This copycat recipe of Sweetgreen's Spicy Cashew Dressing is full of fresh flavors and takes just 5 minutes to make!
There are so many reasons to love and enjoy this easy vegan salad dressing!
I was inspired to create this recipe because I love the Crispy Rice Bowl at Sweetgreen and wanted to make a vegan sweetgreen spicy cashew dressing that you can enjoy at home.
Be sure to try my Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce next.
Here's Why You'll Love this Cashew Salad Dressing:
- This plant based salad dressing is vegan and therefore, also a dairy free salad dressing.
- With one easy substitution (see below) this can also be a gluten-free salad dressing.
- You can meal prep with this dressing and store it in the fridge for up to five days.
- It can be served with a salad, power bowl, or any other way your heart desires.
Cashews: The cashews add incredible flavor and the creamy texture that we love so much in this dressing. It's important to follow the directions carefully and ideally prep the cashews ahead of time.
This recipe works best using raw unsalted cashews.
Lime Juice: Using fresh lime juice will give you the best possible flavor. You can use pre-squeezed lime juice if that's your only option but ideally opt for fresh juice.
Nutritional Yeast: This is a vegan food item that will give your dressing a bit of a "savory, cheesy flavor". You can omit this if you don't have any on hand.
Adding the nutritional yeast is a great way to get that cheesy flavor in this non dairy salad dressing.
Ginger: I like to use freshly grated ginger in this recipe. If you don't have fresh ginger on hand, substitute ground ginger instead and use about ¼ teaspoon.
Tip: Nutritional Yeast is often found in the "health food" section of the grocery store. Sometimes in an unfamiliar grocery store I have to ask a store employee for help 🙂
Substitutions & Additions
Make it Gluten-Free: You can easily make this a homemade gluten-free salad dressing by swapping the soy sauce for tamari sauce.
Make it Less Spicy: Not a fan of the heat? Simply remove the sriracha, crushed red pepper flakes, or both from the ingredient list.
Using Salted Cashews: If all you have at home is salted cashews that's okay! I recommend rinsing them to remove as much salt as possible before and after soaking them.
You might need to adjust the amount of salt you add to taste.
Make it Thinner or Thicker: If you want to make this dressing a bit thinner just add a little extra water.
If you want to make it thicker add slightly less water than the recipe calls for.
Step by Step Instructions
Step One: You should soak the cashews in water several hours before making this recipe. This allows the cashews to soften nicely and gives your dressing a nice creamy consistency.
If you don't have the time to do this, you can get away with soaking the cashews in boiling water for 20-30 minutes. It might not always come out as creamy as the original would, but it is enough to get the job done.
Step Two: After allowing the cashews to soak, drain them and give them a little rinse.
Step Three: Then you'll combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy.
Sometimes I find it necessary to stop my blender and carefully scrape the sides down with a spatula, then blend for a few more seconds.
Step Four: Add the vegan cashew dressing to your favorite salad, power bowl, or store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for later.
Top Tip: If you have extra time to spare, allow the cashews to soak for up to 24 hours. Just be sure to refrigerate them after 30 minutes.
How to Serve
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy this copycat Sweetgreen spicy cashew dressing. These are my top recommendations:
- Salad dressing
- On a pasta salad
- As a pasta sauce
- A dip for veggies and/or crackers
- Use it as a marinade or sauce for your favorite protein
- Dressing for a power bowl or buddha bowl
Frequently Asked Questions
We soak the cashews prior to blending them to soften them. This creates a creamy texture and consistency when they are blended.
This cashew salad dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This dressing can be served with salads, pasta dishes, power bowls, or as a dip for fresh vegetables.
More Vegan Recipes You'll Love
If you loved this recipe or any recipe on my website, please consider leaving a star rating or a comment below. I love hearing your feedback!
Spicy Cashew Dressing
- ½ cup cashews
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp cool water
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 lime juiced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Prior to making this recipe you'll need to soak the cashews. Combine the cashews with about 1 cup of boiling water. Set the cashew and water combination aside for about 30 minutes to allow the cashews to soften.
- Drain the water from the cashews and give them a quick rinse.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the dressing to a salad, power bowl, or however you would like.