Dining, Minnesota, Recipes, WFPB

Minnesota State Fair Food Copycat Recipes

Without a doubt, the Minnesota State Fair is synonymous with food. Check out this all the new foods that will be available at the State Fair this year.

The state fair runs from August 24 – Labor Day, 2017.


The Minnesota State Fair makes Dusty and I think of loaded (and glutenous) nachos.

This is our version of loaded nachos that are plant-based! Much less guilt is involved even if you decide to make a meal out of these nachos, which we’ve done too many times to count.

Pro Tip: Make the Lower-Sodium Cauliflower Taco Meat First and then make the Cashew Queso while the Taco Meat is cooking in the oven.

Vegan Nachos

In order to make these vegan loaded nachos, you’ll first need to make 2 recipes.

Combine the Cashew Queso with our other go-to recipe, Cauliflower Taco Meat and you have yourself a killer combo of meat-free and dairy-free, AMAZING nacho ingredients. There is so much flavor in these nachos, you won’t miss the meat or the dairy- trust us on this!

First up is the Cashew Queso and it’s taken directly from Life is No Yoke. The recipe is so good the way it is there is no need for adjustments.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We did make one adjustment to the recipe. We doubled it!!

Another truth is that we bought our Vitamix because of this cashew queso and the Vitamix reviews on their blog. We are 100% satisfied with our Vitamix and are over the moon about their blog!

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Life is No Yoke Cashew Queso

This recipe is doubled. We figure when you make something this delicous it just makes sense to double it. Feel free to make half the recipe, but really, why would you want to?
Recipe is from LifeisNoYoke.com
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings: 4 Cups


  • 2 cups Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 red bell pepper, de-seeded
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Penzey's garlic powder
  • 4 tsp Penzey's toasted onion powder
  • a few shakes crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


  • Add the liquid ingredients to your blender. 
  • Then add the remaining ingredients. 
  • If using a Vitamix, select the 'soup' setting. 
  • If you don't have a Vitamix or high-powered blender, you'll need to blend for 6 minutes. You'll want to start at a low speed then ramp up to high and let the ingredients blend for 6 minutes. 

Here is a big bowl of the queso, use a spoon to drizzle it over your food or use a chip to dip!


Next up is the Lower Sodium Cauliflower Taco Meat. This is an incredibly tasty recipe and we found on Brand New Vegan. It’s another recipe that will make a meat lover consider a non-meat alternative.  We feel the key to this recipe is that we use quality spices- Penzey’s is our preferred spice these days but do not let the brand of seasoning stop you from making this recipe. Whatever you have on hand will be fine!

The Lower Sodium Cauliflower Taco Meat another recipe that will make a meat lover consider a non-meat alternative.  We feel the key to this recipe is that we use quality spices- Penzey’s is our preferred spice these days but do not let the brand of seasoning stop you from making this recipe. Whatever you have on hand will be fine!

Another thing about the recipe posted below is that we like convenience whenever possible in the kitchen without cutting quality. Rather than a head of cauliflower, we use a bag of riced cauliflower from Trader Joes- SO easy and quick!

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Lower Sodium Cauliflower Tacos

Recipe is inspired from BrandNewVegan.com
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 bag Riced Cauliflower- we use Trader Joe's for this recipe. Use a small head of cauliflower if you can't find riced cauliflower in the store
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped or pulsed in the food processor
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Penzey's medium hot chili powder
  • 2 tsp Penzey's ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Penzey's smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Penzey's garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Penzey's toasted onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Penzey's pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)


  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees
  • Using a food processor, lightly pulse the mushrooms until they're similar in size to the riced cauliflower. Or finely dice them with a knife.  Pour into large bowl. 
  • Using a food processor, lightly pulse the mushrooms. If you do this in the food processor, do it separately from the mushrooms so it doesn't get mushy. Or finely dice them with a knife. Add to mushroom mixture in the bowl.
  • If you are using a head of cauliflower this is where you would clean it and then lightly pulse in the food processor. Add this to the mushroom & walnuts
  • Stir in liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce and mix well. 
  • Add the remaining spices and stir well. 
  • Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Silpat mat. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Lightly stir every 15 minutes.
  • Taco meat is complete. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy your meat-free tacos!

