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Jalapeño Cashew Cream Sauce | Ambitious Kitchen


You need to meet my new favorite sauce that I’ve been mixing into pasta, drizzling over my quinoa and tacos, smearing over rice cakes, dipping quesadillas and chips into it and even putting on my BLTs as a dairy free mayo alternative.

It’s my jalapeno cashew cream sauce and I promise, you’re going to LOVE it.

You won’t believe how creamy, smooth, flavorful with a hint of heat that this sauce is. Trust your girl and make this recipe ASAP. You can keep it in the fridge for a week, freeze it, or make my yummy pasta salad recipe with it (coming soon!).

pouring vegan cashew cream sauce into a salad bowl


Ingredients in cashew cream sauce

This easy vegan cashew cream sauce recipe has just five core ingredients that create a luscious, flavor sauce that tastes even better than the bottled alfredo or spicy ranch. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Raw cashews: raw cashews are the base of this vegan cashew sauce recipe, and when soaked and blended with a little water or milk they create a super creamy & nutritious cashew sauce full of fiber, protein and healthy fats. You’ll need to soak them for at least 2 hours, but I’ve also added a way to speed up the process to only 20-30 minutes in the instructions of this recipe.
  • Lemon juice: this helps to brighten the sauce up. Make sure to use FRESH squeezed lemon juice. If you’re out of lemon juice, feel free to sub fresh squeezed lime juice.
  • Garlic: for a little boost of flavor.
  • Spices: we’re just using a bit of onion powder, salt & pepper.
  • Jalapeño: we’re adding a whole, seeded jalapeño for a wonderful kick of heat! Feel free to omit if you’re serving kids or are sensitive to spice.

cashews and jalapeño slices in a blender

How to make vegan cashew cream sauce

  1. First, soak the cashews in 2 cups of warm water for at least 2 hours; otherwise I’ve found that you can easily speed up the process by adding the raw cashews to a pot with water and placing over high heat. Bring water to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat; let the cashews sit for about 30 minutes in the hot water, then drain.
  2. Once the cashews have finished soaking you’ll be ready to make the sauce: add drained cashews, fresh water, jalapeno, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt, onion powder and black pepper to a blender. Blend on high until sauce comes together.
  3. If you want a bit of a thinner sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons more water. Makes roughly 1 cup sauce.

Customize your cashew cream sauce

If you want to have a little fun, feel free to add in mix-ins to adapt this sauce for unique flavors. Leave out the jalapeno, or keep it in and try adding in any of the following:

  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • a touch of dijon mustard for a little tang
  • curry powder
  • fresh ginger to drizzle over things like rice & quinoa bowls
  • turmeric for brightness + earthy flavor (would be great paired with a little ginger!)

easy vegan cashew cream sauce blended in a blender

How to store and reheat vegan cream sauce

In the refrigerator: this delicious vegan cashew cream sauce recipe will stay good in your fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. To reheat, simply pour it into a microwave-safe container and reheat it in the microwave until nice and warm. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water (or pasta water if adding to pasta right away) if it’s become too thick.

In the freezer: you can also easily freeze this recipe! Simply add the cashew cream sauce to a freezer-safe container or bag and place it in your freezer. When you’re ready to us it, let the cream sauce thaw in the fridge before using it. You may need to blend it with a bit more water if you’re finding that it’s too thick.

jalapeño cashew cream sauce in a jar with a spoon

Amazing recipes to use this cashew cream sauce

Besides sneaking little spoonfuls of it, try this easy cashew cream sauce tossed with your favorite pasta dishes, drizzled over roasted veggies or grain bowls, poured over tacos and enchiladas and more. Here are some great recipes to try it with:

Street Corn Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto + Goat Cheese

Jalapeño Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Lime Crema

Vegan Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl

Date Night In Cilantro Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Pasta

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Lime Crema

I hope you love this delicious jalapeño cashew cream sauce! If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. We appreciate it. xo!

Jalapeño Cashew Cream Sauce

Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Delicious and easy cashew cream sauce with a kick of heat from jalapeño! This wonderful vegan cashew cream sauce is packed with flavor and healthy fats, and is perfect for pasta, grain bowls, tacos and even dipping.

  • ¾
    cup
    raw cashews*
  • 1/3
    cup
    water, plus 2 tablespoons more if necessary
  • 1
    medium jalapeno, seeded
  • 1
    clove
    garlic
  • 2
    tablespoons
    fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4
    teaspoon
    salt
  • ½
    teaspoon
    onion powder
  • Freshly ground back pepper
  1. Soak the cashews in 2 cups of warm water for at least 2 hours; otherwise I’ve found that you can easily speed up the process by adding the raw cashews to a pot with water and placing over high heat. Bring water to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat; let the cashews sit for about 30 minutes in the hot water, then drain.

  2. Once the cashews have finished soaking you’ll be ready to make the sauce: add drained cashews, fresh water, jalapeno, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt, onion powder and black pepper to a blender. Blend on high until sauce comes together. If you want a bit of a thinner sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons more water. Makes roughly 1 cup sauce. Serves 4.

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats



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