Bowl of cashews on wooden table
  • Dairy-Free


Whether avoiding dairy due to allergy or preference for a plant-based diet, grocery store dairy alternatives tend to be sub-par at best. Not only a good source of copper, iron and healthy mono-unsaturated fat, cashews make an excellent base for creamy dairy-free sauces!


  • 1 cup unsalted cashews (raw or roasted)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/5 cups unsalted cashews (raw or roasted)
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel (spiced diced tomatoes with chiles)


  1. For both the crema and queso: Soak cashers in water overnight in the refrigerator to soften.
  2. For the crema: drain cashews then blend with fresh water and salt in a high-speed blender until creamy, at least one minute. Add spices and fresh cilantro as desired.
  3. For the queso: drain cashews then blend with Rotel in a high-speed blender until smooth, at least one minute. Use this queso as a substitute for any nacho cheese sauce used on nachos, baked Potatoes or a dip for tortilla chips.

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Published on September 18, 2023

Amber Phillips, MS, RD