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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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42 Comments

  1. It was easy to make and taste really good

  2. Brittney Scott says:

    Delicious! It was very gritty in my blender pitcher so I switched to my vitamix cup attachment and it’s perfect.

  3. What if you can’t use nuts?

  4. Thx for the great recipe Julie! Just a note about blenders etc. I have a vitamix but have found that it struggles as the quantity is too small for the large jug. I usually use my magic bullet for this and it works really well. Have been thinking of getting a smaller jug for my vitamix for recipes like this.

  5. I am trying it on veggie burrito as a substitute for sour cream, I tasted it out of the blender and I like it, I am a huge cashew fan so now suprise. I can’t wate to taste it in the burrito with guaq, and slasa

  6. Made this yesterday and it taste wonderful. I guess it helps that I like all the ingredients used in the recipe. This is definitely a keeper for me. I mixed mine in my Blentec and it was creamy as heck! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sour cream came out well! Mine was slightly on the grittier side, which I’m fine with, the taste was a perfect accompaniment to chili. Next time I’ll experiment with adding more tart.

    Thanks Julie for the awesome recipes!

  8. Wasted a whole cup of cashews. Unless one needs the most expensive blender, which should be listed, it doesn’t get smooth. I tried my processor and scraped it into my Ninja blender with same results. Gritty. Going back to lemon juice and silk tofu.

    1. I have a ninja too and get excellent results but instead of the blender , I use a smoothie cup if u have that attachment give it a try.

    2. Add more liquid to eliminate the grit. I had the same issue, at first, with my food processor.

    3. Fantastic! I made a lot and it’s beautiful! Going to add siracha to half to change things up. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    4. I make this recipe all the time and it gets deliciously smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a high speed blender just process a lot longer. I usually soak the cashews overnight in water or soak them for a few hours with hot water. Try it again. Its fantastic and I promise, super creamy.

  9. Hi Julie,
    I love this recipe! I have one question – Can I freeze this? Have you tried freezing the sour cream?
    I’m asking because I would like to serve it with chili and would like to prepare it beforehand so I have less cooking time.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you love it! Yes, it does freeze well, just let it thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours before using. Great idea, I’ll update the recipe to include the info. Cheers :)

      1. Thank you, I will try this

  10. I tried the recipe and loved it. I will use it again. I did not soak my nuts as I have a vitamix and it is not necessary with it. I used more lemon in place of AC. I used Cashew milk I made yesterday. It worked beautifully. I will make this again. Thank you for sharing it.

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