Vegan Spicy Cashew Dressing made with simple pantry ingredients is the most delicious sauce you’ll make. This oil free and vinegar 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!).
People often think a salad is the healthiest thing you can eat, but most times salad dressings can be high calorie and filled with tons of processed ingredients. So they’re so much better when made at home, AND they take no time to make them!
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:
- 7 Ingredients
- 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.
- Coconut Aminos - A cleaner substitute for soy sauce.
- Limes - I highly suggest squeezing the juice from fresh limes to avoid the preservatives used in most bottled lime juices.
- Red Chili Paste / Sriracha - What gives this cashew sauce 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).
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 no overnight soaking of cashews for this creamy salad goodness!
You’ll simply add all ingredients into the blender.
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.
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.
How to Use Cashew Dressing
While this vegan dressing is so good you can lick it from the spoon, there are so many ways you can use it up!
To drizzle on buddha bowls, especially those with sweet potatoes
Salads, especially those with Kale or Cabbage that can handle the heat
On top of roasted vegetables like roasted potatoes or roasted carrots
As a dip for carrots, cucumbers, sliced bell pepper, or celery
DIY Pad Thai Salad dressing
To spruce up 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
Other Dressings and Salads
- Grapefruit Salad Dressing
- Fresh Mexican Avocado Salad
- Easy Asian Cucumber Salad
- Lemon Chive Salad Dressing
- Tajín Watermelon Mint Salad
- Dill Mustard Salad Dressing
Spicy Cashew Dressing (Oil Free!)
- Blender or Food Processor
- ⅓ cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Cashew Butter
- ¼ cup Lime Juice
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro
- 2-4 tablespoons Red Chili Paste / Sriracha (2 for mild, up to 4 for hot)
- 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup
- Salt to taste
- Red Pepper Flakes to taste, optional
- Add all ingredients into the blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into an airtight jar or container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or use immediately.
I’m curious why this can only be kept for ten days. Trader Joe’s brand has around two months out on it. It looks like the ingredients are exactly the same. What would make theirs more stable? Is there additional processing? It’s not “canned.”
Hi Sue! Thank you so much for your question! The biggest difference is that Trader Joe’s dressing contains xanthan gum which prolonges shelf life. Of course, if after ten days/two weeks the dressing still smells and looks fresh, you may find it still tastes fresh, too. Use your best discretion!