Cilantro-Lime-Garlic Cashew Cream

76 comments

20160129 - Vegan enchiladas with cashew cilantro cream sauce (blog) 00717 1

4.8 from 19 reviews
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Cilantro Lime Garlic Cashew Sauce

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

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This creamy cashew sauce doesn't contain a lick of dairy cream, but you won't miss it one bit. Pour it all over my Next Level Enchiladas for a real treat! I recommend using a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, for the smoothest sauce. This sauce is adapted from my Cilantro-Avocado Cream Sauce.

Yield
1 1/2 cups
Soak time
1-8 hours
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons avocado
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Add the cashews into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can soak the cashews in room temperature water for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  3. Add all of the cashew cream ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until a super smooth sauce forms. If using a Vitamix, use the tamper to get things moving. If your blender is having a hard time blending, you can add a splash more water to help things along.

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy Woods February 2, 2016

Just this morning I thought “I’d like to find more raw sauce recipes.” This one looks yum! (I already love the avocado one it’s based off. Thanks!

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2 Michelle West February 3, 2016

I’m unable to print the photos — and I like having a photo with my recipes that I print out. Can this be fixed??

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3 Cindy February 4, 2016

Will this keep in fridge for a while?

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4 Ainsley April 25, 2016

Likely not so long, because of the avocado. While you do keep it in the fridge, make sure to put it in an airtight container.

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5 The Doctor May 2, 2016

Actually, the lime would help to keep it looking fresh, so I would give it about 3 days in the fridge. But It would definitely work if you made it the night before!

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6 Dana June 27, 2016

I’ve heard that if you throw the whole avocado pit into your avocado dish at the end, it will keep it green in the fridge! Just remove before serving. I’m going to make this tonight and I’ll do a test :)

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7 Tom November 23, 2016

Like The Doctor said, there’s no need to put the pit back in because the lime will do the job.

It makes sense if you’ve left your avocado solid (just sliced it or whatever) but the lime does the same job here and it saves having to pick out and pit from a cream like this!

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8 Karen Trepte February 7, 2016

Looks scrumptious Angela! Just bought your cookbook. Can’t wait :) Hugs Karen

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9 Lois February 7, 2016

How long can you leave cashew cream in the fridge?

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10 Natasha A. February 14, 2016

I’m wondering it you have a suggestion for replacing the avocado. We have an allergy in my house (yes the horror!!!), but I’d love to make this. Do you think leaving it out would be fine? Thanks for any help!

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11 Vegetarian Cannibal February 25, 2016

I am also allergic to avocado. It sucks. My favorite substitution is extra cashew cream OR mayo of my choice. I make a lot of Angela’s recipes and never had a problem just leaving the avocados out. Hope that helps. :)

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12 Maria May 13, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I made it with out the avocado too, because I forgot it at the store and wanted to try it right away. It was more like a dressing than a thick cream but was super tasty. :)

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13 Angela Liddon February 26, 2016

Hi Natasha, the avocado gives the cashew cream “body” and a bit of a smoother texture, however you can most likely leave it out with decent results. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

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14 Katherine December 30, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I made this sauce for my faux-fish tacos with no avocado because I prefer to have my avo in big slices in the tacos. It turned out beautifully, not quite as thick as in the pictures, but really creamy and delicious. I added a bit of ACV to up the tanginess and it tasted just like a sour cream based sauce.

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15 Tsubaki cookery February 17, 2016

This looks yummy. I can’t believe there are pple out there who dislike cilantro

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16 Deborah February 22, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I made this last night thinking I would top enchiladas, I didn’t get that far though. I can’t stop eating this! I ate most of it last night then put a big dollop on my salad today. I used a balsamic vinaigrette which turned into a creamy vinaigrette with this dreamy concoction. I dreamed about what I would put the rest on tonight for dinner and ended up wolfing it down with corn chips. The only other thing I would have put it on is a spoon – seriously, it’s that good! People are asking if it would keep in the fridge, I would be shocked if it lasted more that 2 days – thanks for the fabulous recipe, I’ll make it again next week when I get around to the enchiladas!

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17 Angela Liddon February 25, 2016

Hi Deborah, thanks for the awesome comment. I’m so happy to hear the enchiladas were a hit!

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18 Brenda March 5, 2016
Recipe Rating:

My sentiments exactly. My first thought was “would it be bad if I just sat down and ate this all right now?” So good. I did keep it for the enchiladas, everyone was wowed by this recipe…it’s less than a week later and we’re doing it again, only this time I’m doubling the cilantro lime sauce to have with wraps, as dip, on a spoon….

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19 bette February 25, 2016

Hi,
The cilantro cashew cream sauce looks really good. Was wondering if you can freeze it.

