This dressing is a great, flavorful salad dressing, spread for sandwiches and as a dip for satays.
This creamy spicy cashew dressing is inspired by one of my favorite dressings at Sweetgreen. No matter what salad I get I always order a side of the dressing to dip bread into. While some cashew salad dressings require soaking of the nuts or use of cashew butter, this recipe is easy and only requires the ingredients to be tossed into a blender or food processor.
Cashews – I blend whole roasted, unsalted cashews which gives this dressing it’s nutty flavor and creamy texture.
Grapeseed oil – Grapeseed is a great neutral oil to use in dressings so the other ingredients can shine. But if you can’t find grapeseed oil, substitute with vegetable or canola oil.
Sambal oelek – This spicy Southeast Asian chili sauce adds a sweet and spicy kick to most foods and can also be found in the international section of most grocery stores. Substitute with sriracha if you cannot find sambal.
Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar, made from a process of fermenting rice, is more mellow than other vinegars and balances the dressing.
Soy sauce – I also add reduced sodium soy sauce to this recipe. That way I can control the salt, adding more if needed. Easily swap with tamari or coconut aminos.
Crushed red pepper – Store-bought red pepper flakes are made from dried and crushed whole red peppers, typically cayenne peppers.
Cilantro – The cilantro is added to the sauce last so it is not fully incorporated into the dressing.
How to Make Spicy Cashew Dressing
Step 1: Add ingredients to food processor.
Add the cashews, oil, sambal, rice vinegar, lime, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and ¼ cup of warm water to a blender and then blend until smooth.
Step 2: Add cilantro and red pepper
Add the cilantro and red pepper and continue to pulse until combined but the red pepper is still visible.
Step 3: Use or store
Use or store refrigerated in airtight containers for up to one week.