Vegan (Dairy-Free) Sour Cream Recipe - Fueled With Food

How to make Vegan Sour Cream

Vegan sour cream is a dairy-free alternative to traditional sour cream, crafted to mimic the tangy flavor and creamy texture of its dairy counterpart. This plant-based condiment is made using ingredients such as soaked cashews or silken tofu for the base, combined with acidic elements like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to achieve the characteristic sour taste.

To deliver a similar richness and smoothness without using animal products, vegan sour cream often incorporates coconut milk or coconut cream due to their high fat content, providing the desired consistency. Other ingredients may include nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy undertone, sea salt for seasoning, and sometimes a small amount of natural sweetener to balance the flavors.

Vegan sour cream can be used in a wide array of dishes—anywhere traditional sour cream would be used. It’s a fantastic topping for Mexican cuisine, like nachos and tacos, works well dolloped on baked potatoes, can add creaminess to soups and stews, and is an excellent base for dips and dressings. Its versatility makes it a valuable ingredient for those following a vegan lifestyle or anyone seeking a dairy-free option.

The preparation process typically involves blending all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. The mixture is then chilled until it thickens, which enhances its flavor and texture, making it more reminiscent of traditional sour cream. The ease of making vegan sour cream at home means that it can be customized according to individual dietary needs and flavor preferences.

As this is a common staple within the vegan diet, it showcases the ingenuity of plant-based cooking in substituting dairy while maintaining the integrity of the dishes it complements.

Vegan Sour Cream

Vegan (Dairy-Free) Sour Cream Recipe - Fueled With Food

Vegan Sour Cream

Vegan sour cream is an alternative to traditional sour cream, which is made from the fermented cream of cow's milk. Instead, vegan versions use plant-based ingredients to replicate the creamy texture and tangy taste that sour cream is known for. There are several base ingredients commonly used in vegan sour cream, including cashews, soy, coconut milk, and various types of nuts or tofu. Often, these bases are blended with an acidic component such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to achieve the characteristic sour flavor. Additionally, thickeners like agar agar or tapioca starch might be employed to mimic the consistency of dairy-based sour cream.
The production process of vegan sour cream typically involves soaking nuts, if they are used, to soften them before blending. The blending of all ingredients results in a smooth, creamy texture. Fermentation is not usually a part of vegan sour cream processing, unlike its dairy counterpart, unless specific probiotic cultures are added for flavor development.
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 74 kcal


  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 blender
  • 1 blender bowl


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups firm tofu crumbled into the measuring cup
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Place the cashew in a medium bowl cover with a hot water and let it soak for 30-60 minutes. You can soak ahead of time, may be over night, it makes the process quicker.
  • Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl of a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender bowl, taste and make adjustment to suit your taste and blend until very smooth and creamy.
  • Serve immediately or store in an air tight container and keep in the fridge. Use within a week
Keyword raw cashews, tofu, white vinegar

Cooking Tips about Vegan Sour Cream

Vegan Sour Cream - Loving It Vegan

Vegan sour cream is a dairy-free alternative to traditional sour cream made from milk. It’s particularly useful for those who follow a vegan diet or are lactose intolerant. The base of vegan sour cream can vary, with common ingredients including cashews, tofu, coconut milk, and even non-dairy yogurts. These bases provide the creamy texture that mimics the mouthfeel of traditional sour cream. A critical component is the tangy flavor, which is often achieved through the addition of lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity in these ingredients reacts with the cream base to create a flavor profile similar to that of dairy sour cream.

To make a basic cashew-based vegan sour cream, raw cashews are soaked in water for several hours to soften them, which ensures a smooth consistency upon blending. After soaking, the cashews are drained and blended with fresh water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sometimes a pinch of salt. The mixture is pureed until completely smooth. Some recipes might also include nutritional yeast for a depth of flavor or a thickening agent like xanthan gum to achieve the desired consistency.

One of the benefits of using tofu as a base for vegan sour cream is that it’s lower in fat and can be a lighter alternative. Silken tofu, with its mild flavor and creamy texture, is usually preferred. Tofu-based vegan sour cream is made by blending silken tofu with lemon juice, vinegar, and sometimes a small amount of plant-based milk to adjust consistency, along with seasoning to taste.

Coconut milk can also be used to make vegan sour cream. It’s naturally rich and thick, especially if using the full-fat variety. The coconut milk is mixed with an acid, like lemon juice, and a thickener may be added. However, it’s important to note that coconut milk can impart a coconut flavor to the final product, which might not be desired in all recipes.

