Cashew Sour Cream..the most versatile topping that I’ve been putting on everything for years! All you need is 6 ingredients and a high speed blender. It’s great vegan friendly option for tacos, burritos, chip dip, a cream base for sauces, mashed potatoes and more. The uses are endless!
A few close friends of mine could tell you I’m known for carrying this topping in my purse to restaurants. That’s how much I love it. It’s perfectly creamy, a little tangy, and makes most dishes better. I even add it to pasta to make the sauce creamier.
Why This Recipe Works
- Cashews are high in fat, making them the perfect vegan and plant-based substitute for creamy dairy products.
- Combining the creaminess of the cashews with the tanginess of lemon juice and vinegar helps emulate the tartness of dairy sour cream.
- Soaking the cashews helps remove some of that sweet flavor of cashews, making them more neutral tasting for your favorite savory foods!
- Cashews – the best, most favored nut for creamy vegan sauces. Just be sure they aren’t salted or roasted and don’t skip soaking them.
- Lemon Juice – gives this sour cream the sourness regular sour cream has.
- Vinegar – Another acidic flavor to give this sour cream tartness. You can substitute in apple cider vinegar here, but it will make your sour cream a bit sweeter.
- Water – This sour cream is thick and water helps thin it out into the right texture. This sour cream thickens considerably once refrigerated, so feel free to add an additional splash of water to thin it out as needed.
Step By Step Instructions
Making this cashew sour cream is incredibly easy, but you do need a good high speed blender. I’ve had a Vitamix for years now and it is one of the best investments you can make for vegan cooking.
If you don’t use a high speed blender, you’ll likely have a gritty sour cream. No thank you!
- Add your ingredients to the blender (don’t forget to soak the cashews).
- Begin blending! After 20 seconds, you’ll have a chunky texture. Keep blending and don’t be afraid to really increase the speed!
- After a minute, you’ll be close to the creamy texture needed.
- Once two minutes have passed, you should have a silky, creamy sour cream. Delish!
FAQs and My Best Tips
If you are out of cashews, I would substitute in slivered almonds. If you only have whole almonds, I would soak them overnight, as they are not as soft as cashews.
I really prefer using cashews as it makes for a far more flavorful sour cream, but if you are wanting to make this recipe low fat, substitute in one 14 ounce package of silken tofu, skip the water, and halve the lemon juice.
If you use a high speed blender like the Vitamix it may warm up your sour cream. This is perfectly fine and does not effect flavor. If you prefer it chilled before enjoying, chill it in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.
The Best Tips
Although this recipe is very easy, I have made it enough times (probably a couple hundred!) to know that there a few things that make it taste the BEST.
- Do not skip soaking the cashews! Although the Vitamix is powerful enough to fully blend raw unsoaked cashews into a cream, soaking them makes them more neutral tasting. Soaked cashews create a far better tasting cashew sour cream.
- Store in an airtight glass jar. A lot of recipes online say cashew sour cream will last for 4-5 days, but I find that I can eat this up to 10 days later when I store it in a mason jar or weck jar.
- Use raw, unsalted, unroasted cashews – My favorite cashews are the Organic Kirkland brand of cashews sold at Costco. They’re the best price I’ve found and they have no added oils or flavors. Don’t buy the Kirkland conventional cashews. They are processed in peanut oil and really ruin the taste of this sour cream.
- You really need a high speed blender for this! I will always recommend the Vitamix. It is absolutely an investment but they are built to last and come with up to 10 years warranty. Read more about their Warranty and Guarantees here. If you don’t have a Vitamix, the Magic Bullet or Nutribullet single serve cups are both good affordable options for making creamy sauces and dips.
I’ve tried making this cashew sour cream in the Ninja Blender and it does not work. It will always be slightly gritty because the blade in the Ninja Blender goes up the stem and really is only capable of finely chopping. If you’re looking for a new blender for vegan cooking, do not buy that one. You will regret it!
Recipes to Enjoy This Sour Cream With
When I say I put this on practically everything, I really mean it!
Think of anything you used to put dairy sour cream or cream on and swap it out for this. To give you some good ideas of what to put this on, check out these recipes:
- Almond Milk Mashed Potatoes
- Vegan Chilaquiles with Silken Tofu Scramble
- Crispy Vegan Potato Tacos
- Crustless Vegan Quiche
- Vegan Butter Chicken with Cauliflower and Chickpeas
- Instant Pot Refried Beans (vegan, no soak)
- 13 Bean Chili with Cornbread Waffles
I hope you guys give this recipe a try and end up keeping it on hand at all times like I do.
The Best Cashew Sour Cream
- 2 cups cashews - raw unsalted
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Drain cashews and add all ingredients to a high speed blender like the Vitamix.
- Blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes (if you do not use a Vitamix it could take longer).
- Store in an airtight, glass container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. This recipe will make about 2 cups and thickens as it cools.
- Out of cashews? Try substituting in slivered almonds or whole almonds that have been soaked over night. Or, for a low fat option, substitute in one 14 ounce package of silken tofu, skip the cup of water and halve the lemon juice (use ⅛ cup). Please note using tofu will yield a less flavorful sour cream.
- This cashew sour cream thickens quite a bit as it cools and refrigerates. Feel free to add splashes of additional water to it to thin it out as needed.
- The only ingredients of the cashews should be cashews. If you use anything other than raw cashews the result will NOT be the same.
- Soaking the cashews helps remove the sweet flavor of cashews.
- Do not use this larger Ninja Blender to make this recipe. I only recommend using a Vitamix, or blenders that have the single serving cups.
- Storing this in an airtight glass container will allow it to stay fresh the longest.
General 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.
Shop My Kitchen Tools
The kitchen tools section contains affiliate links to products I recommend and love.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.