Cashew Cream Recipe

Cashew cream is the vegan invention for adding creaminess to soups and sauces without dairy! Here’s how to make cashew cream.

Cashew cream | How to make cashew cream

Cashew cream is something Alex and I avoided for years. It’s too trendy. And it can’t be that good, we thought. Well we thought wrong, because after tasting it we were sold! It’s not that eating it straight up is so amazing (though it really tastes good!). It’s the many ways that you can use it to make plant based recipes creamy without using dairy. It’s basically non-dairy sour cream, mayo, heavy cream, and yogurt all in one. Keep reading for how to make cashew cream, and all the ways we love to use it.

How to make cashew cream

OK, so first: what is cashew cream? Cashew cream is a creamy blend of soaked cashews and water. You can use it in all sorts of vegan recipes as a non-dairy substitute for things like sour cream, heavy cream, yogurt, or mayonnaise. For example, it’s what makes the creaminess in our Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara and our Wild Rice Soup.

How to make cashew cream? Honestly, the only “hard” part about making cashew cream is remembering to soak the cashews for 1 hour before want to use them! Once they’re soaked (see below for some notes), you blend them together with water or broth and kosher salt to form a thick, creamy sauce. Using vegetable broth does enhance the flavor, so we do like to use it when we have it. It’s especially nice if you can find the veggie broth that comes packaged in 1 cup portions at the store. However, this recipe is just as good with water, so we use that often as well.

How to make cashew cream

How to soak cashews

To soak the cashews, you simply place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Then let them stand at room temperature for 1 hour. You may be wondering, though…

Can you soak the cashews any less than 1 hour? Well, sometimes when we’re in a rush we’ve tried some shortcuts. The absolute least amount of time we can get away with is 30 minutes, and that’s with our high speed blender. (It would be more difficult with a standard blender.) So, we recommend soaking for 1 hour if you can, or try this trick for shortening the soak time. Many cashew cream recipes call for soaking the cashews anywhere between 2 hours and 24 hours. In our tinkering we’ve found that there’s no need to soak the cashews overnight; however, soaking longer is even better! So if you think of soaking the cashews in advance, you could start the soak the night before and refrigerate until making the cashew cream.

How to make cashew cream | How to soak cashews

Ways to use cashew cream

There are endless ways to use cashew cream or soaked cashews. Here are some of our favorite ways to use cashew cream:

  1. Stir it into pasta: In this Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara, the cashew cream is stirred in to make a creamy tomato sauce similar to a vodka sauce
  2. Make a vegan sauce: In our Refried Bean Tacos, cashew cream is used as the basis for the accompanying creamy chipotle sauce. Same concept for these Greek Nachos with Cilantro Drizzle and “Verde” Lentil Vegan Tacos.
  3. Stir it into soups: Our Wild Rice Soup and Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup recipes becomes magically creamy by stirring in soaked cashews and blending.
  4. Use it as vegan cheese: The cashew cream base is used for all sorts of vegan cheeses, like our famous Vegan Nacho Cheese.
  5. Use it as vegan sour cream: Dollop it onto nachos like our Loaded Tater Tot Nachos. Or throw some into our Vegetarian Chili to make it a vegan chili.
  6. Use it as vegan mayo: Our Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad uses a version of cashew cream and it’s pretty darn incredible. Or, use it to sub for the mayo in our Easy Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

However you try it, let us know what you think in the comments below!

Cashew cream | How to make cashew cream | Cashew cream on nachos
As a sub for sour cream on our Loaded Tater Tot Nachos

Looking for other essential recipes?

Whether it’s how to make salad dressing or homemade Yum Yum Sauce, our essential recipes are easy DIYs to make at home! Here are few more of our essential and DIY recipes:

This recipe is…

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and refined sugar free.

Print
Cashew cream | How to make cashew cream

Cashew Cream Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x

Description

Cashew cream is the vegan invention for adding creaminess to soups and sauces without dairy! Here’s how to make cashew cream.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak for 1 hour (or the very least, 30 minutes if you have a high speed blender). For preparation in advance, you can soak the cashews overnight, which is even better.
  2. Drain the cashews. Add the cashews, broth or water, and salt to a blender, then blend on high for 1 minute. Stop and scrape, then add additional liquid if necessary to come to a creamy consistency. Blend for several minutes until creamy and smooth. (Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for several months.)

Notes

*This recipe doesn’t call for salted cashews, but if that’s all you can find, add only half of the kosher salt when you first blend the sauce. Then add additional salt to taste.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Cashew cream, How to make cashew cream, How to soak cashews, Cashews, Cashew Recipes, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Cream

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sally
    March 13, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Can you freeze leftovers of this? Seems like a great sauce to freeze in small batches to pull out and have ready to throw into soups and sauces! But not sure if you can freeze it…

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 23, 2019 at 9:07 pm

      So sorry for the delay! You actually can freeze leftovers! We’ve tried it and it works! Let us know if you try it and what you think.

    Leave a Reply

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