Non-dairy yogurts made from almonds, soy, or coconut are another easy base for vegan sour cream. The tartness of the yogurt may reduce the need for additional acidic ingredients, but adjustments can be made to taste. This method offers convenience and is a quick option since it doesn’t require soaking or blending.

A few additional tips for making and using vegan sour cream:

  • Taste and adjust the acidity and seasoning as needed to suit your preferences.
  • Store homemade vegan sour cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator; it will typically last for about a week.
  • If the sour cream separates after storage, simply stir it to restore the creamy texture.
  • Experiment with adding different flavors, such as garlic or herbs, for variations that complement different dishes.
  • Use vegan sour cream in dips, toppings, dressings, or baked goods, just as you would dairy sour cream.

Vegan sour cream can be a versatile and satisfying substitute for the dairy version, adaptable to a range of culinary applications. Its success lies in achieving the right balance of creaminess and tanginess while considering the flavor profile of the base ingredient you choose.

Serving suggestion about Vegan Sour Cream

5-Minute Vegan Sour Cream - Wow, It's Veggie?!

Vegan sour cream is a dairy-free alternative designed to mimic the tangy, creamy texture of traditional sour cream while aligning with a vegan diet, which avoids all animal products. The primary base for vegan sour cream varies and can include non-dairy milks, cashews, soy, or tofu, each lending different nutritional profiles and flavors to the final product.

A common approach to creating vegan sour cream involves soaking cashews to soften them before blending them with acidic elements like lemon juice or vinegar, which help provide the characteristic sour taste. Thickeners such as arrowroot or tapioca starch, as well as flavor enhancers like nutritional yeast, salt, and sometimes a bit of sweetener, are often added to enhance texture and taste.

Serving suggestions for vegan sour cream are diverse due to its versatility. It can be used as a topping for Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, and nachos, adding a cool, creamy element to balance spicier flavors. Vegan sour cream can also be stirred into soups and stews to add creaminess, or be used in baking where sour cream is called for, such as in cakes or biscuits, to help achieve a moist texture. Additionally, it can serve as a base for dips, dressings, or sauces, especially when herbs, spices, or other flavorings are mixed in.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that vegan sour cream can serve as an alternative for people with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy, or for those looking to reduce their intake of animal products for health, environmental, or ethical reasons.

Top 5 FAQs about vegan sour cream

Vegan Sour Cream Recipe |

  • What is vegan sour cream made of and how does it compare to regular sour cream? Vegan sour cream is made from plant-based ingredients such as soaked cashews, silken tofu, coconut milk, or non-dairy yogurts. These serve as the base and are combined with acidic elements like lemon juice or vinegar to replicate the tang of traditional sour cream. Compared to regular sour cream, vegan versions are dairy-free and suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle or who have lactose intolerance.
  • Can vegan sour cream be used the same way as dairy sour cream? Yes, vegan sour cream can be utilized in nearly all the same culinary applications as dairy sour cream. It works well as a topping for potatoes, tacos, soups, and more. It can also be used in baking and cooking to add creaminess and tang to recipes.
  • How do you make homemade vegan sour cream? To make homemade vegan sour cream, you typically blend your chosen base (like cashews that have been soaked and drained) with water, an acid such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and seasoning like salt until smooth and creamy. Some recipes might include nutritional yeast for added flavor or a thickener like xanthan gum for the desired consistency.
  • Is vegan sour cream healthier than regular sour cream? The health factors of vegan sour cream depend on the specific ingredients used, but it often has lower cholesterol and saturated fat compared to traditional sour cream made from dairy. Note that if using ingredients like cashews or coconut milk, the fat content can still be significant, so it’s best to consume it in moderation depending on one’s dietary needs.
  • How long does vegan sour cream last, and how should it be stored? Homemade vegan sour cream typically lasts for about a week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. If separation occurs, you can stir or re-blend it to restore texture. Commercial vegan sour creams will have a use-by date and storage instructions on the packaging, which should be followed for best freshness.

Environmental considerations are also relevant when discussing vegan products. Generally, plant-based alternatives to dairy are seen as more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as they typically require less water, land, and other resources to produce, and generate fewer greenhouse gases compared to dairy farming.

In conclusion, vegan sour cream serves as a fitting alternative for those seeking to exclude dairy from their diet, whether for ethical, health, or environmental reasons. Its close approximation to the taste and texture of dairy sour cream makes it a popular choice in various culinary applications.


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