Smoky Cashew Dip

A smoky, spicy, vegan, dairy-free cashew dip or sauce that’s 100% ageless. Inspired by and adapted from Alex Stupak’s dip at his New York restaurant Empellón Taqueria.

Smoky, Spicy Cashew Dip

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo drained, seeded
  • Dash of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup or more of water
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Arrange cashews in a single layer on a cast iron skillet and toast them at medium heat till they are golden brown. About 10 minutes. Let cashews cool.
  2. Purée cashews, chiles, spices, and 3/4 cup water in a blender, adding water by the tablespoon, if needed, until smooth. Add about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with salt. This sauce will keep for about a week.

Recipe Notes

This can be spicy, depending on the type of adobo chiles you use. And I often double the recipe, especially if you’re smoking the cashews over soaked wood chips. Sometimes I’ll skip the roasting/smoking of cashews and use them raw for a quick, spicy sauce. It’s good, quick, and easy. And it works well on black beans and rice or grilled salmon.