Vegan Sour Cream

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

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.

Print

Vegan Sour Cream (Easy & Dairy Free!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)

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

Description

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.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cup raw or roasted cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups firm tofu, crumbled into the measuring cup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  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

Keywords: Vegan Sour Cream

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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.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Patti
    January 26, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    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! :)

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 27, 2020 at 10:04 am

      Hi! It lasts about 5 days in the fridge.

  • Reply
    Jean
    May 24, 2020 at 1:30 am

    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?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      May 24, 2020 at 8:50 am

      It decreases in volume when blended ☺️

  • Reply
    Lee J Ellman
    July 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      July 9, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      We’ll have to test it out!

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