This vegan sour cream recipe is as easy as it is delicious! In 10 minutes, you can turn 6 simple ingredients into a thick and creamy dairy free spread to use in a variety of recipes.
It’s great for almost any Mexican-inspired dish, on baked potatoes or any of your favorites that can use a punch of extra flavor and healthy fat.
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Is Sour Cream Vegan?
Almost all commercially prepared sour cream products are not vegan. Sour cream is a dairy product which is not suitable for vegans.
That’s not to say it’s impossible to find sour creams that do not contain dairy, but depending on where you live it can be quite challenging to find a plant-based sour cream.
In lieu of dairy, vegan sour creams are typically made from nuts (cashews or almonds) and/ or tofu. These ingredients provide most of the volume of the vegan sour cream while also offering a good source of protein and fat. Together, these proteins and fats will help create a creamy and satisfying sour cream with lots of flavor.
With a few other flavor boosters like nutritional yeast and tang from lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, it’s easy to create a delicious homemade cashew and tofu sour cream.
Vegan Sour Cream Ingredients
To create a rich, thick and creamy vegan sour cream recipe, you’ll need to combine 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor until you’ve reached a smooth consistency.
- Cashews: Once soaked in water, dry roasted cashews become soft and easy to blend into a mild yet satisfying sour cream. Cashews are the ingredient that makes for a rich and creamy sauce.
- Tofu: Using tofu is a nice addition to vegan sour cream. It provides more volume to the final product along with great nutrition including plant-based protein, fat and calcium. If using silken tofu, you may not need as much water when blending (vs a firm tofu that may need a bit of water to get blending nicely).
- Nutritional yeast: Bringing some much needed flavor and a boost of B vitamins to your vegan sour cream, nutritional yeast (even in a small quantity) can really enhance the taste.
- Lemon juice: Using juice from half of a lemon (about 2 tbsp) can really brighten and enhance other flavors in this recipe. A little goes a long way to ensure the lemon flavor doesn’t overpower the creaminess!
- Apple cider vinegar: Vegan dairy substitutes typically require acidity to mimic the flavor you’d expect. While lemon juice certainly brings some of this acidity, a small amount of apple cider vinegar provides a depth of flavor that makes this recipe unforgettable!
- Salt: Add salt to taste (about ¾ tsp) as it helps further enhance other flavors and bring out the “sourness” from your vegan sour cream!
- Water: While technically a 7th ingredient on this list, water may or may not be needed to achieve a desired consistency. About ¼ C of water will help the other ingredients blend well while keeping other flavors more prominent than if other liquid was used. Add more or less to reach your desired consistency.
Why this Recipe Works: Tofu and Cashews
Many vegan sour cream recipes use cashews or other nuts with nutritional yeast and salt. However, there’s one ingredient I think is often missing - tofu! I add tofu to vegan dairy substitutes, like this sour cream, for extra plant-based protein, healthy fat and calcium!
While this recipe isn’t the best source of calcium, every little bit counts!
More commonly used, cashews are amazing because they soften up well when soaked, which makes blending them into creamy dairy-like products easier. They have a very mild flavor, but high fat content, so they work well as a base for dairy substitutes.
How to Make Vegan Sour Cream
This homemade vegan sour cream recipe is incredibly simple to make!
If you have the ingredients readily available and your blender or food processor ready to use, then all it takes is 10 minutes to whip together an unbelievably delicious add-in for many meals.
Step 1: Soak Cashews in Water
There are two methods for softening your cup of cashews. If you plan to make your homemade vegan sour cream for a meal later in the week, you may prefer to soak cashew with water in an airtight jar or container overnight. This offers time for the cashews to absorb water and soften.
If you’re in more of a rush and plan to serve the sour cream within a couple of hours, then you may prefer to boil water on the stove or in a kettle and pour that hot water over the cashews. With this method, the cashews will soften much more quickly and can be ready to use within 5 minutes.
Use whatever technique works best for you and whatever fits your kitchen routines most comfortably.
Step 2: Combine Ingredients in a Blender or Food Processor
When your cashews have softened, add them to your blender or food processor, then add in the other ingredients. Keep ¼ cup of water around so that as these ingredients blend, you can add more liquid and achieve your desired consistency.
A high-speed blender is ideal and can create a thicker sour cream, but if you don’t have one, this can work in a normal blender with the addition of extra water. Food processors can work if you don’t have a blender or if you use a lower-powered blender and struggle to get a smooth consistency.
If using a food processor, it will take some time but just keep scraping down the edges and blending until it’s smooth, creamy and delicious!
How to Modify & Use Your Tofu and Cashew Sour Cream
If you don’t like cashews, or are allergic, the next best nut to choose is almonds. You can buy blanched almonds, where the brown skin is removed, and substitute for the cashews.
Other than substituting the nuts, I recommend sticking to the recipe since it’s relatively simple and creates a thick, creamy and delicious vegan sour cream every time!
- Crab cakes
- Tzatziki sauce
- Jackfruit fajitas
- Black bean dip
- Quinoa tacos
- Sweet potato kale burritos
Tortilla chips are also delicious dipped directly into this vegan sour cream, so do whatever works best for you and get creative!
How to Refrigerate Cashew Sour Cream
You can double the quantity this recipe makes to ensure you have some around for a couple meals (if you cook for lots of people – it makes plenty for just one or two!). If you have extra around after your first meal with it, simply store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days.
I have not tried to freeze this tofu cashew sour cream, but also do not recommend it. Water content from the tofu and added water to help blending may separate in the freeze/thaw process and lead to issues. Not to worry – it’s super quick and easy to create a new batch when you want more!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Sour Cream with Tofu and Cashews
- Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or in hot/boiling water for at least 10 minutes to soften thoroughly.1 cup cashews
- Drain cashews from water and place in blender or food processor.
- Add remaining ingredients and begin blending.80-100 grams extra firm tofu, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, ¾ teaspoon salt
- If needed, add water in small amounts while blending to achieve desired consistency.¼ cup water
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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.