This cashew cream recipe is a smooth and creamy blend of only a few ingredients, featuring cashews. Use this simple vegan sauce as a dairy-free substitute for things like sour cream with your favorite vegan recipes.
You might worry that going vegan will mean the end of all things delicious. I wondered about that too in my early vegan days. Thankfully, this vegan cashew cream sauce recipe is one of those magical things that makes you realize it’s all going to be ok.
In fact, this raw cashew cream is so easy to make, you’ll want to add it to all your favorite meat-free dishes, like soups, pastas, salad dressings, and more.
What is cashew cream?
Cashew cream is an easy recipe made up of mostly soaked cashews, water, and lemon juice. Together they create a creamy sauce that can be used in place of sour cream or other creams.
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you’ve lost your desire for having some heavy cream in a recipe. The good news is, you can add cream to your recipes with many plant-based ingredients. These include:
- silken tofu
- coconut milk
- vegan mayo
- mashed avocados
- nut creams.
These are all good substitutes for cream. However, some add flavor too. Take, for example, coconut milk. There is a distinguished flavor with coconut milk. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you’re looking for, such as with a chickpea curry. The coconut milk adds the perfect flavor there.
But what about when you don’t want a coconut flavor to your cream? That’s where this recipe comes in to play.
One of the things I really love about this cashew cream sauce is that it adds creaminess but does so with a more mild flavor.
Cashew Cream Sauce Ingredients
This is one of the smallest lists of ingredients, which makes it even more appealing, especially when you realize how versatile the resulting sauce is!
- Raw Cashews — The key ingredient here in our raw cashew cream is, of course, raw cashews. I can find these in health food stores (they’re sold in bulk at Sprouts and Natural Grocers). I find raw cashews deliver the best, creamy sauces. By the way, I store cashews in the fridge to help them stay fresh longer.
- Water — Obviously water is a key ingredient as well. It’s used for soaking the cashews and for adding it to the final sauce. It works in tandem to create the creaminess we’re after.
- Lemon juice — A little bit of lemon juice is added to create a tanginess and texture to the finished product. This will become more prominent as it sits in the fridge for awhile.
- Salt — You can skip the salt if you prefer, but I’m adding just a little to add more flavor to the finished cream.
How to Make Cashew Cream
Making cashew cream sauce may seem difficult, but it’s actually pretty straight forward. In fact, there are only a few steps to take. The first one may seem like it takes a long time, but don’t worry, I’ll share some time-saving tips to help out if you’re in a pinch.
Step One: Soak Cashews
You’ll want to soak your cashews for at least an hour and up to overnight. I find when the cashews are more thoroughly soaked, it creates a creamier sauce. Simply cover the cashews with water, place that container in the fridge and let it sit overnight.
Quick Fix Tip
If you’re in a jam and need to make a batch of homemade cashew cream on the spot, place the raw cashews in a saucepan and cover with water over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes, until cashews are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a minute or two, then drain the water and proceed with the next steps.
Step Two: Blend Cashews
Place soaked cashews and water in a food processor. Pulse this for several seconds until the cashews are roughly broken into smaller bits.
You’ll want a rubber spatula handy here because cashew bits will escape up the side of the blender jar. Simply use a rubber spatula to push them back down and pulse again.
Step Three: Add Other Ingredients
Next, add the lemon juice and salt (if using) and pulse again. As mentioned above, use a rubber spatula to move ingredients splattered on the blender jar down and continue pulsing until you get a nice, creamy texture.
This can take several minutes so be patient. Think of it this way, you’re using the blender to combine water, air, and cashews to make it thick and creamy. There’s a scientific formula for why it works.
If the mixture seems too thick, add a tablespoon of water.
If the mixture seems too thin, I’d suggest giving it some time. Once this cream settles in the fridge, it thickens.
Can I use any blender?
I find using a high-speed blender is best, however, you can make any blender or even food processor work. Just make sure the cashews are thoroughly soaked and then keep at the pulse and scrape process. It may not get quite as smooth, but it will still taste great!
Ways to Use Cashew Cream
What to do with all that delicious cream? These tasty recipes with cashew cream on top will be even better!
- I love making vegan tacos with vegan taco meat and a dollop of cream on top
- These vegan nachos deserve a generous serving of creaminess on top
- Make some vegan baked potatoes and serve them with this cream on the side
- I’m all for dipping sweet potato tater tots in some creamy goodness
- This easy vegan chili is so good on its own but it’s even better with a drizzle of cream on top.
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked 1 hour to overnight in water)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Drain soaked cashews. Add cashews and water to a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse until the cashews are broken down into bits.
- Add the lemon juice and salt. Pulse for several seconds, then use a spatula to push down any ingredients on the side of the bowl. Repeat that process several times until the mixture becomes creamy. Pulse the cashew cream for up to a minute or more to remove lumps.
- Transfer the cream to a lidded jar (like a mason jar) and store in the fridge. Add this cream to your favorite recipes, like potato soup, etc.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.