This Vegan Sour Cream is now the only sour cream we eat around here and we're not even vegans. This recipe is quick and easy, 100% plant-based, dairy-free, AND even more delicious than regular sour cream.
When I first started playing around with homemade vegan sour cream, I was pretty skeptical that any of it would actually taste good. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that I like it MORE than regular sour cream.
This recipe is based on a vegan sour cream recipe in Lauren Toyota's book, Vegan Comfort Food. The first time I made it, I followed her recipe exactly.
We spooned it over Vegan Cauliflower Tacos and I said to my husband, "Call me crazy, but I think I like this MORE than regular sour cream." He agreed. So did our daughters. So did our daughter's friends who just "happened" to drop in right as I was serving dinner.
But just like that, we were sold on the stuff. Since that night, I've made vegan sour cream many times, and tweaked the recipe to better suit our tastes.
Make it once, and then see for yourself. Add even more seasoning if you like, or scale back. As is the case with nearly ever recipe, it should be adjusted to your personal tastes as much as possible.
Easy to Make and More Convenient than Regular Sour Cream
Not only is this dairy-free sour cream delicious, but it's also ridiculously easy to make. Simply soak raw cashews in hot water to soften them, then puree them in a blender with non-dairy milk, lemon juice, and a few spices.
Because it's so easy to make I think it's actually more convenient than regular sour cream. How many times in my life have I thrown out a container of half-eaten spoiled sour cream??? Many.
Rarely do we go through the whole container of sour cream in one meal. Sometimes we'll eat something else that needs a dollop before whatever's left in the container is spoiled. But, most of the time we don't, and the extra ends up in the trash.
But, raw cashews will keep in a cool, dry place for at least a month and in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. And, you can freeze them for much longer. (If you live in a hot, humid climate, you should probably refrigerate raw nuts right away.)
Since vegan sour cream is so easy to make, as long as we have some cashews in the pantry and almond milk in the refrigerator, we can have as much or as little sour cream as we want, any time we want it. 🙌
Ingredients Needed to Prepare this Recipe
- Raw cashews. In a pinch, you can use roasted cashews but the sour cream won't be as smooth and creamy as it is when made with raw cashews. Since raw cashews can sometimes be difficult to find, I usually order mine on Amazon.
- Unsweetened non-dairy milk. I usually use almond milk but any kind will do as long as it's plain and unsweetened.
- Lemon juice. Fresh squeezed is best.
- Apple cider vinegar. A bit of lemon juice and vinegar in this non-dairy sour cream gives it that familiar, delicious sour cream tang.
- Onion powder and garlic powder. A touch of onion and garlic adds depth, richness, and flavor.
- Salt. As much or as little as you like.
- Ground white pepper. White pepper has a more subtle flavor than black pepper and adds some earthy flavor to this vegan sour cream recipe.
Additions and Substitutions
- Omit the lemon juice or the apple cider vinegar. The combination of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar adds tang in a way that tastes balanced to me. But, you can certainly use all of one and none of the other. In a pinch, you can also substitute both for rice vinegar or white wine vinegar!
- Add a bit of mustard! Depending on what I'm using it for, a touch of dijon mustard is a delicious addition to this vegan sour cream. Start with a scant teaspoon, taste, and add more if you like.
- Omit the garlic and onion powder. I have a good friend who is allergic to garlic and onions, so I've experimented with a few good substitutions. In this recipe, adding a bit of dijon mustard OR a bit of Coleman's dried mustard is a great substitution. In both cases, start with a small amount and then taste and add more if you like. Another good substitution to garlic and onion powder is a half teaspoon or so of dried ground fennel.
- Add some unsweetened non-dairy yogurt! The addition of about half of a cup of unsweetened non-dairy yogurt can add extra creaminess to this sour cream. It's important that the yogurt isn't too thin and runny - look for "greek style" for best results.
- Add nutritional yeast. Adding a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast gives this sour cream a deliciously savory, umami-rich, slightly cheesy flavor. I especially like to add nutritional yeast when using sour cream for tacos, nachos, or anything else that also includes vegan nacho cheese.
- Add some hot sauce! If you want to make a spicy version of vegan sour cream just add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Step-by-Step Photos and Instructions
Put the cashews in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to submerge the nuts completely. Let them soak in the hot water for 15 minutes to soften them.
If you're NOT using a high-powered blender let them soak for 45 minutes.
Drain the nuts and dump them into the bowl of a blender along with the rest of the ingredients.
Blend on high speed until completely smooth. If using a high-powered blender this will take about 60 seconds. If NOT using a high-powered blender this could take 3 or 4 minutes.
That's it! Scoop it into a bowl and pop it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Makes a Great Camping Recipe!
Calling all campers! This vegan sour cream sauce is WAY more convenient for camping than regular sour cream!
Unlike dairy sour cream, this dairy-free sour cream does not have to be kept as cold. To be clear: it's important to keep vegan sour cream cool (don't set it out in direct sunlight on a 90-degree day and expect it to last long), but it's not necessary to keep it cold.
Like any plant-based whole food, vegan sour cream will spoil if kept at warm temperatures for long stretches of time. But, unlike sour cream made with dairy, vegan sour cream just needs to be kept cool and is safe when left at room temperature for up to 12 hours.
This makes it a great choice for camping trips even if eating vegan food isn't your thing.
Ways to Use Vegan Sour Cream
- Serve it with Black Bean Tomato Soup and with this easy Vegetarian Chili
- Serve it with tacos, tostadas, or nachos made with vegan taco meat and vegan nacho cheese sauce!
- Vegan sour cream is the perfect topping for Tequila Lime Cauliflower Tacos.
- Spoon it over baked potatoes for the best ever vegan loaded baked potatoes!
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Put the cashews in a medium size bowl and add enough boiling water to submerge the nuts completely. Let stand for 15 minutes. (*If you're NOT using a high-powered blender, soak the cashews for 45 minutes.)
- Drain the nuts and dump them into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high speed until completely smooth; at least 60 seconds and as long as 3 or 4 minutes if NOT using a high-powered blender.
- Scoop the sour cream into a bowl and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store leftover sour cream in the refrigerator. The flavor and texture of vegan sour cream are best when used within 48 hours, but it will keep in the refrigerator for 7 days.
- You can leave the cashews soaking for longer than 15 minutes if you wish. They'll be fine left alone in their soaking liquid for up to 12 hours. If soaking for longer than 1 hour, you don't need to start with hot water. Room temperature or even cold water is fine when the cashews will spend a lot of time soaking.
- If you don't have a blender, a food processor can work. The main challenge with a food processor is that the bowl can be too large to fully blend all the ingredients. If you have a small bowl for your food processor, use that. Otherwise, just stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times, or as many times as it takes to create a smooth, fully cohesive mixture.
- Vegan sour cream will keep in the refrigerator unspoiled for up to 7 days. However, I feel that the taste is best within the first 48 hours. For this reason, I rarely make more than the 1 cup this recipe results in. But, there's no reason why you can't double or triple this recipe if you're making food for a crowd. Depending on the size of your blender, you should be able to scale this recipe up to make as much vegan sour cream as you need.
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Serving Size:1 tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 78mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g