Vegan Sour Cream, made with 4 ingredients and 5 minutes. It’s thick, creamy, tangy and the perfect substitute for dairy sour cream!

white plate with a baked potato, sour cream and chives

Do you miss sour cream? I used to love the stuff before I went vegan; a dollop here and there made food more delicious and satisfying.

Well now you can make your own dairy free sour cream with just 4 ingredients in minutes with simple ingredients!

Just like my Heavy Whipping Cream Substitute, Vegan Butter, Vegan Condensed Milk and Shreddable Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, this is a staple recipe you will want to have in the refrigerator at all times.

Vegan sour cream brands you can buy

If you don’t want to make your own at home, there are several options nowadays for dairy free sour cream at the grocery store.

None of them taste as good to me as this homemade version, but I have used Tofutti brand in the past, as well as Kite Hill, Simple Truth, Forager, Follow Your Heart and Good Karma.

Make my homemade version if you can; it’s so much better tasting!

small speckled bowl of vegan sour cream with chives on top, grey background

Ingredients needed for sour cream alternative

  • Raw cashews – Cashews are what gives this whole foods sour cream it’s creamy texture. If you can’t have cashews, you can try using slivered almonds instead. If you absolutely can’t have nuts at all, try making a tofu sour cream instead! Or make sour cream from coconut milk.
  • Apple cider vinegar – or white vinegar or even more fresh lemon juice.
  • Fresh lemon juice – You can also use 1 teaspoon of lactic acid for the signature “tang” if you have it.
  • Optional: Unsweetened dairy free yogurt – This adds an extra creaminess and tang, but you can leave it out if needed. I like Kite Hill brand, but others work as well.

How to make vegan sour cream

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

  1. First, soak your cashews. I do this by pouring boiling hot water from my tea kettle over the cashews, then let them sit for about 5 minutes. They can sit for longer if you want, and if you don’t have a high powered blender I suggest you let them soak for an hour, to get them really soft for blending.
  2. Add ingredients to a high-speed blender. Drain the cashews, then add to a blender along with 3/4 cup fresh water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and salt. A food processor might work, but it won’t get nearly as creamy.
  3. Blend until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed, and make sure there are no pieces of nuts left. It should be super smooth and not grainy at all.
  4. Add yogurt if desired. This last step is optional but will bring your sour cream to the next level! Pour the cashew mixture into a bowl, and stir in 1 cup of unsweetened non-dairy yogurt. It helps the sour cream be lighter in texture (more like real sour cream), and helps it to taste tangier.
collage showing soaking cashews in water, blending and stirring with yogurt

Can you make it without a high-speed blender?

It is possible, though it will probably be grainier and not as smooth as mine. If there’s one thing you should invest in as a vegan home cook, it’s a high powered blender. I love, love, love my Vitamix and can’t live without it!

If using a regular blender or food processor, soak the cashews for a long time, an hour in hot water. That will soften them up even more so they will blend better.


  • Green chile sour cream – Add a can of green chiles when you blend everything together for a delicious variation.
  • Sriracha sour cream – Sometimes I add a teaspoon or two of Sriracha for spicy sour cream. This also goes great on nourish bowls.
  • Cheesy – Add about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy flavored sour cream. A little onion or garlic powder will also add a bit of flavor.
swirly bowl of white cream, grey background

Frequently asked questions

  1. What brand of non-dairy yogurt should you use? I used Kite Hill brand unsweetened almond yogurt. It’s my favorite for this sour cream, and other recipes where I use yogurt to cook, like these Vegan Sour Cream Enchiladas. It’s also very white, so it helps make your sour cream super white, just like real sour cream.
  2. How long will cashew sour cream keep? I have found that it will keep about 1 week in the refrigerator, in a covered container. This recipe does make quite a lot, so freeze some if you want.
  3. Can you freeze it? Yes, it freezes quite well. I often freeze my cashew based sauces and dressings with no issues. You can freeze a portion in a freezer friendly container, or even pour into an ice cube tray, then pop them into a freezer bag once frozen for single serving portions.
two baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, white background

What goes well with vegan sour cream?

You can use this dairy free sour cream anywhere you would use regular sour cream! From burritos, enchiladas and tacos to buddha bowls, chilis and soups, the possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect topping for any of the following recipes and more.

square image of a baked potato with vegan sour cream and chives
4.97 stars (26 ratings)

Vegan Sour Cream

Vegan Sour Cream, made with 4 ingredients and 5 minutes. It's thick, creamy, tangy and the perfect substitute for dairy sour cream!
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt


  • Quick soak the cashews: Bring a few cups of water to a boil (I use my tea kettle for this). Add 1 1/2 cups cashews to a measuring cup and pour the boiling hot water on top to cover. Let them soak for 5 minutes, or 1 hour if you don't have a high powered blender.
  • Drain the cashews and add to high powered blender. Now add 3/4 cup fresh water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Blend until very smooth.
  • Pour the cashew mixture into a bowl and stir in in the unsweetened yogurt. This is optional, but it brings the sour cream to another level in terms of texture and flavor.
  • Use immediately, or transfer to a small covered container and refrigerate. It will thicken up as it chills. The sour cream will keep for about a week. You may also freeze this if desired. Enjoy!


