Creamy Cashew Jalapeño Sauce (6 Ingredients!)

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Holding a spoonful of creamy cashew jalapeño sauce over a glass jar

Introducing a tasty new sauce for your next taco night or burrito bowl lunch: creamy cashew jalapeño sauce! This subtly spicy, savory sauce comes together with just 6 ingredients and 5 minutes active prep time. 

Inspired by a restaurant called Harlow, it’s a versatile flavor addition to bowls, quesadillas, and so much more! Get ready to level up your next meal. Let us show you how it’s done!

Cashews, limes, salt, nutritional yeast, water, garlic, and jalapeño

Grab these 6 ingredients and it’s creamy jalapeño sauce time: cashews, jalapeño, nutritional yeast, lime, garlic, and salt!

Blender with cashews, nutritional yeast, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, and salt

Soak the cashews to soften and ensure a milder flavor, then add the soaked cashews to a blender. Blend them up with the remaining ingredients plus water. And that’s it!

Holding a tortilla chip coated with cashew jalapeño sauce over a jar

We hope you LOVE this cashew jalapeño sauce! It’s:

Subtly spicy
& SO delicious!

We love it on everything from tortilla chips to bowls, quesadillas, salads, enchiladas, and tacos. It adds a cheesy richness that really brings a meal together!

More Vegan Sauces

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Chili bowl topped with cashew jalapeño sauce

Creamy Cashew Jalapeño Sauce (6 Ingredients!)

A savory, subtly spicy, creamy jalapeño sauce for bowls, tacos, and beyond! Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and just 6 ingredients!
Author Minimalist Baker
Holding a tortilla chip with sauce on it over a glass jar with more sauce
3.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 (~2 Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4-5 Days


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, roughly chopped (1/2 small jalapeño yields ~2 Tbsp or 17 g)
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • Add cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
  • Drain the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients (jalapeño, nutritional yeast, water, lime juice, garlic, and salt). Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust, as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, lime juice for brightness, jalapeño for heat, or salt for overall flavor.
  • Use immediately as a dip or on bowls, quesadillas, salads, enchiladas, tacos, and beyond. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.



*Prep time includes soaking cashews.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of nutritional yeast.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 (two-tablespoon) serving Calories: 71 Carbohydrates: 4.2 g Protein: 2.5 g Fat: 5.4 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 75 mg Potassium: 99 mg Fiber: 0.6 g Sugar: 0.8 g Vitamin A: 4 IU Vitamin C: 3.2 mg Calcium: 5.9 mg Iron: 0.8 mg

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    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Justin, so sorry that was your experience! Would you mind sharing what type of blender you were using? If it’s not a high-powered blender, it may have had trouble breaking down the cashews, which is necessary to thicken it.

  1. Claire says

    This was a tasty drizzle on top of some fajita wraps my husband and I made for dinner, but we found that we had to modify the flavors a bit because it seemed like way too much water. Used lemon juice instead of lime (doubled the amount), close to a whole pepper (maybe because I removed the seeds it wasn’t very spicy?), added garlic powder, and tripled the nutritional yeast (we love its cheesy flavor).The consistency is more like a salad dressing, but we still enjoyed it!

    The good news is that soaking the cashews in boiling water means they were okay in my not-high-speed blender!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Claire, we think a less powerful blender may be the issue because a powerful one breaks down the cashews very thoroughly, allowing more water to be absorbed. Jalapeños can vary in spiciness. We find ones with some white lines are usually spicier. Glad you enjoyed it overall! For next time, starting with less water should help solve some of those issues.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alocasia! We’re not sure about this recipe over pasta, however, we do have a creamy cashew pasta recipe here!

      • SNL says

        Err the linked pasta doesn’t use cashew cream (almond milk and flour to make a white sauce). I had the same question re- what to do with leftovers :)

  2. Genevieve says

    Sooo good, thank you! Perfect to top nachos with. We didn’t have fresh jalapeños, but do have some home-made pickled ones which worked really well as a substitute.

  3. Amber says

    This is a fantastic dip! I did add a little more to it for more of a punch of flavor. I added the zest of the lime I juiced, 2 jalapeños (we like it spicy) and cilantro. All this gave it a nice green color, too. Went very well on top of grilled shrimp tacos!

  4. Dena says

    Can this sauce be frozen? I’ve had great luck freezing cashew-based creams and cream cheese, but the addiction of jalapeno is throwing me off. Most of the time it’s just the two of us, and I love having back-up leftovers in the freezer for those hectic after-work nights. Thanks in advance!

  5. Lauren says

    This reminds me of all the good sauces I would make when I was a raw vegan. I eat everything these days but love a good cashew sauce and happened to have (well most) of the ingredients! I didn’t actually have any more cashews, but decided to use pine nuts which I figure would be a complimentary flavor (it definitely works!). However the water ratio seems off, though maybe it would be different with cashews? Even before blending it seems like too much for how thick the sauce looks in pics. And sure enough post blending, it was just liquid. I didn’t want to add more pine nuts, I ended up using another 3/4 cup of blanched sliced almonds I had. Luckily doubling the nuts like that didn’t bland the flavor TOO much, but if I had another pepper I might have added another half maybe? Still has plenty of good flavor, so no worries, excited to use it on chili and tacos I’m making this week!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Lauren! We hope you enjoy it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Toni, we don’t think walnuts would compliment the other flavors very well. Cashews are super neutral which lets the other flavors shine!

  6. Trina says

    I got up and made a tamale pie for dinner. I saw the post while it was baking and thought, Perfect! I did add some cilantro, we have so much growing now with all the rain we’ve been having. Dinner is done for tonight and this jalapeño sauce will be the star.
    Thank you,

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Trina. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laura, we haven’t tried this without lime juice. You could try leaving it out, if it lacks flavor you could add more garlic or salt.

    • Dena says

      Maybe try a vinegar. I wouldn’t use white vinegar, myself, but perhaps a white wine or champagne vinegar will work.

    • anonymous says

      Lime juice adds acidity as well as flavour so I would use cider vinegar for acidity with a little sweetness from the apples (unlike white wine vinegar which is tart and sharp)