Sauces & Marinades

Cashew Cream Sauce | Vegan Cream Sauce

cashew cream sauce ingredients

Creamy Cashew Garlic Sauce

This versatile dairy free cashew cream sauce is sure to satisfy any cream lovers appetite. Obviously, not suitable for those with nut allergies.

We’ve opted for using fresh and roasted garlic for the sauce, because

  1. It tastes bomb, and
  2. We have the time while the cashews soak, so why not?

So if you don’t mind the extra effort of turning the oven on and chucking the bulb in, then definitely do it. Of course, you can use garlic granules as a replacement but you won’t get the distinct sweet taste that the roasted garlic provides.

Creamy Cashew Garlic Sauce

We love garlic. Luckily for us, garlic is not an ingredient that upsets our tummies. And trust us, we like to take advantage of this. One of our main base ingredients for this sauce is a whole bulb of roasted garlic. Yes, you did read that right. Of course, feel free to opt out if garlic is not an ingredient that sits well in your stomach. You’ll still reach your desired result for a creamy dairy free sauce to adapt as you please.

However, if you aren’t opposed then throw in the roasted garlic from the oven in with the cashews and start to blend on medium speed. Slowly add in the olive oil until you get a creamy smooth consistency.

Spices&Hay Tip: When choosing the garlic bulb to roast, pick out the largest one you can find for a deeper roasted flavour. The garlic will shrink when roasted, so you’ll definitely benefit more from a larger bulb.

Vegan Creamy Sauce

The recipe provided is purely a base sauce. We’ve left it there and kept it simple. But this does not mean it’s limited to what it is. This is a starting base for a sauce that can be used as an alternative to those who are vegan, lactose intolerant or whatever reason it may be!

Use this sauce as it is, or build upon it with a few additional ingredients and spices! Some of our top favourites to add include;

  • Onion powder
  • Mustard powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Curry Powder

When adding some spices, such as curry powder or turmeric powder, use sparingly. These spices can be added in small small doses but still pack a flavour punch to your tongue. If you do decide to add these into your sauce, ensure that it does get cooked through in a pan. This prevents the spices ruining your creamy sauce with any raw or bitter taste.

cashew sauce ingredients

How to soak cashews

The secret to getting this cashew sauce perfect is in the cashews. Try and soak the cashews for as long as possible in warm water to ensure maximum softness for the cream sauce. We do recommend ‘the longer the better’ approach, but at least an hour or two minimum please.

Once cashews have soaked long enough, drain thoroughly. Grab a food processor or other preferred blending device and chuck in the soaked soft cashews with the cashew milk (or non dairy alternative). Note: You can make this with whole milk if dairy free isn’t your thing. Great thing is, it’s adaptable. 

soaking cashews in water

Soak cashews in warm water, preferably overnight.

How to serve cashew cream sauce

Our creamy garlic cashew sauce is best enjoyed with a main dish. As mentioned, this sauce is super versatile which is why we kept the recipe quite simple. With a few extra ingredients and tricks, this sauce can be used in so many ways to create a variety of dishes.

Creamy Cashew Dip

You can add more or less milk depending on how think you want the sauce to be. One clever trick to completely transform this recipe is to significantly cut down on the amount of milk used to create a thick dip like consistency.

Use the pulse action on your blender if possible for a chunkier texture in your dip. Or continue to blitz for a smoother result.

Spices&Hay Tip: Add half a tin of butter beans or chickpeas for a more hearty filling type dip, or even for a twist on a classic hummus!

Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce

This is the PERFECT sauce to use as a replacement for a cheese sauce for any dish your heart may desires. Ours has it set on mac and cheese. And yes, with a few additional ingredients you can get a vegan creamy cheesy sauce fit for any mac and cheese recipe.

Simply add the following into our base recipe highlighted below.

  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast,
  • 1 tsp onion powder,
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder

The most important ingredient to add is nutritional yeast. We’ve add the others above as we feel they help to bring out the cheesy flavour but feel free to leave out.

We want to note that nutritional yeast does tend to have a funky flavour to some people, especially when they first try it. Always start with 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and add more depending on if you like the taste and how cheesy you want the sauce to be.

This vegan cheesy sauce works wonderfully in our mac and cheese recipe. Substitute your cheese roux sauce with this cashew cream sauce instead.

Our other favourite ways of serving cashew cream sauce include;

  • Dairy free cheese sauce, ummm yes please!
  • For a luxurious meal, enjoy with some sweet potato gnocchi as a creamy cashew pasta sauce.
  • Pour over some pasta served with grilled chicken for a quick family meal.
  • Creamy cashew curry – with tofu and vegetables to keep it vegan/vegetarian friendly. Add about 2 teaspoons of curry powder into the sauce and use extra milk or opt for coconut milk to loosen into a curry.
  • Roasted cauliflower and cashew nut soup – add some roasted cauliflower with stock/milk and blend together with the Cashew sauce.

Print Recipe
3 Ingredient Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce
A vegan alternative to get that creamy sauce you long for in pasta dishes. This can also be used to replicate cheese sauces, only a few extra ingredients needed. Check out our vegan cheese sauce recipe which just builds upon this simple base.
cashew cream sauce ingredients
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 24 hours
Prep Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 24 hours
cashew cream sauce ingredients
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Rating: 0
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  1. Add the cashew into a container with warm water. Allow the water to completely cover the cashews. These need a couple of hours to soak - preferably overnight to get a smooooth sauce.
  2. Cut the top off your bulb of garlic and chuck into a preheated oven of 150 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until garlic cloves are soft and mushy. You may wish to sprinkle with some salt before roasting.
  3. Once cashews have soaked for an appropriate amount of time and garlic has roasted. Chuck everything into a blender or food processor including your milk. Start with half of the milk and as you blend slowly add more until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. At this point, in between your milk additions, you may wish to add a tablespoon of olive oil for that extra creaminess.
  5. Season and blend until smooth.*
Recipe Notes

*This is a base recipe. Feel free to add more seasonings; onion powder, nutritional yeast, mustard powder - mentioned earlier in the post - at the end and blend. If using more pungent spices like turmeric and curry powder, transfer the sauce into a pan, add spices and cook out for a few minutes.

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