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Vegan Cashew Sour Cream

Vegan sour cream – Thick, rich and tangy cashew sour cream is made with simple, plant-based ingredients and ready in minutes! It’s the perfect dairy-free sour cream substitute!

side angle view of vegan sour cream in a glass jar with items surrounding.

I love simplicity and am always looking for ways to share them here. And this vegan cashew-based ‘sour cream’ is another wonderful addition to the recipe collection!

With only 5 ingredients and so easy to make, you’re going to love this tangy, creamy condiment.

It’s whole food, plant based sour cream substitute that’s soy-free, non-dairy, and cleaner than any sour cream you will purchase in the grocery store, vegan or not!

Trust me when I say, you won’t miss a thing!

top down view of ingredients used to make vegan sour cream with cashews.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, raw cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt are blended until creamy smooth. It takes 10 minutes to make and will last up to 5 or 6 days in the refrigerator.

Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Raw cashews – use only raw cashews for their neutral flavor. Roasted cashews will yeild a deeper toasted flavor that is not characteristic of sour cream.
  • Water – any purified water will do. You can also use unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk if you prefer.
  • Lemon – adds an acid.
  • Apple cider vinegar – this also adds an acid flavor and is more potent than lemon.
  • Mineral salt – just a pinch to bring out all the flavors.

Soak The Cashews

It is recommended to soak the cashews before processing them. I know we snack on nuts without soaking, or eat them in our foods without going through this process, but it does have some advantages.

Soaking cashews will increase enzyme activity, offer greater absorption of the food’s nutrients by the body and help to increase digestibility. Plus, it does help soften them up ensuring a creamy consistency. But if you don’t have time to go through the process of soaking, you’ll be just fine if you don’t.

Soak in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Soak cashews covered with 2 – 3 inches of water for 2 – 3 hours, overnight is great too but not necessary for cashews.
  2. For a faster soak, add them to hot water and let soak for 5 – 10 minutes (this is my preferred method).
vegan sour cream ingredients in blender: before and after

How To Make Vegan Sour Cream

  • Soak the cashews to soften them up a bit.
  • Once cashews have been soaked, place them in a high-speed or personal blender along with the water, lemon juice/apple cider vinegar and pinch of salt.
  • Process until creamy smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

And that’s it, thick and creamy vegan sour cream in minutes!

Recommended Equipment: I recommend using a high-speed blender or Nutri Bullet (affiliate link) for small jobs like this. It’s compact, easy to clean, and works great!

Serving Suggestions

So now to the good stuff! Use anywhere you would normally use sour cream. Here are some of my favorite options:

top down view of vegan sour cream in a glass jar with items surrounding.

If you try this vegan sour cream recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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VEGAN CASHEW SOUR CREAM

This vegan cashew ‘sour cream’ can be used anywhere traditional sour cream is used. Place a dollop on chili, baked potatoes, soup, and more. You can also use it in baking when called for.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/4 Cup 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • generous pinch of mineral salt

Instructions

Soak the cashew in 1 of 2 ways, then drain and rinse well.

  1. Soak cashews covered with 2 – 3 inches of water for 2 – 3 hours, overnight is great too but not necessary for cashews.
  2. For a faster soak, add them to hot water, not boiling, and let soak for 5 – 10 minutes.

In high-speed or personal blender, add all ingredients and blend until nice and creamy, stopping to scrap down the sides every now and then. Add a tad more water as needed to create desired consistency.

Sour cream is best refrigerated for at least an hour before serving, but will do fine if served right away. Sour cream will thicken upon being chilled.

Makes about 1 1/4 cup.  

Store: Will keep in the refrigerator for 5 – 6 days in an airtight container. Give a good stir before using.

Notes

Variations:

  • Use lime instead of lemon and add a few sprigs of cilantro at the end for a Lime Cilantro Sour Cream.
  • Try adding a few dill fronds and 1 tablespoon dijon mustard for a Dill Sour Cream.

Adding extra water will depend on how long you’ve soaked your nuts. The longer you soak, the more water they’ll absorb making for less extra liquids needed. Less water will result in a thicker sour cream while more water makes it thinner. If you feel you’ve put in too much liquids, add a few more cashews and blend until smooth. Keep in mind that refrigerating will also thicken your cream.

Equipment: I love and recommend the Nutri Bullet (<< affiliate link) for small jobs like this. It’s compact and works fantastic! For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

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45 Comments

  1. Is the half cup of water for the soaking? Or does it go into the blender?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question! The 1/2 cup of water goes into the blender. Enjoy!

  2. sassygirl says:

    i’m trying this recipe today.
    after the cashews are finished soaking, so you drain them of the water before blending?
    thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, drain the cashews before blending. Enjoy!

  3. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this website daily, this site is really pleasant and the
    viewers are truly sharing pleasant thoughts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What brand food processor do you have?? And which ninja do you have the doesn't do the job?

    1. I have the Cuisinart Elite 12 cup. The Ninja I have is not the one with the base (which would work fine), it's the portable one.

  5. Barbara Miller says:

    can you use roasted cashews from the bin at the grocery store to make the cashew cream?

    1. I've only used raw cashews and recommend sticking with those. But you can try the roasted ones and see how it goes. The flavor will be different but it may not be a thing. If you do attempt using roasted cashews, you can skip the soaking. Would love to know how it goes! :)

  6. At least you tried it! I appreciate your response, negative or not. When recreating vegan versions of an original you can't always expect it to taste the same. For myself, I love this sour cream for many reasons and appreciate it for what it is, blended cashews with a few extra ingredients. I don't care for it alone but LOVE a good dollop on chili, black bean soup, taco salads, tacos, burritos, etc. It adds an extra zest and creaminess in place of diary and other highly processed cheeses and creams. As with all things, to each their own! :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I was too harsh. The recipe, like it says, is purely basic. Add some garlic and onion powder, nutritional yeast, and refrigerate (!!!) and it gets better. Still nothing like the picture/real sour cream, though.

    1. MAYBE you were too harsh? Talk about an understatement! I think the most fitting word would be just plain RUDE. I give you a little credit for your second comment, but why on earth did you feel compelled to post such a hateful comment in the first place? There are ways to voice your opinion without resorting to being a condescending jerk.

      And might I remind you, Julie is doing all this work and sharing her recipes for FREE. It doesn’t cost you anything, and yet you felt the uncontrollable need to attack her. What’s that all about?

      Julie, you are providing such a great site for people like me who want (and need) to include more vegan options in my diet. I’m very thankful and also glad that the vast majority of your readership is in that same camp.

  8. veganmiam.com says:

    Gorgeous minimalistic photos, Julie! Raw cashews are great for creamy sauces & bases! I love simplicity, too! Happy Monday!

  9. Morgan Haldeman says:

    How does yours look so creamy? I'm guessing the type of blender really makes a difference. Mine wouldn't blend down past the grainy stage… but still tasted delicious!

    1. A good food processor will help with that. You can try blending for five minutes or so to see if that helps. At least the flavor is great!

    2. Morgan Haldeman says:

      Perhaps my Ninja just doesn't cut it. Longing for the day when I can get a Vitamix! :) Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

    3. I have the Ninja as well and love it for my smoothies, but it just won't do this job. It requires a high speed blender or food processer. I'd love a Vitamix one day myself..until then my food processor is the work horse of the kitchen. :)

  10. How long does this keep in the fridge??

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