This cashew mayonnaise recipe is easy to make and creates a rich, creamy sauce, dip or spread. It’s a tasty, nutritious and whole-food alternative to traditional mayonnaise or other vegan mayo recipes.
Use it on sandwiches, wraps, burgers, toast or in any dip recipe that calls for mayo!
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Cashew Mayo Ingredients and Substitutions
With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of cashew mayo for meal prep or whenever you have soaked cashews on hand.
- Cashews: To start the recipe, you’ll need to soak raw cashews in water overnight. Raw cashews have a neutral flavor which helps this recipe taste more like mayonnaise (as opposed to roasted or dry roasted cashews which create a sauce with a distinct cashew flavor).
- Lemon juice: Mayo is a tangy condiment. To add that flavor, I use lemon juice in this recipe. If you prefer, use 1 tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar in place of the lemon juice. Vinegar is traditionally used when making mayonnaise and adds a stronger tangy flavor compared to the more subtle, citrusy lemon juice.
- Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is a flaky, yellow spice that adds a cheesy, nutty flavor to the mayo. It is completely different from baking or brewing yeast, and you should use only nutritional yeast for this recipe. This ingredient is optional but adds a great depth of flavor to the mayo, making it supremely rich and flavorful.
- Salt: Raw cashews have a subtle flavor, so some salt really enhances the taste of this recipe and creates an irresistibly delicious sauce.
- Dijon mustard: A touch of Dijon mustard also helps add flavor to this mayo recipe. While this is optional, I recommend it if you enjoy a slight mustard flavor. If you don’t like or don’t have Dijon, any type of mustard should work for this recipe.
- Garlic and onion powder: To make this mayo incredibly delicious as-is, I like to add a small amount of garlic and onion powder. These are technically optional but enhance the recipe’s flavor. Check out my garlic mayo recipe if you want mayonnaise that’s loaded with garlic!
- Water: Some liquid thins out the mayo and helps it blend more easily. You could use the cashew soaking liquid or plant-based milk if you prefer. If you like a super tangy mayo, extra lemon juice can work too.
How to Make Vegan Mayo with Cashews
This is an easy cashew mayonnaise recipe to make with only two simple steps.
Step 1: Soak Cashews
This recipe requires soaked cashews. Even if you have a high-powered blender that can blend unsoaked cashews, this mayo relies on liquid absorbed by the cashews to work. Do not skip this step!
The cashews are best if you soak them in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours). Otherwise, soak them in boiling water for at least 1 hour. To do this, pour boiling water over the cashews and let them sit until the water cools off, then drain the cold water away and pour over more freshly boiled water (2-3 rounds of hot water, soaked for 15-20 minutes each round).
Step 2: Blend, Chill and Serve
When your cashews are fully soaked, drain away the soaking water (you can save some for blending if you like).
Then, add the drained cashews and all other ingredients into a SMALL blender.
I tried this recipe with a small food processor, and it didn’t work (never became fully smooth). I also tried this recipe in my full-sized Vitamix blender, and a single batch of mayo wasn’t enough to get it blending properly (I had to make a double batch for it to blend in my Vitamix).
Only use a small blender for this recipe, unless you make a double batch. Luckily, you can freeze this mayo, which makes double or even triple batches a worthwhile use of your time.
Blend until the mayo is ultra smooth and creamy. This may take a few of minutes depending on how powerful your blender is.
You can technically serve this right away, but it’s best cold. I highly recommend refrigerating your cashew mayo for an hour or so before using.
Plant-based Mayo Variations
This recipe creates a tasty plant-based mayo that you can use the same way as traditional mayo. While it’s a delicious recipe, it doesn’t taste exactly like traditional mayo.
If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to traditional mayo, that tastes exactly like the non-vegan version, check out my recipe for vegan mayonnaise.
There are also so many ways to spice your mayo. Some of my favorites include:
How to Refrigerate and Freeze Cashew Mayo
Refrigerate extra cashew mayonnaise in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It’s likely to last longer than this, but I haven’t tested exactly how long.
You may also freeze this recipe in a freezer-safe container for a few months. To thaw, simply place in your fridge overnight and use the next day.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
- Small blender or food processor
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked (140 grams before soaking)*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 millilitres)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder , optional
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder , optional
- 6 tablespoons water , more if needed to blend (90 millilitres)
Step 1: Soak Cashews
- Soak your cashews overnight in the fridge.1 cup raw cashews
- You can also quick-soak them by covering the cashews with boiling water. Let soak 15-20 minutes, until the water is cold, then drain the water and pour over more freshly boiled water and soak another 15-20 minutes. Repeat one more time if needed.
Step 2: Blend, Chill and Serve
- Drain the cashews and add them to a SMALL blender. A full-sized blender only works with a double batch.1 cup raw cashews
- Add the other ingredients.2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, 6 tablespoons water
- Blend until ultra smooth and creamy.
- This recipe is best served cold, so I highly recommend chilling your mayo for at least an hour in the fridge before serving.
More Vegan Condiment Recipes
Like this recipe? You should also try:
About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.
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