This tangy creamy cilantro sauce can be used for tacos, sandwiches, grain bowls, salads, and so much more. Totally plant-based, made with cashews (without dairy or mayo).
Do you love cilantro so much that you wish there were a liquid version you could drizzle on and stir through everything you eat? Well, welcome to the club, and allow me to introduce you to the cilantro sauce of my dreams. It’s creamy thanks to cashews, savory thanks to miso, totally dairy-free, and just bursting with herby freshness. (It’s basically my take on vegan green goddess dressing.)
Key Ingredients + Substitutions
- Cashews: This sauce has no dairy or mayo. Instead, I use soaked raw cashews, which blend up into a smooth, creamy texture, lending this dairy-free sauce body. Roasted cashews technically work, too – they just have a nuttier flavor. You can also sub with blanched almonds.
- Cilantro: You’ll need an entire bunch of cilantro here. No need to drive yourself crazy picking off individual leaves, though. Just discard the tough bottoms, and use the leaves and tender stems for the sauce.
- Garlic: For a little kick.
- Miso: Adds umami and amplifies the cilantro flavor.
- Citrus Juice + Vinegar: This sauce should be super tangy. I’ve tried using just one acid in this recipe and it just wasn’t as punchy. Lemon/lime juice and vinegar create the best flavor together.
How to Make Creamy Cilantro Sauce
Find complete instructions with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Soak the Cashews.
Cover the cashews with boiling water and set aside for at least 30 minutes. This will soften them so they can be blended into a smooth cream.
Step 2: Combine Everything in a Blender.
Drain the cashews and add them to a blender, along with the cilantro and all the other ingredients. You can use a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or any other blender. If you use a food processor, the sauce will have green specks and won’t be as smooth.
P.S. Be sure to clean the cilantro thoroughly before blending, as it’s usually quite sandy. The best way to wash it is with a salad spinner.
Step 3: Blend Until Smooth.
Then taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. If not serving right away, transfer to an airtight container, store in the fridge, and eat within 5 days.
How to Serve Creamy Cilantro Sauce
This cilantro cashew cream is perfect for meal prep – you can make it on Sunday/Monday and use it for all kinds of meals throughout the week. Use it for tacos, as a sandwich condiment, and on grain bowls, plantains, yuca, and other roasted vegetables.
This should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and eaten within 5 days.
Add a quarter, half, or even a whole jalapeno. To tamper the heat, remove the seeds and ribs from the pepper before blending.
Yep. Cashews can sit in water for up to 2 whole days when kept in the fridge.
Yes! If you don’t love cilantro, use an equal amount of basil, dill, or parsley, or a mix of them all.
More Dairy-Free Sauces
- Dairy-Free Tzatziki
- Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing
- Classic Creamy Vinaigrette
- Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
The Full Recipe
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
Use this herby sauce for tacos, as a sandwich condiment, and on grain bowls, plantains, and roasted vegetables.
- 1/2 cup raw cashews* (see note below)
- 2 packed cups cilantro leaves with tender stems (about 1 small bunch)*
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mild vinegar (white wine, apple cider, or rice)
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Drain the cashews and place in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Use within 5 days.
- Roasted cashews are technically fine here, too – they just have a nuttier flavor. You can also sub with blanched almonds.
- No need to pluck off each individual leaf. Just discard the tough bottom stems, and use the remaining leaves and tender stems for the sauce.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 65
- Sodium: 160 mg
- Fat: 6.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.8 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
Keywords: dairy-free, green goddess, cilantro, cashew