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 than to have vegan sour cream on hand this winter to serve with your warming vegan pumpkin chili, 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! If you love spice, you definitely need to check out my Vegan Chipotle Mayo!
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.
Sour cream is often used as a condiment for soup, chili and taco bowls.
It's also a great ingredient to use in baking!
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.
In addition to the vegan cashew sour cream that I'm going to show you how to make today, there are a couple store-bought brands of sour cream which you can purchase.
How Do You Make Vegan Sour Cream?
Today I'm showing you how to make your own homemade vegan sour cream using just 5 simple ingredients, all of which you probably already have in your pantry.
- 1 cup raw, whole, unsalted cashews
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup filtered water
Step 1: To make the vegan cashew sour cream, start by soaking 1 cup of cashews. There are three ways to do this - using the overnight method, hot water method, or boiling method (see below!).
Step 2: After your cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them and place them in a blender.
Step 3: Add in the remaining ingredients, starting with just ¼ teaspoon of salt, and blend until smooth.
Step 5: 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.
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.
If you are really pressed for time, you can boil the cashews for 15 minutes. Then carefully drain and rinse the cashews before using.
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?
Sour cream in moderation is perfectly healthy. Nuts, such as the cashews in this recipe, are nutrient dense and are a great source of healthy fats.
Cashews are highly caloric, so people who are concerned about their weight will want to eat sour cream in 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
This homemade vegan 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.
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!
- Homemade Ketchup
- Homemade Peanut Butter
- Simple Chocolate Syrup
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Sweet Chili Sauce
Vegan Sour Cream Recipe
- 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.
- Once your cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them and place them into a blender with the remaining ingredients, starting with just ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as necessary.
- Pour the sour cream into a jar and seal it with a lid. Place it in the fridge.