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This vegan sour cream is impossibly rich and creamy! Made with 5 whole food plant based ingredients, it’s the perfect dairy-free cream for dolloping.

Vegan sour cream
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Ready for our latest plant based trick? This one’s for all you trying to eat more plant based meals who say: “Man, this would be good with sour cream!” Enter: vegan sour cream. It’s rich, creamy, and made with only 5 whole food plant based (WFPB) ingredients. And the texture and flavor? Weirdly similar the real thing. It’s the perfect dairy-free dollop for chili or baked potatoes. Really, what isn’t better with a little sour cream? Here are all our secrets.

What’s in vegan sour cream?

How is it possible to make something that looks and tastes like real sour cream but has no dairy? You bet. Alex and I created this vegan sour cream to dollop our latest chili recipe, and it was the perfect topping. Here are the ingredients you’ll need

  • Cashews: Just like our cashew cream, this recipe uses cashews for creamy richness
  • Tofu: This one also uses blended tofu! It adds no flavor, just the thick body of a real sour cream. (Is it healthy? See the section below.)
  • Lemon juice & vinegar: Both acids provide tangy flavor; we’ve used two so there’s not any recognizable flavor
  • Salt: Brings out the flavor of them all!

Blend them together and it comes together into a creamy substance that really looks like sour cream. The tofu provides just the right texture so that it holds up on the spoon in the way the real thing would.

Vegan sour cream

Guess what? You don’t have to soak cashews.

Have you made lots of plant based or vegan recipes? Then you know that cashews are often used bring creamy body that is almost spot-on reminiscent of dairy. You also know this: these recipes require you to soak the cashews for hours. This softens the cashews so they’re easy to blend. But sometimes, you just don’t have hours!

Guess what? We wanted this vegan sour cream recipe to be easier than all the others you’ll find. So: you don’t have to soak the cashews! Instead, you’ll boil them on the stovetop for about 10 minutes (if you have a high speed blender) or 15 minutes (if you have a standard blender). Then blend it right up!

But you can if you want!

You can use the soak method if that’s easier for you! Just soak the cashews for at least 1 hour, more if you have time. For example, set them out to soak before going to work in the morning! Or, place them in water and throw the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. This does side-step the need to boil for 15 minutes, and you could blend it up in an instant in the evening!

Vegan sour cream

Ways to use vegan sour cream

Once you’ve blended up that dairy-free vegan sour cream, it’s perfect for dolloping on all sorts of recipes! Here are a few we’d recommend:

Vegan chili
Here’s a dollop on our vegan chili!

Is tofu healthy?

Yes! Tofu is part of a healthy diet. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits—especially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat. Also, the tofu amount you eat when you add a dollop of this sauce is very minimal. For more details, go to Straight Talk About Soy.

Don’t want to use tofu? Go to Cashew Cream.

Guess what: our cashew cream recipe is very similar! It has a very similar texture and flavor to this recipe. So if you prefer not using cashews, make Cashew Cream instead. You can use it for dolloping all the same tasty recipes. To add a tangy flavor like the vegan sour cream, add half of the lemon juice and white vinegar quantities in the recipe below (1 tablespoon lemon and 1 teaspoon vinegar).

Vegan sour cream

This vegan sour cream recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Vegan Sour Cream (Easy & Dairy Free!)

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3 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x


This vegan sour cream is impossibly rich and creamy! Made with 5 whole food plant based ingredients, it’s the perfect dairy-free cream for dolloping.


  • ½ cup cup raw or roasted cashews
  • 1 ½ cups firm tofu, crumbled into the measuring cup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Boil the cashews: Place the cashews in a saucepan and cover with 2 inches hot water. Bring to a boil and boil at a high boil for 10 minutes (high speed blender) to 15 minutes (standard blender). Alternatively, you can soak the cashews for at least 1 hour, more if you have time.
  2. Blend: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for a few minutes until a smooth texture forms. Stop, scrape and blend again as necessary. Store refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Vegan

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 for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. JoAnn Forsberg says:

    Excellent website. Appreciate your recipes and encouragement.

    Blessings to you. Jo

  2. Lisa A says:

    This came out very creamy with a pleasant tang, but it does have a strong tofu flavor. I made the Cashew Cream recipe earlier and added a little citric acid like I saw in another comment, and that turned out to be a mild, tangy sauce which left no aftertaste.

  3. Noura Mortazevi says:

    Hi! Can I omit the vinegar? I have a strong dislike for it.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes! You can add a bit more lemon juice to taste if desired.

  4. Tiffany Poirier says:

    Can you freeze it?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t tried freezing it. Let us know if you do!

  5. SY says:

    Hi! Is there a reason why it has to be firm tofu? Would silken tofu work? Wouldn’t it give a smoother consistency? Thanks!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! A silken tofu should work fine.

  6. Karan says:

    I don’t like cashews, what can I use as a substitute?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Unfortunately in this one cashews are essential to the creamy texture! Soaked and blended cashews are a common substitute for dairy for plant-based recipes — and typically they don’t taste too cashew-y! We don’t have a good substitute here — sorry!

  7. Lee J Ellman says:

    I’ve found that using citric acid, “sour salt”, to make cashew sour cream is the absolute way to go. I keep a jar of cashew cream that I make once a week in the fridge, When I need sour cream I spoon some out, sprinkle some citric acid and salt in it and mix. The citric acid only contributes sour and no other flavor making the cream closer to dairy sour cream which has no lemon or vinegar flavors.

    Citric acid is a great “hack” ingredient in lots of other recipes but leave that for another time.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We’ll have to test it out!

  8. Jean says:

    The description sounds great, but I am wondering about the recipe calling for 1 1/2 cups of tofu – won’t that make more than the 1 cup the recipe says it will end up with?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      It decreases in volume when blended ☺️

  9. Patti says:

    Any idea how long this might last in the fridge? Or do you make only as much as you need for a specific recipe? Thanks! :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! It lasts about 5 days in the fridge.