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Cashew cream is the vegan invention for adding creaminess to soups and sauces without dairy! And it takes 5 minutes of hands on time. Here’s how to make it.

Cashew cream | How to make cashew cream
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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!). But there are so 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.

What is cashew cream?

Cashew cream is a creamy blend of soaked cashews and water. You can use this vegan sauce in all sorts of 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.

For a vegan cream with a little firmer texture and a tangy flavor, try our Vegan Sour Cream. It’s got cashews and a little tofu to provide more body.

How to make cashew cream

What’s in cashew cream?

For this cashew cream recipe, all you’ll need are cashews, water, and kosher salt. You can use raw or roasted cashews, but if possible buy unsalted nuts. If your cashews are salted, use about half the amount of salt called for and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remember: you can always add more salt, but it’s impossible to take back out!

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 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 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.

What kind of blender to use?

It is very helpful to have a high speed blender for this recipe! It blends up quickly and makes just the right creamy consistency of sauce. You can use a high quality standard blender, but you may want to soak your cashews for longer, even overnight, to get the correct consistency. If you have a low-quality blender, this recipe probably won’t work well. It might be time to invest in a new blender!

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 in recipes:

  1. Stir it into pasta: In this Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara, it’s 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 and Easy 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 No Mayo Potato Salad uses a version it and it’s pretty darn incredible. Or, use it to sub for the mayo in our Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

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

Tater tot nachos
Use it as a sub for sour cream on our Loaded Tater Tot Nachos

This cashew cream recipe is…

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and refined sugar free.

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Cashew cream | How to make cashew cream

Cashew Cream

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
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Cashew cream is the vegan invention for adding creaminess to soups and sauces without dairy! And it takes 5 minutes of hands on time. Here’s how to make it.




  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak for at least 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.)


*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

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About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Lisa A says:

    I was worried to try this because it seemed too simple, but I gave it a go (without even soaking the cashews) and it is delicious. I even added some citric acid like I saw in a comment on the the Vegan Sour Cream recipe, and it’s perfect. This will be going into the bookmarks for sure!

  2. L. Darlene Pedersen says:

    YUM!!!!!!was surprised with the lemon zest, was hesitant, but, WOW!!!!!, Made this hit the Milky way in deliciousness!

  3. Sally says:

    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…

    1. Sonja says:

      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.

    2. Lily T says:

      This is the first time I’ve ever made a cashew cream sauce (I thought I hated cashew). I made it plain, with just the water & 1 hr soaked raw cashews (in 1100w blender). It makes such a wonderful cream base. So beautiful & smooth. I like the ideas in the comments too & will give them a try.