RECIPES:
Mar 9, 2022

Spicy Cashew Dressing

Prep Time: 5 mins
This dressing is a great, flavorful salad dressing, spread for sandwiches and as a dip for satays.

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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. 

Spicy Cashew Dressing

Spicy Cashew Dressing ingredients

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • 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.
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
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
Step 3: Use or store

Use or store refrigerated in airtight containers for up to one week.

How to Serve This Dressing

Salad 

Toss the dressing with simple kale or wild arugula salad served topped with chicken for a quick and easy meal. The dressing can also be used for more complex grain bowls like this one with roasted broccoli and chickpeas

Sandwiches 

The spicy and creamy elements pair well with deli meats like turkey – taking a simple club sandwich to the next level. 

Satays 

I also love substituting this creamy cashew dressing in place of my lemongrass peanut sauce for grilled meat skewers. 

Veggies

Use this savory cashew dressing as a dip for veggies like carrots, cucumber and celery on a crudité platter.

Spicy Cashew Dressing

Other Recipes to Try 

If you enjoy this spicy cashew dressing recipe, I also recommend checking out these:

How to store Spicy Cashew Dressing

Spicy Cashew Dressing

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Prep Time 5 mins
Serves 1.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted whole cashews
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¾ packed cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Instructions:

  • Add the cashews, oil, sambal, rice vinegar, lime, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and ¼ cup of water to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the cilantro and red pepper and continue to pulse until combined but the red pepper is still visible.
  • Use or store refrigerated in airtight containers for up to one week.

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  1. This recipe was so good! I love the spicy cashew dressing at sweetgreen and this tastes exactly like it. This will definitely be my new go-to dressing!