Cashew and Pumpkin Spice Dip

Marsha Gardner


Pumpkin is one of those warm, cozy flavors that you really can't enjoy as much in summertime. So I say, bring on the crisp air. And bring on the pumpkin recipes...

Last fall this was a big hit at our tailgating get togethers. When you are asked for the recipe a dozen times in a weekend you know you have a hit on your hand.

pinch tips: How to Wash Fruits & Vegetables



4 cups


15 oz
can solid pack pumpkin
2 c
raw cashews (soaked over night and drained)
1/2 c
water cashews were soaked in
1/4 c
maple syrup or to taste
2-3 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin
1/4 c
freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice for a warmer, less zesty flavor
1 tsp
cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper

Directions Step-By-Step

1 can 15oz. pumpkin (unsweetened, pure)
2 cups raw cashews (soaked and drained)
1/2 cup water (use soaked nut salted water)
1/4 cup maple syrup (sweeten to taste)
2-3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (you can use olive or pumpkin seed oil as well)
1/2 tsp sea salt (salt to taste)
1/4 cup lemon juice (or orange/tangerine juice for a warmer, less zesty flavor)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne (add more for extra spicy pumpkin dip)
optional: blend in additional soaked pumpkin seeds to add another layer of texture/flavor
Soak the raw cashews overnight in salted water. Drain, but reserve the water for use in the dip.

Preheat oven to 250-degrees.
Add the drained cashews, pumpkin, maple syrup, lemon juice, oil, salt and spices to a food processor or high speed blender,

Add the water in a few splashes at a time. Add more if needed. You want to process the cheese into a thick texture - a bit thicker than hummus. Process until the desired texture is reached (at least 2 minutes on high).
Do a taste test. Add in more spices/salt/sweetener/lemon juice as you see fit. You can also add in additional flavor changers like harissa for a smoky/spicy taste. Or crushed sage for a warm herbed flavor. Or extra black pepper for a peppery flavor. As I said above, you can also substitute the lemon juice with orange juice for a mellower, warmer flavor. I used lemon and loved it though
When your flavor is perfect, pour your cheese into your baking serving dish. Sprinkle a few modest spices on top. You can also top with a few pumpkin seeds as a nice garnish. The seeds will toast up nicely in the oven. Shallow dishes will result in a firmer/drier end product. Deep dishes will keep your smooth creamy texture.
For a shallow dish, bake at 250 for 50+ minutes. For the deep dish where you only want to warm the center and crisp the top you only need to bake at 250 for 20-30 minutes. The cheese dip will dry out the longer you bake it. The more you bake cashew cheese the more familiar you will get with your baking preferences.
Serve warm. You can also chill and firm up in the fridge if you'd like a cold pumpkin cheese dip. I enjoy both options. Serve with veggies, fruits, crackers, bread cubes. You can also add a drizzle of oil and/or maple syrup over top the final serving cheese if you'd like.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Vegetable Appetizers
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian