VEGAN SEVEN LAYER DIP W/ BUFFALO REFRIED BEANS - The First MessVEGAN SEVEN LAYER DIP W/ BUFFALO REFRIED BEANS - The First MessAn overhead shot of dried pinto beans and spices in an Instant PotAn up close shot of Buffalo refried beans being mashed with a potato mashew.An up close shot of diced avocado, minced onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a white bowl before being mashed into guacamole.
Just the facts: if you aren’t mostly looking forward to the food on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re lying to yourself! I love football, but the biggest game of the year has me dreaming of Tex-Mex specialties, a few cold beverages, maybe something deep fried, perhaps a snack that could be described as “pizza-blasted,” and just soooo many chips. I held a survey on my Instagram stories, wondering what everyone’s favourite game day-kinda food was and the overwhelming response was a) dips as a general category and b) anything with Buffalo sauce. Naturally I wanted to mash the two together in a big way. This is a vegan seven layer dip with Buffalo sauced refried beans as the spicy base, and man it is SO good.

I made the refried beans in the Instant Pot (with GRAIN’s pinto beans) and very honestly wanted to eat them all straight out of the machine once they were mashed with the Buffalo sauce. I can’t wait to make them again to roll up in burritos or as the filling for some delicious vegan tacos. Typically seven layer dip has shredded cheese as one of the layers, but since I’m not terribly into most vegan shredded/shred-able cheeses, I made a quick little cashew-based queso instead. This queso conveniently shares the same base as our vegan sour cream that we spread on the top! Throw in some guacamole, salsa, and a whole bunch of flavourful garnishes, and you could honestly fool anyone into thinking that this dip is loaded with dairy. My man was seriously stunned when he tasted it.

Other game day favourites from my site, just in case you were on the hunt: Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms, Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower with Pickled Jalapeño Ranch, Luscious Eggplant Dip with Walnuts and Tahini, Actually Crispy Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Garlic Dip, Grilled Pizza Portobellos, Butternut Queso, and Saucy Sweet Potato Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce.

One more thing I have to mention: photographing this dip was difficult! One of the hardest times I’ve had photographing food actually. The tectonic layers of dip look very cool in real life, but it’s hard to capture it in photos. Also, I’m typically an overhead shots kinda girl and this dip is obviously all about the side profile. Add to that: refried beans are an unavoidably lumpy brown mess haha. Anyway, hopefully you can forgive the photo struggle-fest this week. Once you taste this dip, all aesthetic issues will be long forgotten. Hope you enjoy the game (or just a nice chill Sunday) with your snacks!

Overhead shot of ingredients used for vegan seven layer dip.VEGAN SEVEN LAYER DIP W/ BUFFALO REFRIED BEANS - The First MessVEGAN SEVEN LAYER DIP W/ BUFFALO REFRIED BEANS - The First MessVEGAN SEVEN LAYER DIP W/ BUFFALO REFRIED BEANS - The First Mess
Instant Pot refried beans guidance from Well Plated and Cashew Queso inspiration from Hummusapien
Print the recipe here!
Serves: Makes about 8 cups of dip total
Notes: To cut down on the length of this recipe, I just instruct on using your favourite recipe/store-bought version of both guacamole and red salsa.
-My go-to recipe for guacamole (and the one I used for this dish) is from Food 52 and can be found here.
-If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make your favourite refried beans recipe and just mash in 3 tablespoons of Buffalo-style hot sauce. Also feel free to do this with canned refried beans! You’ll need about 2 cups total.
-I would avoid fresh, refrigerated salsa in this recipe. The water content makes this dip somewhat oozy. You want the shelf-stable stuff in a jar!
-You can make this up to one day ahead with these modifications: assemble all of the layers in your dish EXCEPT for the salsa, tomatoes, green onions, olives, and cilantro. The day you’re serving it, spread the salsa on top and garnish with tomatoes, green onions, olives, and cilantro.

1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 small onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 cup dry (uncooked) pinto beans, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
sea salt, to taste
3 tablespoons Buffalo-style hot sauce

1 ¼ cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
sea salt, to taste
½ cup filtered water
½ cup red salsa of choice
1 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon light miso
½ teaspoon ground turmeric

-the Buffalo refried beans
-1 ½ cups of your favourite guacamole
-cashew queso
-1 ½ cups red salsa
-cashew sour cream
-1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
-2 green onions, thinly sliced
-⅓ cup pitted black olives, sliced
-chopped cilantro, optional

Make the Buffalo refried beans. Set your instant pot to SAUTÉ. Pour the oil into the pot. Add the onions and sauté, stirring constantly, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and keep sautéing until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bay leaf and taco seasoning to the pot and stir. Add the beans, vegetable stock, and salt to the pot and stir. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot with your spoon. Cancel the SAUTÉ function.

Secure the lid on top of the Instant Pot and ensure that the vent is in the SEALING position. Set the Instant pot to PRESSURE COOK (manual) on HIGH for 45 minutes. Once the 45 minutes are up, cancel the PRESSURE COOK function. Let the pressure naturally release for 25 minutes.

Once the pressure has released, remove the lid and stir the beans. There should be a small amount of liquid in the pot. Add the Buffalo-style hot sauce to the pot. Using a potato masher, mash the beans until you have a chunky puree. Transfer Buffalo refried beans to a bowl and let them cool.

Make the cashew sour cream and queso while the refried beans are cooking. Drain the cashews and place them in an upright, high-speed blender. To the blender, add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, and water. Blend the mixture on high until you have a completely smooth cream, stopping and scraping down the sides midway if necessary.

Reserve ¾ cup of the cashew mixture. This will be the sour cream. Place it in a sealable container and store it in the refrigerator.

Make the queso. To the remaining cashew mixture in the blender, add the salsa, nutritional yeast, miso, and turmeric. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth. Check it for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Scrape this queso mixture into a sealable container and place it in the refrigerator.

Assemble the dip: In a dish that’s at least 8x8x2, start building the layers. Spread the Buffalo refried beans on the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Follow with the cashew sour cream. Then, spread the guacamole on top. Follow with the salsa. Then, spread the cashew queso on top. Finally, top the dip with the tomatoes, green onions, olives, and cilantro (if using). Serve the dip with tortilla chips or whatever you enjoy dipping with.

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