that it was vegan until I read through! Crazy cool Alyssa! Pinning this one for sure.
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes recently posted..green beans with fermented black beans ~ aka dirty green beansMy Profile

  5. Lauren says:

    I love cashew/nutritional yeast mixtures. They have this great flavor combination minus the occasional tummy ache I get with dairy :) Mmmm “queso” dip.

  6. Steph K. says:

    This looks awesome! I’ve been making a lot of vegan “cheese” dips recently, and I’ve been surprised how easy and delicious they are. I’m adding this to my recipe queue – thanks for sharing!

  7. Laura says:

    What can I substitute for chickpea flour?
    Any easy substitutes for chiles in adobo?
    Thanks! Eager to try this.

  8. Sherry Pritts says:

    These were way too hot for us. next time, I think I’d cut down on the adobo and leave out the chili powder.

  9. laura says:

    WHat can I use in place of chickpea flour?

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