It’s about time I shared my vegan sour cream on the blog. I developed this recipe for my cookbook as a dairy-free sour cream substitute. I ended up using it to replace a variety of other dairy-based ingredients: goat cheese, ricotta, even mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
As a dairy eater myself, I was both surprised and pleased to find a non-dairy substitute that I enjoy so much. It’s creamy, rich, and tangy, just like regular sour cream.
In the book, I offered vegan and dairy-free options whenever possible, and this vegan sour cream came in quite useful. I used it to replace the dairy-rich layers in lasagna (page 163), and we mixed it into the enchilada filling for a creamy element (page 148).
It’s a great substitute for the goat cheese in the quinoa-stuffed sweet potatoes recipe (page 144), and it easily replaced the cheese in my beans and greens quesadillas (page 147). I love the regular and dairy-free versions of those recipes!
Vegan Sour Cream Tips
This dairy-free sauce is made with rich and creamy raw cashews, water, tangy lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, salt, and a dab of Dijon mustard for additional complexity and intrigue.
This sour cream is easy to make in a blender. If you have a Vitamix (affiliate link) or Blendtec, or another blender of equal power, you don’t necessarily need to soak the cashews before blending. If you don’t, you will want to soak the cashews for about four hours before using.
Depending on the application, you might want to use this vegan sour cream differently than the ingredient you’re replacing. Since it’s water-based, it will dry out a bit during baking.
For example, if you want to use it in place of mozzarella on a pizza, you might be better off baking the pizza without it, then drizzling it generously on top once it’s out of the oven.
Or, you might want to incorporate some in the dish (like inside enchiladas) and then add an extra dollop once it’s done baking.
This sour cream will thicken up as it chills in the refrigerator. If you’d like a thinner consistency, simply whisk in a small splash of water.
Uses for Vegan Sour Cream
- Regular dairy-based sour cream or crema
- Goat cheese
- Mozzarella on pizza (drizzle this on top instead)
- Cheddar or Jack cheese in quesadillas
- Cotija or feta on tacos, nachos or tostadas
- Any other instance in which you crave some creamy texture and rich flavor!
I hope this recipe becomes a staple in your repertoire, whether you’re dairy-free yourself, serving dairy-free guests, or simply looking to reduce the amount of dairy in your diet. Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments!
Vegan Sour Cream
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes (plus 4 hours soaking time if needed)
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: Vegan
This vegan sour cream recipe is the best! This creamy dairy-free sauce can also replace goat cheese, ricotta and even mozzarella. It’s easy to make, too. Recipe yields about 1 cup.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours if you do not have a high-powered blender*
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more if needed
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- If you soaked your cashews, drain and rinse them until the water runs clear.
- In a blender, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and mustard. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. If you’re having trouble blending the mixture, or would prefer a thinner consistency, slowly blend in up to ½ cup additional water, as needed.
- Taste and add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice if you would like more tang, or additional salt if a more intense flavor is desired. Serve immediately or chill the sour cream for later.
- Leftovers keep well, chilled, for about 5 days. The sour cream will thicken up a bit more as it rests; you can thin it by whisking in a small amount of water later, if necessary.
Change it up: Add 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast to give the cashew cream a more cheese-like flavor.
*Vitamix note: If you are using the newer wide-base blender container, you’ll need to double this recipe to gain enough traction.