  1. May also soak the cashews overnight in water. I can never usually remember to do this so I use the quick soak method!
  2. If you do not have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you may need to soak the cashews even longer to get a smooth cream, an hour or so.
  3. Add a can of green chiles to make a green chile sour cream, or a teaspoon or Sriracha hot sauce for spicy sour cream. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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    1. I think you could freeze it, yes, though I’ve never tried it. It might be a little grainy when you defrost it, but you could probably just blend it again if that’s the case.

  1. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I’ve tried this recipe a couple of times and it looks nothing like your amazingness! Mine is darker and its runny. I put it in the fridge and I’m hoping that it will stiffen up a bit. I also pretty much only taste yogurt. Please help me! Thank you!

    1. Oh that doesn’t sound good! Are you following the recipe exactly? Using raw cashews? Using a high powered blender? I would double check your ingredient amounts and make sure you have everything right. It should be very white, I don’t know what would be making yours dark.

    1. Hi Elizabeth. I think you could probably substitute silken tofu for the cashews here. I used to make a tofu based sour cream and it was pretty darn good! Just use way less water as well, you probably won’t need hardly any at all. Hope that helps!

  2. Thank you for the recipe, this is about the 40th time i have made this, without the yogurt, and it come out great, thick, tangy, perfect on potatoes, also used in a salad dressing mix with chipolte peppers garlic, onion, ACV, lime, the sour cream works great in it and tames the heat down. I go to your site many times just to get ideas of what to eat each week, its all good, never had a bad recipe.

    1. I am thrilled that you are loving this recipe, as well as others! I’m glad my site provides you with lots of meal ideas! Thanks for your fantastic feedback and review!

  3. When I search for something on Pinterest and a your recipe is an option, that’s what I make. It’s always good! I don’t even like sour cream, but need it for a sauce I make for tacos… I’m eating this out of the blender!

    1. Hi Kristie! How terrific that you love the sour cream! Thank you for your wonderful feedback, it means a lot to me! I appreciate you using my recipes, and am thrilled you are loving them! Happy cooking!

      1. Made this tonight to have with my Mexican vegan mince for dinner. It is amazing! I used half a cup of coconut yoghurt and 1 and a quarter TBSP of apple cider vinegar and was perfect! Thank you!!!

        1. You are welcome, Angela! How wonderful that you loved the sour cream! Thanks for your fabulous feedback and review!

  4. In my non-vegan life, I didn’t eat sour cream (or cheese). Soooo happy I found this. It’s amazing!!! I never thought I’d ever eat sour cream in my life, but nachos finally just got a whole lot tastier. Super Bowl Sunday with your vegan sour cream & vegan nacho cheese is simply THE best! Thank you!!

  5. Mele Kalikimaka Nora! You are my Christmas hero. That sour cream recipe “broke da mouth”! Top notch! It made my spicy vegan enchiladas much easier to eat.
    I’m so happy I found this recipe. Thank You!
    Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Mindy. Thank you for your lovely island greeting and holiday wishes! I’m thrilled that you found my recipes as well, and that you love the sour cream! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! Happy New Year to you as well!

  6. I have made this recipe a few times and I omit the vineager and add 2 more tablespoons of lemon juice. It still tastes like sour cream. Although this batch I didn’t add enough salt.

    1. My daughter is very allergic to cashews. When I make a recipe calling for cashews, I sub soaked, blanched slivered almonds. I think they work great.

  7. I made your sour cream recipe and it was delicious. I didn’t have yogurt, but it was thick and creamy without it. It was even better the next day since it had thickened even more and the flavors had a chance to develop. I’m already making a second batch after two days, I used it on almost everything.  I’m anxious to try another recipe since I had your chickpea meatloaf and that too was exceptional. I’ve made it several times already. Thank you again for sharing your talents.
    A very appreciative Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy. I’m so glad you have loved my recipes so far! I hope you will enjoy your journey through them all! Please reach out with any questions you may have! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! Happy cooking!

  8. I was skeptical at first but, I literally just made this sour cream recipe and wow if you don’t have any idea what real sour cream tastes like you would not know the difference. I can’t wait to try this as a creme sauce on my vegan enchiladas tomorrow, if there is any left.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you are loving the sour cream! There are so many ways to use it! Have fun, and lots of happy cooking!

  9. The best chili ever! So tasty and nutritious! I now double the recipe, I then freeze it. Great when you need a quick supper! I love how the tofu is prepared, I am thinking that it would be great to add to your spaghetti sauce… for sure, I will try it. And I make my own tofu with homemade soy milk… unbeatable! Love it! ❤️❤️❤️

  10. A-amazing!!! My dairy-free sauce list is now complete. What kind of magic is this?! So simple yet the perfect sour cream (even without adding a dab of Kitehill sour cream). I think after several hours for flavors to fully incorporate this will be over the top. Thickness level can be personalized depending on how much water is added. 

    1. There are 8 servings total. To be totally accurate, you could divide it all into 8 servings. I believe it’s a couple of tablespoons for 1 serving though. Thanks!

  11. Made without yogurt, added garlic powder. Delish & simple.
    So much can be added for the meal type. Our potatoes/skins are scrumptious!

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