Oh glory be. 👼
That right there is a big bowl of wonderful that is going to change your vegan life.
Wait, not vegan? Me neither. CARRY ON EVERYONE.
This is a luscious vegan cashew sauce that can sub for just about anything thick and creamy and dairy-based that you might need in a recipe… and it can be made in five minutes. Soooo, like, why are we still here right now?
Flip back through a few posts and you will see the blazing truth: I like dairy-based cream sauces a lot. Probably too much. Probably to the point of weird much.
So when the internet started teaching me that this was a thing – cashews? in a sauce? – even as a dairy lover, I became totally enchanted by the idea of something so creamy and wonderful being nothing more than simple CASHEWS. Blended up. Eaten on everything.
Remember creamy spinach sweet potato noodles with cashew sauce? That was my first encounter with this magic, and fortunately the way I wrote that recipe left me with a little bit of extra cashew sauce for the fridge, so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to make use of this deliciousness over the last week. Super hard work, but someone’s gotta do it.
I like to think of this as a blank canvas food. You soak cashews and blend them up with a little water, garlic, and salt, and that’s your BLANK CANVAS time.
It’s kind of a basic, simple, non-committal-flavor base sauce that could stay as-is and still be wonderful (dat garlic!) or could be used as a starting point for many a tasty combos involving a range of spices or flavors.
But as it stands, it’s a wide-open blank canvas waiting for you to make it into anything you want above and beyond the existing cashew + garlic + salt trifecta.
And with the push of a button on your food processor, just like that, you have a sauce that can serve many purposes ranging from a simple creamy pasta sauce, to vegan nacho-cheese-esque sauce, to an alternative sour cream drizzle, to a spicy dip for chips ♥️, to a direct spoon to mouth situation.
Speaking of food processor, do you have one? YOU NEED ONE. I love mine so much that I wrote a full post showing off 12 magical ways that I use my food processor. Must must must. Go now.
Things you could add to the sauce / excuses for eating this sauce 24/7/365:
- Nutritional Yeast
- Chipotle Peppers
- Pesto or Fresh Herbs
- Sugar! (remove the savory elements of garlic and salt // replace with sweet stuff like peanut butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla… BRB gotta go try that)
- NOTHING – because it tastes really yummy as-is 👌
That’s 5 minute cashew sauce, my friends!
If you are a clever vegan or just a general cashew sauce lover and you already do something amazing with cashew sauce that I have not thought of, I am expecting a full report in the comments. Srsly now.
Cashew Sauce! Just four easy ingredients: cashews, garlic, salt, and water! Perfect base sauce recipe for pasta, dips, or cheesy sauce alternatives. Vegan.
- 2 cups cashews
- 1 1/4 cup water or broth
- 1–2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
- Place soaked cashews in the bowl of a food processor or blender with the water, garlic, and salt. Puree until very, very smooth. Thin out with more water to desired consistency. Store in fridge for 3-4 days or freeze.
Add extra ingredients to change the flavor! chipotle peppers, pesto, chili paste, etc.
DO NOT SOAK CASHEWS OVERNIGHT. The texture gets watery and chunky. It should stay smooth and creamy as pictured. 🙂
One more thing!
This recipe is part of our best healthy sauce recipes page. Check it out!