Easy Vegan Avocado Crema

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Bowl of avocado crema next to cilantro, avocado, lime juice, and salt

Look out tacos and enchiladas, there’s a new condiment in town! This avocado crema is SO delicious and endlessly versatile! We’ve been enjoying it for years and decided it needed its own dedicated space on the blog. With a few tweaks to maximize flavor and ensure success every time, it’s here!

This crema is bright, fresh, perfectly rich and creamy, and plant-based, too! Bonus points? It only requires 25 minutes, 6 ingredients, and 1 blender. Let’s do this thing!

Avocado, cashews, limes, garlic, cilantro, salt, and water

What is Avocado Crema?

Avocado crema is a creamy, slightly tangy dip or sauce starring avocado. It’s similar to guacamole but is extra smooth, creamy, and lightened up. We love it for topping tacos, bowls, and more!

While it’s most commonly made with sour cream, the following is our inspired take relying on plant-based, whole food ingredients.

How to Make Avocado Crema

This 6-ingredient vegan avocado crema relies on creamy cashews and tangy lime juice as a substitute for sour cream.

First, we soak the cashews in hot water to soften them and create a more neutral flavor (a trick we learned when experimenting with cashew cream). Then the soaked cashews go into a blender with ripe avocado, fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, and water.

Blender with cashews, avocado, garlic, cilantro, salt, and lime juice

All that’s left is blending it up until you’ve got super creamy avocado crema. Swoon!

Using a powerful blender like a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or Blendtec will ensure the cashews blend into a smooth consistency. You can find our blender review here to learn how different blenders perform.

Smooth and creamy avocado crema in a blender

We hope you LOVE this avocado crema! It’s:

Creamy
Bright
Fresh
Versatile
Plant-based
& SO Delicious!

It’s best when fresh but will keep for up to a couple days before the avocado turns slightly brown. Try it on our Enchilada-Stuffed Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, Black Bean Plantain Enchilada Bake, Chipotle Tofu Chilaquiles, Sweet Potato Black Bean Tamales, Smoky BBQ Bean Tacos, and more!

More Delicious Avocado Recipes

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!

Avocado crema drizzled over enchiladas

Easy Vegan Avocado Crema

Creamy, bright avocado crema made with 6 whole food ingredients! Plant-based, SO versatile, and just 25 minutes and 1 blender required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 (~1/4-Cup Servings)
Course Dip, Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 small-medium ripe avocado (1 small-medium avocado yields ~3/4 cup or 113 g measured after pitting/peeling)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice (1 lime yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cup water (plus more if needed)

Instructions

  • Add the cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by a few inches. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the water and add the soaked cashews to a small blender* with the avocado, cilantro, lime juice (starting with the lesser amount), garlic, salt, and water (starting with the lesser amount). Blend until creamy and smooth, adding more water 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) at a time as needed to encourage blending.
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more salt to taste, lime juice for tanginess, or garlic for zing.
  • Serve on enchiladas, chilaquiles, tamales, tacos, and more!
  • Best when fresh. Leftover sauce will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, but the color will become darker. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*We tested this recipe in both a Nutribullet and Vitamix 5200 (this model has a narrow base) and both worked well.
*Adapted from our Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas.
*Prep time includes soaking cashews.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 quarter-cup serving Calories: 100 Carbohydrates: 5.8 g Protein: 2.5 g Fat: 8.3 g Saturated Fat: 1.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 101 mg Potassium: 199 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 0.8 g Vitamin A: 92 IU Vitamin C: 4 mg Calcium: 9 mg Iron: 0.8 mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

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  1. The Vegan Goddess says

    This looks fabulous! I love avocado and all of the iterations with it and will be making this recipe sooner than later.

    The featured Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas looks like a must as well.

    You’re so inspirational!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you so much for your kind words! We hope you love both recipes! xo

  2. Dihann Rothman says

    Curious if you have a suggestion for replacing the cashews if someone has a sensitivity to them?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dihann, we’d suggest either using more avocado or replacing the cashews with dairy-free sour cream and using less lime juice. Hope that helps!

  3. Kay says

    Could almond or pecan meal work instead of cashews?
    I can’t get cashews, but occasionally have one of the other.

    I was thinking sunflower seeds, but every single brand I’ve seen says, “made on equipment with…,” & I always have a bad reaction. Which is sad, cause I like sunflower (& pumpkin) seeds. Need companies to stop making everything on shared (& apparently) dirty equipment. Then I can enjoy more of recipes like this. Except for the garlic, which I will replace with onion, it sounds lovely. May add some nutritional yeast, pepper, and smoked paprika… hmmm.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kay, we don’t think it will have the same creaminess with almond or pecan meal. We’d suggest either using more avocado or replacing the cashews with dairy-free sour cream and using less lime juice. Hope that helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Denice, we’d suggest either using more avocado or replacing the cashews with dairy-free sour cream and using less lime juice. Hope that helps!

  4. Maridee Bell says

    I am among the 20% of the population that is genetically predisposed so that cilantro tastes like soap. Has anyone tried this with parsley instead?

  5. Kathi says

    This looks really good; however, without reading the entire article, would you kindly be more specific about “hot water?” Does this mean hottest tap water or heated on the stove? (I need recipes to be idiot proof!) Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kathi, the temperature of the water isn’t super important and either the hottest tap water or water heated on the stove will work. We typically heat on the stove or in a kettle until it’s just about boiling. Hope that helps!

  6. Jessi says

    Oh how interesting is this! The other night I had all these ingredients and didn’t know what to cook so I made this with udon noodles. I added spinach leaves along with the cilantro. Loved it. It was great! I was so proud of myself!