Cashew Cream Sauce is a savory, luscious sauce made simply from soaked cashews, broth, and a few other simple ingredients. You can use cashew cream sauce as a tasty dairy-free alternative. Its great a versatile sauce that can be used for anything from pasta to tacos to pastries, you name it! Cashew Cream is the perfect vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free sauce you’ve been looking for!
The first time I made cashew cream I thought to myself, “Why haven’t I tried this sooner!?”. I can’t believe I hadn’t tried it before embarking on this Vegan January journey. It’s 2020 and I am just trying homemade cashew cream! Let’s all have a moment of silence…
Okay, so now that I’ve made cashew cream and absolutely love it, I have to share my recipe with you. Before I jump in I want to explain why I, as a dairy-free eater, have yet to try cashew cream. The answer is quite simple: whenever I make a dairy-free sauce I generally use coconut cream. I’ve made some incredible sauces with coconut cream, like my delicious coconut curry or my savory mushroom cream sauce—oh so good! While the coconut flavor is not pungent at all, I wanted to switch it up a bit and expanding my dairy-free sauce reserve.
So, I’ll be the first to say, regardless if you are vegan or not, cashew cream sauce is a MUST in your diet. Beyond it tasting incredibly rich, velvety, and flavorsome, cashew cream has wonderful health benefits. It’s:
Filled with heart-healthy essential fatty acids (the good stuff!), which help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Packed with Protein: 5 grams of protein per ounce!
Good source of copper and magnesium–important for bone health and maintenance of collagen and elastin in our bodies
Antioxidant-rich with tons of Vitamin E and K
How to Make Cashew Cream Sauce
Making cashew cream sauce is surprisingly quite easy! The only step that is most important and takes the longest is the soaking of the cashews. Cashews need to be soaked prior to using them to make a sauce. The soaking process helps to soften the cashews, which makes it easier to process, and it helps to increase their nutrient availability. There are several methods of soaking. I’ve tried two that work perfectly every time:
Quick Hot Water Soaking Method:
This method is by far my favorite and the easiest. Simply bring enough water to cover the cashews to a boil. Then, pour the hot water over the cashews and allow the cashews to soak for 15-30 minutes. When preparing dinner, I like to do this step first while I tend to the other ingredients.
Cold Water Soaking Method:
This method yields the same great results but takes a bit more time. With this method, simply place the cashews in a large bowl and cover with cold (purified) water. Allow the cashews to soak for 2-3 hours at room temperature. When you are ready to use, pour out the water and process as you like.
It’s important to remember that you do not want to over-soak the cashews. Over-soaking causes the cashews to acquire a bitter taste and the water to become slimy and eliminating all the flavor from the cashew. If you want to try a longer method of soaking and are soaking the cashews overnight, be sure to change the water every 6-8 hours and keep the cashews covered in the fridge.
Sauce it up!
So, now that you have your perfectly soaked cashews, you can now proceed to the next step in making the cream. This step is even easier than the first: you simply blend all of the ingredients together until you get your desired consistency.
Here are the main ingredients you will need:
2 cups cashews
1.25 cup water or broth
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut cream (optional)
1/2 squeezed lemon (optional)
1 tsp salt
Here are some optional add-ins to enhance the flavor!
Garlicky Cashew Sauce: 2 cloves garlic
Savory Cashew Sauce: 1 tsp Italian Seasoning, 1 tsp Oregano
Spicy Cashew Sauce: 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, ¼ red crushed peppers
Cheesy Cashew Sauce: ¼ cup nutritional yeast
You can keep it simple or add all the ingredients! There is no way to mess up with cashew cream sauce, you’ll always get a rich delectable sauce!
Or you can keep it simple or add all the ingredients! There is no way to mess up with cashew cream sauce, you’ll always get a rich delectable sauce!
What to eat cashew cream sauce with?
There are so many ways you can use cashew cream sauce, you’ll find yourself getting very creative, putting it over nachos, tacos, in pastries, and more!
I like to pour my cashew cream sauce over sautéed vegetables and zucchini noodles, creating a tasty vegetable pasta. You can also use it as a replacement in any recipe that calls for dairy, like my white bean lentil chili—the cashew sauce takes this vegan chili to a whole new level!
Quick Recipe Video Tutorial
Luscious Cashew Cream
- 2 cups cashews
- 1.5-2 cups water or broth, varies depending on desired thickness of cream
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (optional)
- 1/2 squeezed lemon (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Soak Cashews according to the hot method or cold method mentioned above.
- After soaking, drain and transfer the cashews to a food processor or blender. Add the water or broth, lemon, and salt to the food processor. Add the almond or coconut milk in as needed to reach the desired creamy consistency
- Serving: makes 2 cups, 6 servings
- Calories: 450
- Protein 10.7g
- The coconut cream is completely optional. I find the cashew cream does not need the addition of coconut cream, but if added it does make the cashew cream extra luscious.
- When blending the cashews with water/broth, be sure to blend thoroughly to achieve a smooth consistency. I blend my cashew cream for at least 1-2 minutes or until I reach a creamy consistency, without any cashew sediment lingering in the sauce.