A healthier spin on the classic crema that’s made creamy with avocado and cashews – no dairy needed! You’re going to want to put this on everything savory. All you need is 5 ingredients and a high powered blender.
Why This Recipe Works
- Cashews make the creamiest, cheesiest sauces. If you haven’t, you’re going to want to try the cashew based mozzarella in this Vegan Cheesy Garlic Bread (Pull Apart Bread!) .
- Pickled jalapeños and lime juice add a perfect sour tang.
- Using a fresh bunch of cilantro makes this sauce so fresh and gives it a little bite!
- Avocado – The perfect plant-based fat for a creamy sauce. Also makes an amazing Creamy Pesto Pasta base.
- Cilantro – I love adding a full cilantro bunch because it makes the sauce so fresh, however if you want a less intense cilantro flavor, omit the stems or just use half a bunch.
- Cashews – There is no good substitute for the cashews here – they will make this crema the creamiest and cheesiest.
- Lime Juice – Needed for that perfect tang.
- Pickled jalapeños with brine – Adds the perfect spice, sourness, and saltiness! Highly recommend. You could omit and increase the amount of salt and lime juice used, but I love the flavor they add.
- Sea Salt – Salt this crema to taste! The best sauces are a little salty!
- Water – Helps blend this crema until perfectly smooth. If you want an even creamier sauce, try substituting with your favorite, unsweetened plant-based milk.
Step by Step Instructions
The best part of this crema is how simple it is to make. You do want to be sure to use a high powered blender here like a Vitamix. I highly recommend investing in one if you do a lot of homemade vegan cooking. I use mine almost every day!
Do not use the Ninja blender with the blades up the stem as it is not capable of blending this crema completely smooth.
If you don’t have a high powered blender, try using a single serve blending cup. You may need to blend in batches, but that will be the next best result.
- First, soak your cashews in boiling water for 5-10 minutes to soften. Next, drain them and add them to your blender along with the remaining crema ingredients.
- Blend crema until completely smooth!
- Transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
FAQs and Tips
Yes! This crema freezes well. Simply freeze it in a glass mason jar for up to two months. When ready to enjoy, thaw completely in the refrigerator.
I haven’t tried making this crema without the cilantro, but you can certainly try it! If you have good results, please leave a comment letting me know.
Yes! To make this crema into a good avocado salad dressing, simply add 2 tablespoons more water.
- Make sure to use a very ripe avocado. If your avocado is too hard, your crema won’t be as creamy.
- Soak the cashews before blending! Not only will this make them easier to blend, but it also cuts the sweetness of the cashews and results in a more neutral sauce.
- Adjust the lime juice, pickled jalapeños and salt to taste! Use this recipe as a guide and adjust to your personal liking as needed!
More Vegan Sauces and Dips
- The Best Cashew Sour Cream
- Chipotle Cashew Queso Dip
- 5 Minute Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa (Chipotle Copycat)
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Avocado Crema (vegan)
- Soak cashews in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- After 5-10 minutes, drain cashews and add all ingredients to a high speed blender (I use the Vitamix). Blend until completely smooth. Taste and add additional sea salt or lime juice, as desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You need a high speed blender to make this recipe perfectly smooth and creamy. I do not recommend using the Ninja Blender with the blades up the stem. It will remain gritty.
- If you want less of a cilantro flavor, use half a bunch or leave out the stems.
- Make this crema into a vegan avocado salad dressing by simply adding 2 tablespoons more water.
Note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.