Creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce

This vegan Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce recipe is so deliciously creamy, you won’t believe it is only four ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to make.

About the Recipe

This is a vegan recipe. Is Zested Lemon a vegan blog? No, but we love vegan recipes. Especially if they taste as good as this one!

With a good quality blender, this recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make with only a handful of easy ingredients.

The cashews make this sauce so smooth and creamy but light at the same time. One of my favorite things about this recipe is the smell because it is so fragrant. Good golly miss Molly! The wonderful aroma of the garlic and lemon blended together with the cashews is to die for. It tastes just as good as it smells. YUM!

Helpful Hints

Do I have to soak cashews? 

Nope! A high powered/high quality blender will make a creamy smooth sauce without soaking cashews. Blenders from Ninja, Vitamix and Blendtec will get the job done. If you don’t have a high powered blender, no problem! Just soak your cashews before blending!

Why do you soak cashews?

Soaking cashews helps to soften them. This makes blending easier and ensures you have a smooth creamy sauce regardless of quality of blender used.

How long should I soak cashews? 

Soaking cashews for 2-4 hours is sufficient. Cashews can be soaked overnight but it is possible to over soak them. Over soaked cashews can lead to slimy water and a bitter flavor.

How do you soften cashews quickly?

If you are short on time, soak cashews for 15 minutes in very hot (but not boiling) water. The higher temperature will soften them quicker. 

Ways to Use Cashew Sauce

1. As a Salad Dressing

2. As a Dip for Veggies and Protein

3. As a Sauce for Grain Bowls

Other Sauce Recipes to Try

How to Make Creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce (40 sec)

Creamy lemon garlic cashew sauce being poured on salad.

Creamy Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
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This vegan Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce recipe is so deliciously creamy, you won’t believe it is only four ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes to make. 


  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  • Blend: Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth (about a minute).* Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge until needed.


*A high quality/powerful blender (eg. Vitamix, Ninja, etc.) will get you a smooth and creamy consistency. If you do not have a powerful blender, soak the cashews in water for 2 hours before blending. This will soften the cashews and make the sauce nice and creamy regardless of blender used. 


Serving: 2Tbsp. | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Have you tried this recipe? Let me know what you think! Rate this recipe and leave a comment below.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The simplest recipes are always the best! Loved this! No modifications needed! Sautéed some onions, broccolini, mushrooms and added penne noodles, squeezed extra lemon juice on top with some pepper flakes and it was top-notch pasta! Better than any fettuccine from a restaurant!

  2. 5 stars
    I am so glad I found this recipe a few months back. I tweak it a little ( half the amount of oil and double lemon and garlic instead) and it makes the perfect dipping sauce for fresh veggies. My kids love it as a side to broccoli patties and a dip for baked sweet potatoes also

  3. 5 stars
    I used this sauce recipe to change up my boring chicken breast. It added so much flavor and depth to a bland chicken breast. The lemon is my favorite.