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20 Angela Liddon February 26, 2016

Hi Bette, I’ve never tried freezing it before, so I’m not sure. I’d recommend freezing a very small portion (maybe in an ice cube tray), thawing it, and then seeing how it tastes. If you decide to give it a try, please let me know how it turns out!

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21 Savannah July 22, 2016

Hi Bette, I’m wondering how well this will freeze too- did you end up giving it a go?

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22 Izzie March 6, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I made this tonight to go with the Next Level Vegan Enchiladas, and it’s fabulous. Very, very easy to make and so delicious! I’ll definitely be adding this to my go-to things to make!

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23 Kate March 10, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Love this! I made an awesome black bean, quinoa and Kale breakfast bowl with this sauce on top. perfect compliment.

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24 Angela Liddon March 10, 2016

Hi Kate, that sounds delicious! I’m glad you liked the sauce. :)

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25 Stephanie March 13, 2016

This is delicious and beautiful! Batch 1 was on enchiladas. Batch 2 will be for topping veggie chili today!

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26 Nick Kelly March 18, 2016

This looks great! Cilantro and lime is one of the best combinations.

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27 Sina @ Vegan Heaven March 24, 2016

This looks so delicious, Angela! I already made your cashew sour cream a while ago, but I love that you added avocado to this one. :-)

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28 Ateel March 29, 2016

If your not a fan of cilantro can you just omit it from this recipe or will it throw off the entire texture of the sauce? Need to know asap thx

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29 Angela Liddon March 29, 2016

Hi Ateel, you can definitely omit the cilantro, and just adjust the other ingredients to taste if needed. Hope you enjoy!

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30 katarina March 31, 2016

Hi, it’s my first time posting on your site although I have been a lover of your creativity for quite some time now. My cookbook is tagged and seasoned as much as the recipes!
About the cashew cream sauce here, how long do you think it will stay in the fridge? My neighbour has some leftovers from 2 weeks ago… I tend to push the ‘best before’ limits, but maybe not so much in this case? Thanks!

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31 Lissette April 13, 2016

Angela, you are a genius. Your recipes are no fail for me. I Have made many of your recipes for guests without having tried them beforehand and they never disappoint. Thank you so much!!!

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32 Angela Liddon April 14, 2016

Aw, thank you for the kind words, Lissette!

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33 Hannah May 1, 2016

This is the best sauce that ever happened to any Mexican dish I will ever make from now on. Honestly, SO DELICIOUS! The hubby, kids and friends approve.

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34 Angela Liddon May 3, 2016

Ah, I’m so glad everyone loves it, Hannah!

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35 Dolores May 13, 2016

Is there a good substitute for cashew, if you are allergic? Thanks!

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36 Andrea Peterman August 2, 2017

I tried sunflower seeds tonight (soaked them as I did the cashews) — worked great.

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37 Sandra Montgomery May 19, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I made this today… it is AAAAAAMAAAAAZING!!! SO so delicious!!!

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38 Mindy June 12, 2016

I would also like to know a good substitute for cashews since my son is allergic.

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39 Dana June 27, 2016

I’ve heard that raw almonds can be substituted for cashews in recipes like this, but I haven’t tried it myself.

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40 Kristina August 30, 2016
Recipe Rating:

This will definitely be a new staple for me. I could eat the whole thing directly from the bowl ! Absolutely delicious.

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41 Ashley September 19, 2016
Recipe Rating:

This sauce is a game changer… I will now make this sauce for any Mexican dish or even dipping taco chips in. Literally had to lick my plate clean.

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42 Angela Liddon September 19, 2016

I’m glad to hear it was such a hit, Ashley!!

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43 Christine September 20, 2016

This sauce is my reason for eating lunch early today!

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44 Claire September 26, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Great with the enchiladas but also totally usable with chips or salad. Yum!

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45 Kiersten October 18, 2016

Amazing. I didn’t follow the recipe in terms of measurements, and it is so delicious. Mine is likely more garlic based. I think this would be good with any Mexican dish.

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46 GRACE November 17, 2016
Recipe Rating:

This was great! Not a vegan but wanted to give it a try anyway. My mother in law even asked me for the recipe. Making it again

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47 Angela Liddon November 17, 2016

I’m glad it was a hit, Grace! :)

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48 Christine December 10, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Love everything about this sauce! I use it as a topping for the DIY Burrito Bowl and everyone I have fed it to has raved about it.

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49 Angela Liddon December 12, 2016

What a great combo! I’m so happy to hear it’s a hit, Christine! :)

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50 dani December 14, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I’ve made this several times now to go with the next level enchiladas. I’ve made it with and without the avocado and I prefer it without. Very delicious.

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51 Noriega December 17, 2016

This is one of the best things ever happened to me in my entire life. And I do have a happy life:)… Thank you so much!

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52 Angela Liddon December 19, 2016

LOL, I’m happy to hear that, Noriega!

