I had my first experience with a cashew-based sauce last year when Monique made her famous vegan mac & cheese (btw hi, it’s Abra!) Not gonna lie, I was a little skeptical at first. I personally find cashew butter a bit tasteless unless it’s baked in something, so I figured the vegan cashew cheese sauce would have the same effect.
Fast-forward a year and I dream about that creamy, flavorful mac and cheese regularly. So when Monique told me she wanted to make some sort of spicy cashew dip I could hardly contain my excitement.
Thus, this easy, vegan, spicy green cashew dip of my dreams was born.
What’s in this spicy green cashew dip?
This incredible vegan cashew dip is made with 5 super simple ingredients plus water and a little salt & pepper, for good measure. You’ll blend the following ingredients up in a food processor or high powered blender:
- Raw cashews: these give the sauce it’s silk, creamy texture after they’re soaked! And its name, of course. I do recommend using completely raw cashews rather than any that have been salted or flavored so that you can control the flavor & level of salt yourself.
- Cilantro: fresh cilantro makes this spicy cashew dip GREEN and adds a delicious freshness to every bite. #teamcilantro
- Jalapeño: we want a nice kick of heat in this spicy green cashew dip — enter one fresh jalapeño. Feel free to keep the seeds in if you like things extra spicy!
- Garlic: I love garlic, you love garlic, we all love garlic. Three cloves of the goods in here.
- Fresh lime juice: this adds just a bit of tang and brings out the freshness of the cilantro and jalapeño. We actually first left it out but found that it was the perfect addition to these flavors.
Ways to use this spicy green cashew dip:
I could probably think of 100 ways to use this deliciously flavorful cashew dip but I’ll cap it at all of the ways I personally tried it:
- As pictured, this recipe makes the perfect vegan dip for your favorite raw veggies and crackers. I tried it with carrots, cucumbers, raw broccoli and raw cauliflower (so adventurous) plus some seedy paleo crackers and it was AMAZING. It would be perfect with our vegan charcuterie board here!
- On pasta! For reals. If you’ve tried our vegan mac & cheese or even just our vegan cashew cheese sauce you’re going to love this spicy, herby twist. I drizzled it (okay, poured it) on Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and honestly I don’t think I can ever put anything on gnocchi ever again. It would be delicious in this pasta salad or other recipes in lieu of pesto!
- As a dip or spread for tacos and sandwiches. Okay YUM add a drizzle to your fav tacos and be sure to include it in your taco bar. It would also be incredible as a hummus-esque spread for your fav sandwich. Jazz up your go-to turkey or pile high on a yummy veggie sandwich.
If it seems like this might be the most versatile vegan cashew dip of your dreams that’s because it is. I truly loved it with everything I tried it on — even just adding a bit to grilled chicken in a little buddha bowl (my go-to). It makes plenty for using throughout the week, and I found myself not needing to buy my weekly tub of plain old hummus.
Also, if it seems like all I did was find things to eat with this green goodness for a whole week IT’S TRUE and I’m not mad.
We hope you love this delicious spicy green cashew dip and find some fun, creative ways to use it! If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below so others know how you liked it! xo.
Spicy Green Cashew Dip
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed (you can keep the seeds in if you like it nice and spicy!)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup fresh water
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
First, soak the raw cashews in 4 cups of warm water for at least 2 hours, otherwise you can place them in a large bowl, then add 4 cups of boiling water and let the cashews soak in the hot water for approximately 45 minutes to speed up the process.
Once ready to make the sauce, drain the cashews, then add them to a high powered blender along with cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, fresh water, salt and pepper. Blend until a thick sauce comes together, adding more water to thin and salt to taste as necessary. Serve with plantain chips, radishes, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers. Also great as a sandwich spread, on quinoa, as a dressing for a buddha bowl, on top of grilled chicken, stirred into pasta and so much more!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats