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This spicy cashew dressing is a creamy dressing that is great on salads, grain bowls, or even as a dip! It is vegan, free of added oil, and full of flavor.
Eating a salad is no fun without a delicious dressing! This salad dressing has been my favourite for awhile now and it gets me excited to eat lettuce and a bunch of other vegetables! Without a tasty dressing, I know I wouldn't be able to eat nearly as many vegetables. The best part is that this one is made with healthy whole foods!
This dressing is:
- Free of added oil
- Whole foods plant-based
*For quantities and instructions, scroll to the recipe box below.
Here is everything that you will need to make this tasty spicy cashew dressing:
- Lemon juice
- Cayenne pepper hot sauce (I use Frank’s RedHot Original)
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Ground black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
Tips for making this spicy cashew dressing
- Cashews are the base of this recipe and they are what create the thick, creamy texture. To ensure a smooth sauce, you will either need a great high-powered blender, or you will need to pre-soak the cashews. My Vitamix is amazing at blending up raw cashews without any soaking required, so I recommend this brand or something similar if you like making a lot of nut-based sauces. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you can soak your cashews in a bowl of water for several hours, or you can use boiled water to speed up the process. Just boil some water, pour it over a bowl of cashews, then place an upside down plate over the bowl to trap the heat. Leave this for about 15 minutes and your cashews should be ready to blend.
- This dressing is quite thick, which I love, but you can thin it out if you would like. Just start by adding 2 extra tablespoons of water, and if it still isn’t as thin as you’d like it, add more water in very small increments.
- This dressing recipe includes 1 tablespoon of Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce. I recommend this specific brand because it’s what the recipe was tested with and yields a nice taste and spice level. If you can’t find it, you could try substituting with a similar hot sauce, but make sure it isn’t too spicy.
How spicy is this dressing?
This cashew dressing has a mild-medium spice level. I’m not one to enjoy anything super spicy, and I love this dressing, so I know it isn’t too hot! Someone who loves really spicy foods may find this more on the mild side, while others may consider it quite spicy, but most people will be able to handle this just fine.
If you want this dressing to be even more spicy, add some more crushed red pepper. That’s where the spice in this recipe really comes from. If you choose to add more, add it in very small increments because the spice level will increase quickly with a very small amount.
How to use this dressing
This dressing is not just for a green salad! Here are some ideas on how to use it:
- Salads, but not just leafy greens! You can use this spicy cashew dressing on broccoli salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, bean salad, etc.
- Grain bowls: rice and veggie bowls, quinoa bowls, etc.
- Veggie dip! This dressing is thick enough to use as a dip for a variety of vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, celery, cucumber, and more.
- Chip dip. I love having this with tortilla chips!
- Pizza dip (this dressing is seriously delicious with some pizza).
Other oil-free dressings:
Spicy Cashew Dressing
- High-powered blender
- 1 cup cashews
- ¾ cups water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (or a similar hot sauce)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon capers
- Soak your cashews if you don’t have a high powered blender. See note below.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
I was buying a similar product from Trader Joes, but they discontinued it. I was bummed, so I Googled and found this recipe. It's close enough to what I was buying that I wouldn't buy it again even if I could. It's so good. I have made it twice. The second time I doubled the hot sauce. It still isn't hot enough for me, but I'll just had more red pepper flakes next time. It's so good and I love that I can whip it up whenever I need more. Awesome sauce, literally.
Sounds really great how,many calories does it have?
Hi, Melanie! I don't always include calories because they will depend on precision of measurements, but 2 tablespoons of this dressing should be approximately 75 calories. I hope this helps!
This was really nice and easy to make, unlike many of the other cashew dressing recipes out there. I did add a splash of soy sauce to deepen the flavor. Thanks Melanie!
I mean Bree!!!