Who would know this isn’t ground beef? It’s been kid-tested by our nieces and they didn’t have a clue and this is one of their favorites.


After you make the recipes cashew queso & cauliflower taco meat gather your favorite toppings for nachos.

We love all the toppings so ours include: diced red onion, diced tomatoes, green peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers and black olives. It’s also important to use a sturdy tortilla chip. We prefer Trader Joe’s Blue Corn Chips because they stand up good to ALL of our favorite nacho toppings.

Minnesota State Fair Copy Cat Recipes

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, tag us using #diningdusterkitchen so we can see your creation!


We’ve teamed up with some fantastic food bloggers to share some of our favorite foods inspired by the Minnesota State Fair! Make sure to check them out here:

Vegan Nachos: Kelly & Dustin with Dining Duster  (You’re Here)
Watermelon Kombucha Slushie: Sharon with The Honour System
Breakfast Pronto Pups: Janel with Nellie Bellie
Fried Pickles with Sriracha Ranch Dip: Greta with Pickles Travel Blog
Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts: Lane & Holly with With Two Spoons
State Fair Cookies: Alice with Dining with Alice
Corn fritters + maple butter: Haley with Cheap Recipe Blog
Fire Roasted Herb Butter Corn on the CobC : Julia from Girl Meets Kitchen

Minnesota State Fair Copycat Recipes

Before you go, here is a Pin for you so you don’t lose our Vegan Nacho Recipe!

Dining Duster Vegan Loaded Nachos


  1. Michele @ Bacon Fatte

    August 11, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, Kelly… These nachos look so good!! I love the idea of cauliflower meat and cashew queso – brilliant! Adding this to my Must Make list!! 🙂

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      September 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks, Michele! They are so good. We think you’ll like them.

  2. Charlotte

    August 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    There’s something seriously rewarding about being able to reproduce some of your favorite recipes from eating out at home. I’m adding that queso to my must-try list!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Couldn’t agree more! This is even more of a win for us because of them being plant-based. We call that practically guilt-free. LOL. You should make that queso ASAP!!

    2. Kelly & Dusty

      September 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      We totally agree, Charlotte. We hope you try the queso and like it!

  3. sherry

    August 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    These look delicious! Pinning this so that I can make later.

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      We hope you try and like them!

  4. Jenn

    August 9, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I’m copying down your Cashew Queso recipe right now! I’ve been looking for a cheese substitute for a while now.

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      I think you’ll love this. I will send more your way. We’ve been experimenting.

  5. mindfulmicaela

    August 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Ha! Such a good idea to make vegan versions of State Fair recipes! Those nachos sound delicious!

  6. Beth

    August 9, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I have heard such good things about using cauliflower in things like this, yet I have never tried! I really need to do that sometime!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Beth- if you’re anything like us you’ll wonder why you waited so long!

  7. Dee

    August 9, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I can’t believe this is Vegan!!! It looks so good!!!!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Dee- our sentiments exactly!!! We went plant based in January and we say that exact sentiment every time we eat it!! I hope you try it and like it!

  8. Kate

    August 9, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Whoa, these look so good! I am totally pinning this to try later!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Kate- thanks for the pin. We hope you make it and like it!

  9. alissaschrank

    August 9, 2017 at 10:49 am

    These look amazing! Gets me really excited for the fair this year!!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Yes! It’s a good way to build some excitement, that’s for sure!

  10. alicejseuffert

    August 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Can’t wait to try this queso recipe in my Vitamix!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 10:07 am

      You’re going to thank me when you do 🙂 Seriously, let us know if you like it….I don’t exaggerate when I say that we make it weekly.

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

      RIGHT?! It’s so good and we always say, ” I can’t believe it’s cauliflower”!

  11. Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons

    August 8, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    These look amazing! Cashew cream has been my new obsession, but I haven’t tried queso! Going to be next up on my list!

    1. Kelly & Dusty

      August 9, 2017 at 10:09 am

      You won’t regret it!! Oddly enough, we haven’t tried the cashew cream. Let us know a good one to try!

We'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.