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Cashew Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Sharon Palmer

If you’re new to the plant-based lifestyle, you might not have heard about the classic staple, cashew cream. This simple concoction can work wonders in the kitchen. It makes a nice neutral base to replace cheese, cream, sour cream, and more in recipes like casseroles, pizzas, pasta dishes, tacos, sandwiches, wraps and sauces. Plus, it makes a wonderful, flavorful dip or spread, once you add a few ingredients to jazz it up.

Raw cashews

You can make a savory cashew cream for savory dishes, such as tacos, casseroles, or enchiladas. Or make a slightly sweeter cashew cream for sweeter dishes, such as fruit desserts, cream-filled pies and pastries, fruit dips, and sweet toppings. It’s so easy to make cashew cream, too.

With essentially three ingredients—cashews, water, and lemons—you can make up a batch of cashew cream, and then add other ingredients to make it sweet (agave, vanilla) or savory (garlic, pepper, sea salt). Make a batch and keep it in the fridge all week long to use in your favorite dishes, including lasagna, pizza, tacos, fruit pies and parfaits all week long.

Learn how to make cashew cream with my step-by-step guide.

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Cashew Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Yield: Yields 3 cups (12 servings) 1x


Cashew cream can work wonders in the kitchen. It makes a nice neutral base to replace cheese, cream, sour cream, and more in popular recipes.


  • 2 cups cashews, raw
  • 1 cup water (plus more for soaking)
  • 1 small lemon, juiced


  • 2 cloves garlic (for savory recipes)
  • Pinch sea salt and white pepper (for savory recipes)
  • 1 tablespoon agave or coconut maple sugar (for sweet recipes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (for sweet recipes)


  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 3 hours (if you are in a hurry, soak for 1 hour).
  2. Drain cashews.
  3. Place cashews in blender or food processor with lemon juice, 1 cup water, and optional ingredients as desired—depending on your preference for use in savory or sweet dishes.
  4. Process cashews until very smooth. May have to pause and scrape down sides a few times. Texture should be thick and creamy.
  5. Remove from blender and place in an airtight container. Chill for up to 5 days. Makes 3 cups (12 servings, ¼-cup each).


Use in place of cheese, sour cream, or cream cheese in pastas, casseroles, dips, desserts, and sauces. Excellent as a topping for salads and tacos. May add additional flavorings to suit recipes, such as herbs and green onions for salad dressings, and cinnamon for a sweet topping.


  • Serving Size: ¼-cup
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 3 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.5 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: cashew, cashew cream, dip, spread

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