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Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

An easy vegan recipe for black bean quinoa bites that are served with an even easier vegan queso dip. A healthy alternative to that traditional orange 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…

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.

You 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 are 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 ๐Ÿ™‚


More Healthy Dip Recipes To Try:

Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip

5 from 1 vote
An easy vegan recipe for black bean quinoa bites that are served with an even easier vegan queso dip. A healthy alternative to that traditional orange dip.
author: Alyssa
yield: 24 bites
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes


for the quinoa bites:

for the queso dip:


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add remaining beans, quinoa, chickpea flour and spices and stir together to form a dough. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Shape dough into golf ball-sized patties and place on baking sheet. Repeat until no dough remains.
  • 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.
  • While the bites are resting, prepare the queso. Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Add blender contents to a sauce pan and heat on low until warm. Transfer to a serving bowl and dust with additional paprika.
  • Arrange the bites around the bowl of queso on a serving plate. Serve slightly warm.


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.


Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 64mg | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.5mg
cuisine: Mexican
course: Appetizer

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23 comments on “Black Bean Quinoa Bites with Vegan Queso Dip”

  1. Hi! This is a great recipe! We do these bites with a greek yogurt, garlic, and dill mixture as a dip as we are not vegan.
    Question on the calories – I am assuming it is 38 calories per bite, and the total batch makes 24 bites? Let me know. Thanks!

  2. Sounds wonderful!!!
    On my computer the list of ingredients does not show which ingredients are for the bites and which for the dip. Where does the dip-list start? Thanks!!! And wishing you a heartwarming and inspired 2018 from Amsterdam!

  3. Pingback: Vegan Quinoa Recipes | Hummusapien

  4. Is there a substitute for cashews for this recipe aka nut free version? I’d love to have one if there is one! Thank you for all you do.

  5. Just mad about every delicious mouthful. A good whizz of red and green cabbage, celery and carrots, a dip and some biscuit/crackers too!
    That is what I call a GREAT meal.

  6. Avatar photo
    Sherry Pritts

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

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

  8. 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!

  9. I love cashew/nutritional yeast mixtures. They have this great flavor combination minus the occasional tummy ache I get with dairy ๐Ÿ™‚ Mmmm “queso” dip.

  10. Avatar photo
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    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.

    1. Thank you friend! And glad you’re liking the looks of it; especially when I know you’re a cheese lover ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 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.

  12. 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.