Vegan Spicy Cashew Dressing made with simple pantry ingredients is the most delicious salad dressing you’ll make. This oil free salad dressing is savory, spicy, light and zingy!
With only seven easy and natural ingredients, this is such a clean and delicious dairy free spicy dressing! It’s a perfect Trader Joe’s copycat, is quite similar to the Sweetgreen spicy cashew dressing, and is also made with cashew butter. Plus, this dressing has no oil in it, making it an even healthier salad dressing!
My favorite way to use spicy cashew dressing is as a dressing sauce combo with soba noodles. You can use it on your fave salad or with your favorite proteins (delicious with salmon or on top of burgers!). If you love copycat salad dressings, you may also love my Mexican caesar dressing inspired by Chopt.
Adding clean, homemade sauces and dressings is a foolproof (and CHEAP!) way to start with clean eating. My mom is known for making my Lemon Chive Dressing at least once each week, but I’m more of a homemade Vegan Buffalo Sauce kind of gal!
This recipe is:
- Creamy: with roasted cashew butter, this dressing is creamy and light.
- Oil-Free Salad Dressing: this dressing is oil free, making it a healthier option.
- Easy: blend this spicy vegan salad dressing in a blender or food processor within minutes.
Cashew Butter - cashew butter is the way to get the buttery flavor and texture! I love using homemade cashew butter because it comes out much less expensive per serving, and you can control the salt/oil level. If using store-bought cashew butter, I recommend using one without additional oils. Substitute for peanut butter or almond butter.
Coconut Aminos - A cleaner substitute for soy sauce and is gluten free. Substitute for gluten-free tamari or gluten-free soy sauce.
Limes - I highly suggest squeezing the juice from fresh limes to avoid the preservatives used in most bottled lime juices. Substitute for lemon juice.
Sriracha - What gives this cashew dressing it’s spicy flavor. Use sriracha or substitute for Sambal Oelek (a favorite, which is an Indonesian hot sauce). Avoid purchasing sriracha that uses guar gum or natural flavors.
Maple Syrup - Helps balance out the spices in this spicy sauce. Substitute for honey (non-vegan option).
Water - Instead of adding any oils, this oil free dressing uses water. I suggest filtered water if you can!
Making your own creamy cashew butter really takes this dressing to the next level!
Making your own spicy cashew dressing is literally one of the easiest things you will do! Especially because this is not a raw cashew dressing, so you don't have to overnight soak cashews for this creamy salad goodness!
You’ll simply add all ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor .
Then, blend until smooth.
Once smooth, you’ll pour into an airtight jar or container and store in the fridge. Or use immediately!
How to Store
This vegan cashew dressing does have to be refrigerated. This keeps it fresh for longer.
Store in an airtight jar or container with a lid. Keep in the fridge for up to ten days.
How to Use Spicy Cashew Dressing
Spicy cashew dressing can be used as a flavorful dressing for salads, a dip for vegetables and meat, or as a sauce for grain bowls or wraps. Its creamy and spicy flavor adds a punch to any dish!
While this creamy dressing is so good you can lick it from the spoon, there are so many ways you can use it up! Here are some of my faves:
- To drizzle on grain bowls or buddha bowls, especially those with roasted sweet potato.
- Pour on salads, especially those with thicker greens like kale or cabbage that can take on a lot of flavor. Pair with green onions, roasted chopped cashews
- On top of roasted vegetables like roasted potatoes or roasted carrots.
- As a dip for carrots, cucumbers, sliced bell pepper, or celery.
- As a dressing on my gluten-free Soba Noodle Salad.
- Make a DIY Pad Thai salad dressing for your own crunchy Thai salad.
- Add flavor to a black bean salad.
- On top of a sliced avocado for a hot snack.
- Make your own Sweet Greens Salad
- On top of proteins like tofu, seitan, steak, pork tenderloin or pork chops, chicken, salmon, or shrimp
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use raw cashew butter as a substitute for raw, soaked cashews. When subbing for the raw cashew butter, use half of the amount needed of whole nuts. So, if the recipe requires 1 cup, use ½ cup of cashew butter.
Absolutely! The spiciness of this dressing can be adjusted by adding more or less sriracha and by using additional red pepper flakes. Start with a small amount and gradually add more if desired, tasting as you go.
Yes, spicy cashew dressing is suitable for vegans as it is made with plant-based ingredients. However, always double-check the specific brands of ingredients used to ensure they align with your dietary preferences.
Other Dressings and Salads
Spicy Cashew Dressing (Oil Free!)
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ cup cashew butter
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 6 tablespoons sriracha
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add all ingredients into the blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into an airtight jar or container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or use immediately.