Cashew Cream Sauce
This 2-ingredient Cashew Cream Sauce is a quintessential condiment in dairy-free kitchens. It’s the perfect sauce to incorporate into vegan, paleo, and Whole30 dishes for optimal creaminess!
There’s nothing quite like enjoying pasta twirled in a rich, creamy sauce. With just 2 ingredients, you can make a delicious Cashew Cream Sauce without any cream! Instead, raw cashews are soaked overnight and then blended with water into a smooth, satiny sauce.
I know, I know. This simple sauce is hardly a recipe, but it’s so easy and comes in handy in a variety of dishes. Obviously, sauces made with heavy cream are off-limits if you can’t have dairy. This cashew cream sauce, however, delivers that same indulgent consistency. When it comes to vegan, paleo, and Whole30 cooking, this cashew cream sauce is revolutionary.
💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- There are only 2 ingredients, water & cashews.
- It’s SUPER easy.
- There’s plenty of room to customize with different flavors.
- The versatility. This sauce can be used in all sorts of things!
- 100% vegan, paleo, and Whole30!
🥜 Ingredients & Tools
- Cashews: unsalted, raw cashews. No substitutions here.
- Water: To maximize the shelf-life of your vegan cream sauce, use filtered or distilled water.
- High-speed blender: You’ll need a powerful blender (like a Vitamix or Ninja) to achieve a super smooth sauce.
🥣 How To Make 2 Ingredient Cashew Sauce
1️⃣ Soak raw cashews.
Submerge the cashews in a bowl of water overnight. The sauce’s creaminess depends on the cashews being soaked for an adequate amount of time.
2️⃣ Rinse and drain.
After soaking, rinse and drain the cashews well.
3️⃣ Combine with water and flavors.
Then, add to a high-speed blender with a cup of filtered water (if you’re customizing your cream sauce with any spices or seasonings, add those too).
4️⃣ Blend until smooth.
Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth, sauce-like consistency. Blend in a tablespoon of water at a time if it’s too thick.
👉 Recipe Tips
- Raw, unsalted cashews – I mentioned this above, but it’s important! Roasted, salted cashews will NOT work in this recipe.
- Plan ahead – For the best results, the cashews must be soaked overnight. Keep that in mind if you need the sauce to use in a particular recipe.
- Speed up the soak time – If you’re short on time, you can place the cashews in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the top and soak for 2 hours.
- High-speed blender – A strong blender is critical for the creamiest cream sauce.
Consider cashew cream sauce a blank canvas and get creative with mix-ins. When adding flavor, let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors have time to mingle. See below for ways I like using vegan cashew sauce:
- Dessert dips – Whip cashew sauce with dairy-free caramel sauce, peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate sauce, cocoa powder, honey, etc. to make a sweet dessert dip for fruit, pretzels, wafers, graham crackers, etc.
- Creamy appetizer dips – Mix cashew sauce with hot sauce, buffalo sauce, or ranch seasoning as a dip for veggies, wings, chips, etc. You can use coconut milk to thin the dips out into vegan dressings.
- Garlic aioli – Blend with lots of roasted garlic.
- Vegan cheese sauce – Add nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” flavor. Add garlic for an alfredo-ish cream sauce.
- Creamy pesto pasta sauce – Combine with fresh basil pesto or sundried tomato pesto.
- Avocado crema – Blend vegan cream sauce with avocado, lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Keep cream sauce covered and store in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.
Freezing: Once frozen, cream sauce tends to destabilize and separate, so, unfortunately, this one is better left in the fridge.
At its core, cashew sauce is made with raw cashews and water, but you can customize the sauce with various ingredients, of course.
Cashew sauce is naturally high-calorie and high-fat, but it’s made with natural ingredients and no dairy, so it’s excellent in paleo, Whole30, and vegan recipes. Cashews are a good source of fiber and plant-based protein.
Considering the ingredients, you’d think it would taste like cashews, but oddly enough, it has a neutral sweet and buttery flavor with just a hint of nuttiness.
Cashews are customary in many vegan dishes because they are rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and plant protein and are a great way to achieve creamy textures in dairy-free food.
🍽️ Ways To Enjoy
Easy Buffalo Dip
Keto Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo Alfredo Sauce
Creamy Lemon Chicken
Dill Pickle Dip
Cashew Cream Sauce
- high-speed blender
- 10 ounces RAW unsalted cashews
- 1 cup filtered water
- Soak cashews in water OVERNIGHT. The creaminess of the sauce depends on the cashews being soaked long enough.
- Once soaked, rinse and drain the cashews. Add them to a high-speed blender with a cup of filtered water and any seasonings or spices.
- Blend until the mixture is creamy and sauce-like. Blend in a splash of water at a time to adjust the thickness
- Keep covered in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.