This easy, 5 ingredient vegan sour cream recipe is tangy, creamy and a perfect substitute for regular dairy sour cream!
Ah, homemade, tangy, creamy sour cream! What could be better to have on hand this winter to serve with your warming chilis, burrito bowls and baked potatoes?!
I’ve been obsessed with this homemade, 5-ingredient vegan sour cream and I hope you love it as much as we do!
What is sour cream?
Think of sour cream as, well, soured cream. Regular sour cream is a dairy product which has been exposed to certain types of lactic acid bacteria causing it to ferment and turn sour and become thick.
How do you make sour cream?
In the past sour cream was made by skimming the cream off the top of milk and allowing it to sit at a moderate temperature until it turned sour. You can also make sour cream by mixing heavy cream, milk and lemon juice (or vinegar) together and allowing that mixture to ferment and thicken for about 24 hours. The cream and milk may have separated, so simply stir everything back together before chilling in the fridge and enjoying.
Different kinds of vegan sour cream:
In addition to the vegan cashew sour cream that I’m going to show you how to make today, there are quite a few store-bought brands of sour cream which you can purchase. I’ll list some of those brands below!
- Follow Your Heart Dairy Free Sour Cream
- Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
- Wayfare Dairy Free Sour Cream
- Tesco Free From Sour Cream
How do you make dairy-free cashew sour cream?
Today I’m showing you how to make your own homemade sour cream using just 5 simple ingredients, all of which you probably already have in your pantry. The ingredients you’ll need to make this vegan sour cream are:
- 1 cup raw, whole, unsalted cashews
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup filtered water
To make the vegan cashew sour cream, start by soaking 1 cup of cashews. There are three ways to do this (see below!). After your cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them and place them in a blender. Add in the remaining ingredients, starting with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt for saltiness or lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for tanginess. Chill and serve!
3 ways to soak cashews
To make the sour cream, you need to start by soaking your cashews. There are three ways you can do this.
OVERNIGHT METHOD: 8 hours before you plan to make your cashew sour cream, place 1 cup of cashews into a bowl and cover them with room temperature water. Place the cashews in the fridge to soak overnight or for 8 hours. After 8 hours you can drain, rinse and use the cashews.
HOT WATER METHOD: If you don’t have 8 hours, you can bring a pot of water to a boil, pour in the cashews, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow the cashews to soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, rinse and use as needed.
BOILING METHOD: If you are really pressed for time, you can boil the cashews for 15 minutes. Then carefully drain and rinse the cashews before using.
What are good substitutes for sour cream?
There are quite a few dairy and non-dairy substitutes for sour cream, which can come in handy when you’re in a pinch or forgot to get sour cream from the store. All of these options work best in different cooking and baking scenarios. Some of these substitutions are thick and creamy and closely mimic sour cream, while others are thinner and more runny and can only be substituted for dressing and sauces.
Dairy sour cream substitutes
- Greek Yogurt: Thick and tangy
- Cottage Cheese: Soft and creamy
- Crème Fraîche: Thick and cheesy
- Buttermilk: Thin and tangy
Non-dairy sour cream substitutes
All of these dairy-free substitutions can be blended with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt (plus water to thin if needed) to produce a creamy, tangy sour cream substitute.
- Coconut Cream: Thick and creamy
- Cashews: Buttery and smooth
- Silken Tofu: Silky and smooth
Is sour cream healthy?
I’ll never claim that a certain food is healthy or unhealthy. I believe that we all have different bodies and nutritional needs. Certain foods may make someone feel amazing, while causing an allergic reaction in others. I used to be so black and white when it came to health and food. Kale is good. Cake is bad. Now I believe that all foods can play a part in a healthy diet and lifestyle. It really is all about moderation!
What can I do with sour cream?
Sour cream is a delicious, versatile condiment that can be included in both sweet and savory recipes. It can add richness to cakes and muffins and makes for a rich and tangy topping for chilis and burrito bowls. Below I’ll share some of my favorite meals to top with sour cream as well as some recipes that use sour cream.
- Loaded baked potatoes
- Pancakes and crepes
- Twice baked potatoes
- Chocolate sour cream frosting
- Sour cream biscuits
- Potato salad
- Sandwich spreads
- Veggie dip
- Muffins and cakes
How to store cashew sour cream
This homemade cashew sour cream can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for a week. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to a month. If you do plan to freeze your sour cream, I recommend freezing it in 2-6 portions so that you can thaw smaller amounts at a time when needed.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted, whole cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- PREP: Place the cashews into a bowl and cover them with room temperature water. Allow the cashews to soak in the fridge overnight or for about 8 hours.
- SOUR CREAM: Once your cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them and place them into a blender with the remaining ingredients, starting with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as necessary.
- Taste and add more salt for saltiness or lemon juice/apple cider vinegar for a more tangy, sour kick.
- STORE: Pour the sour cream into a jar and seal it with a lid. Place it in the fridge. This sour cream can be stored for in the fridge for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. If you plan to freeze the sour cream, I recommend freezing it in smaller portions so you thaw a smaller amount as needed.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate provided by Nutrionix and should be used for informational purposes only.
More homemade vegan condiments
If you enjoyed this vegan sour cream recipe and want to try your hand at making more staple condiments at home, be sure to check out the recipes below!