Cashew Cream Sauce


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Ultra smooth and silky cashew cream makes an easy salad dressing, sandwich spread, pasta sauce, veggie dip, or even a sweet topping for dessert or oatmeal. You don’t know how much you need this easy vegan cashew cream sauce in your life until you start adding it to your favorite recipes.

cream sauce in a small glass jar

Maybe you eat a plant-based diet and the idea of cashew cream isn’t new to you. Or maybe you (like me) eat a variety of foods, some plant-based and some not, but you’re interested in mixing things up in the kitchen. Either way, keep reading. I can almost guarantee that once you try it, you will fall for this silky, rich, heart-healthy cream sauce just as much as I have!

Cashew cream is the dreamiest stand-in for any creamy sauces you have in your fridge. With just a few clean ingredients, it is the perfect blank slate for an entire world of flavors. All you need to get started are raw cashews, water, vinegar, and a little salt. A high-powered blender will give you the creamiest sauce, but your regular blender or food processor can do the job too!

Move over dairy, there’s a new creamy sauce in town.  

ginger hoisin noodles topped with cashew cream sauce in a white bowl

What Is Cashew Cream Sauce?

It is a plant-based dairy replacement. Made with blended raw cashews it makes a luscious, creamy white sauce. It can be used to replace heavy cream, yogurt, sour cream, or any other saucy, creamy dairy products in a variety of recipes.

cashews soaking in a clear glass bowl

How to Make It

  1. Prep the cashews – Soak cashews for 4 hours. Drain well.
  2. Blend – Place cashews in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) and add water, vinegar, and some salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Modify to desired thickness – Add water ¼ cup at time for a sauce with a lighter, thinner texture.
pouring cashew cream sauce into a small glass jar


  • Cashews – Raw cashews have the perfect neutral flavor for building different flavor combinations.
  • Water – Adding more or less water will give you a sauce with the right texture, no matter the dish you’re creating.
  • White Wine Vinegar – Vinegar creates a touch of tanginess.
  • Kosher Salt – A hint of salt brings the cashew flavors to life.
ingredients on a grey countertop


  • Use raw cashews – For a blank slate, and completely white sauce, use raw cashews. This base allows you create your own vegan sauces from scratch. You can absolutely use roasted cashews to make the sauce though – see the FAQs below for more details.
  • Soak – Soaking the cashews softens them enough to blend easily. It’s the best way to insure that you get a super creamy texture.
  • Use a high-powered blender – A high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, is a surefire way to get a really smooth sauce. A regular blender or food processor will definitely work, but make sure you’ve soaked the cashews for the full 4 hours.
spinach salad in a white bowl


Measurements for of these great variations are included in the recipe card below.

  • Creamy Ranch – Add a few fresh herbs, a little garlic, and a dollop of tangy Dijon mustard to make an amazing creamy ranch sauce. Serve as part of a vegetable platter with carrots, celery, and radishes, drizzle over a salad, or spoon onto vegan stuffed peppers.
  • Creamy Caesar – No need to use anchovies or egg in this bright, tangy, dairy-free recipe. Creamy Caesar dressing gets its flavors from aromatic garlic, zippy Worcestershire sauce, and fresh lemon juice. Toss this with roasted broccoli for a fantastic, flavorful side.
  • Ginger-Miso Sauce – Udon and soba noodles will love this ginger-miso sauce. The white miso paste and fresh ginger create a robust umami flavor that adds so much depth to soba noodles.
  • Spicy Sriracha – When silky cashew cream is blended with garlic and everyone’s favorite hot sauce, Sriracha, you get an electrifying spice-filled sauce that is perfect over baked crispy chicken tenders, potstickers, noodle dishes, and more.
  • Vanilla Glaze  – Make a vegan vanilla glaze that can be drizzled over baked goods like pastries, donuts, or vegan chocolate cake for a sweet, dairy-free dessert topping. Add a hint of creamy vanilla flavor to your morning oatmeal, fresh berries, or smoothie.
squirt bottles of varieties of sauce
What is cashew cream a substitute for?

The rich and silky texture makes it the perfect substitute yogurt, sour cream, or heavy cream. Because cashews have a neutral flavor profile, this creamy vegan sauce can be blended with all different kinds of herbs and spices to create dozens and dozens of variations. 

How long does cashew cream last?

Cashew cream can be stored for at least two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  

Do I have to soak the cashews?

If you have a high-powered blender, you can skip (or shorten) the soaking step, but you may have to add extra water since the cashews won’t have absorbed any during the soaking step.

Can I use roasted cashews?

Yes! The roasted cashews give the sauce a nutty, roasted flavor that might work well with how you’re planning to use the sauce.

vegetarian stuffed peppers topped with sauce on a white plate

How to use this sauce

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Cashew Cream Sauce Recipe

Ultra smooth and ultra silky cashew cream makes an easy salad dressing, pasta sauce, veggie dip, or dessert topper. You don’t know how much you need this easy vegan cashew cream sauce until you start adding it to your favorite recipes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 16 servings (2 cups total)


  • Mixing Bowl
  • High Speed Blender


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in room temperature water for 4 hours)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Soak cashews for 4 hours. Drain well.
  • Blend everything in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) until very smooth. This makes a very thick sauce that is good for dipping. For a smoother sauce that can be tossed with noodles, add extra water 2 Tablespoons p at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Notes on Texture – This recipe results in a texture that is great for drizzling (like creamy salad dressing). Use 1/4 cup water if you’d like a texture that you can spoon out (similar to yogurt or sour cream). The cashew cream will thicken as it rests in the fridge, so don’t worry if it’s a little thin when you first make it.
Creamy Ranch 
To the base recipe:
  • Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Add ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add 2 cloves of garlic
Creamy Caesar
To the base recipe:
  • Substitute ¼ cup of lemon juice for the white wine vinegar 
  • Add 3 cloves of garlic
  • Add 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce (substitute soy sauce or Tamari)
Ginger-Miso Sauce
To the base recipe:
  • Add 2 cloves of garlic
  • Add 2 tablespoons of white miso paste
  • Add a 2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
Spicy Sriracha
To the base recipe:
  • Add 2 cloves of garlic
  • Add 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
Vanilla Glaze (great for drizzling over desserts or as a topping for oatmeal)
To the base recipe:
  • Substitute 1/2 cup water for the white wine vinegar
  • Add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Add ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Reduce the kosher salt to ½ teaspoon


Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 67
Keyword: easy sauce, vegan recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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