How to Make Dairy-Free Cashew Cream for Pasta, Queso and More

Christine Byrne
by Christine Byrne
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How to Make Dairy-Free Cashew Cream for Pasta, Queso and More

There are plenty of dairy-free products out there that can make great substitutes for the real thing, whether you’re allergic, following a vegan diet or just want to cut back on animal products.

But when it comes to recreating creamy, cheesy sauces, the best swap is actually this DIY cashew cream made with just two ingredients (plus salt and water). The cream is an alfredo-like pasta sauce all on its own, and a few spoonfuls can turn a bland, dairy-free risotto or polenta into something that’s more decadent than the real thing — yet still nutritious. Plus, because it’s made with shelf-stable ingredients, it will keep for weeks in an airtight container in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer.

4 WAYS TO COOK WITH CASHEW CREAM

1. VEGAN PASTA
Cook the pasta of your choice according to the package directions, drain, then toss in a large bowl with raw spinach, tomatoes, basil and 2–3 tablespoons of cashew cream per serving. You can also add cooked or steamed vegetables.

2. MUSHROOM RISOTTO
Cook rice in olive oil and mushroom stock, then stir in cashew cream at the end.

3. GRITS OR POLENTA
Cook your grain of choice in vegetable stock, then stir in cashew cream to finish.

4. VEGAN QUESO
When making cashew cream, simply add a block of vegan cream cheese and some chili powder to the ingredients listed above and blend together.

Dairy-Free Cashew Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups (475ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (15g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water; soak at room temperature overnight.

In a high-powered blender, combine soaked cashews with 1/2 cup (120ml) of soaking water, nutritional yeast and salt. Blend on high until smooth.

Serves: 16 | Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 84; Total Fat: 6.6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 146.5mg; Carbohydrate: 4.8g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 0.5g; Protein: 3g

About the Author

Christine Byrne
Christine Byrne

Christine is a trained chef and recipe developer who recently relocated from New York City to Durham, North Carolina. She started her career as a restaurant line cook, then became a food editor at BuzzFeed, and later the features editor at SELF. Follow her on Twitter @christinejbyrne and on Instagram @xtinebyrne for lots of breakfast photos, outdoorsy things, and really cute videos of her dog, Boss.

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