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53 Kim December 17, 2016

You can freeze cashew cream. I froze in small containers. Came out just fine!

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54 Jaime AK January 6, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I’m not vegan but my boyfriend is. It’s been an adventure learning to cook meals we can both enjoy. I keep coming back to this recipe, I’ve made it 5 or 6 times now. It is AMAZING!!! This versatile sauce makes any meal gourmet. My boyfriend just got home and saw the cashews soaking on the counter, his eyes lit up – “cilantro cashew sauce?!!!!!!”

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55 Angela Liddon January 9, 2017

Aww, too cute that he saw the cashews and got excited! I’m so pleased you guys are loving this recipe. :)

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56 Kasandra January 10, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I made this a few hours ago in preparation for the vegan enchiladas. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your website, and I am beyond impressed! I kind of want to eat all of it now, but I know it’ll be worth it if I wait. I’m so excited for tonight!

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57 Angela Liddon January 11, 2017

I hope the enchiladas were a hit, Kasandra!

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58 Christina February 2, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I got my hubby to make this tonite but he had some troubles- he was such a small batch that the vitamin wouldn’t blend it, even after adding some more water. I just added more avocado (ended up using 2 avocados since they were too mushy to garnish with & but more lime juice)- turned out fantastic & the kids gobbled up the enchiladas & sauce! Need to make a double batch next time! Didn’t seem anyone else had the problem my hubby had- any ideas? He had no problems with the cashew cream as its a bigger amount. We have the new wider vitamix but haven’t had it long so still learning! Any tips would be loved!

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59 Judy Bronner February 6, 2017

I have a Vitamix and and didn’t have any trouble. Did you add the water? Mine was too thick so I had to add extra water and use the tamper. Delish:)

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60 Christina February 19, 2017
Recipe Rating:

We found this recipe to be kind of a pain (really difficult to blend), and not worth it when guacamole has a similar flavor profile but better. I don’t really get why this exists. Wouldn’t recommend.

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61 Kara August 17, 2017

I would recommend giving it a try. I have made it a handful of times and it has not been bad once. It was simple with the vitamix, just add water to thin it out.

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62 Elli March 2, 2017
Recipe Rating:

This recipe is amazing. I was slightly hesitant as I am only just transitioning to vegan and have never been a ‘creative’ vegetarian. I have been using it on my burritos to replace the cheese and as a sauce for my veg. Yum yum yum!

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63 Angela Liddon March 3, 2017

Oh, I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Elli. Experimenting with new foods can be both fun, and scary! So it’s wonderful to hear this recipe is a count in the “win” column. :)

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64 maria diane vazquez May 6, 2017

can’t wait to try it,cashews soaking

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65 Suzanne June 20, 2017

This was so good – both my husband and I have become sensitive to dairy in the last year so looking for alternatives. I only have a food processor so took awhile to get it smooth. Currently eating it on some roasted veg!

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66 Joyce Dearborn June 26, 2017

Can this be frozen…..if so for how long.

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67 Angela Liddon July 4, 2017

Hi Joyce, I haven’t personally tried freezing it before, but I’d recommend freezing a very small portion (maybe in an ice cube tray), thawing it, and then seeing how it tastes. If that works then it’ll probably work for a larger portion too. Please let us know how it goes!

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68 Chels July 6, 2017

This was my first completely vegan supper I’ve ever prepared for my family (Enchilada Recipe from this site). My picky meat and dairy loving husband loved it. Even my toddler was impressed (I didn’t use the spicier ingredients). We eat guacamole a lot so this was a great, healthy alternative to cheese and guacamole. I plan on using it in veggies and other dishes!

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69 Angela Liddon July 7, 2017

I’m so, so happy to hear the recipes were a hit with everyone, Chels! :)

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70 Amanda August 1, 2017

Can you sub the cashews with soy-heavy cream and how much do you think that would equal? It’s sweeter I think since there’s sugar but I figure the cashews are there for that function… When you’re poor cashews are super expensive, I can buy 3 times more soy cream for the same amount of cashews >.<

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71 Angela Liddon August 8, 2017

Hey Amanda, I’m sorry Im not sure as I haven’t used soy heavy cream before. I would probably reduce the liquid called for in the recipe if you try it out. If you try anything please let us know how it goes!

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72 Kara August 17, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Seriously delicious! I doubled recipe added entire large avocado and large jalapeno and seeds for a kick.

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73 Lorena Madueno August 29, 2017

That’s a great idea!

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74 Lorena Madueno August 29, 2017

This sauce look yummy! Going to try using as pasta sauce instead of my boring plain avocado sauce.😋

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75 Molly September 2, 2017

My kiddos are allergic to lime – do you have a good substitute recommendation? Thx!

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76 Angela Liddon September 8, 2017

Hi Molly, You could try subbing lemon or a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar? Or simply omit it all together and see what you think before adding anything in its place.

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