Cashew mayo is a great vegan alternative to both traditional and soy-based mayonnaise. In this post, I'll show you step-by-step how to make your own!
I feel like I need to clarify the title of this post a little bit. Maybe it would be better if I called it "How I Make Cashew Mayo." I don't make cashew mayo the traditional way, so this isn't THE definitive cashew mayo recipe. It's MY cashew mayo recipe. It's a little bit different from others because:
1) A lot of cashew mayo recipes are raw. Mine is not.
2) My recipe isn't technically raw because I use vegetable broth in it. This adds a little boost of extra flavor.
3) I don't add anything to sweeten my cashew mayo.
See? It's different. And I can't promise you that it tastes exactly like real mayo (because it was the 80s when I last had real mayo), but it makes a mean sandwich spread and it's great on crackers or as a dip for veggies too.
Are you ready to get started? Here's how to make cashew mayo!
Step 1 - Soak the Cashews
Put one cup of raw cashews (I like this brand.) in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them sit for a few hours--about two to four is a good amount.
Step 2 - Blending
Drain and rinse the cashews, then pop them in your blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and ¼ cup of vegetable broth. Blend everything until it's completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender or food processor as needed.
You can add more broth or water if you want a thinner mayo—I usually add an additional tablespoon or two of water. After you're finished blending it, taste it and season with salt, if needed.
Step 3- Add Mix-Ins
I like to add fresh herbs to my cashew mayo. If you want to give that a try, chop up whatever you have on hand (I'm using dill, tarragon, thyme and rosemary here) and stir about a tablespoon into the blended mayo. Other good additions are pesto, roasted or freshly minced garlic, or hot sauce.
Step 4 - Serving it!
Your cashew mayo is done! Wasn't that easy? Now you can put it on burgers and sandwiches and do other mayo-y things with it. I personally love it on this vegetarian banh mi sandwich and on vegan black bean burgers.
What else can you make with raw cashews?
If you don't eat dairy, but you're not a fan of soy-based substitutes, cashews are a great alternative. When they're soaked, they blend up much more smoothly than other nuts. I also use them in my Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries and in this Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk recipe.
Cashews are also a fantastic base for making your own vegan cheeses such as this 15 minute cashew cheese spread, this sliceable cashew cheese, or this vegan cream cheese.
Hot Question: Are Raw Cashews Poisonous?
I get this question a lot, so wanted to throw in a quick note to clear up this issue. Truly raw cashews - as in, cashews you just harvested - do indeed contain a toxin called urushiol in their shell.
However, the "raw cashews" you buy at the grocery store have been shelled and heat treated, making them safe for consumption. (I buy this brand of raw cashews.)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- salt optional, to taste
- fresh herbs such as dill, tarragon, thyme, or rosemary optional, as desired
- Soak the cashews: Place the raw cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Allow them to soak for 2-4 hours. More time is better - you will get a creamier result.
- Drain and rinse the cashews.
- Place the cashews into a food processor or high speed blender. Add the lemon juice and vegetable broth. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
- If the consistency is too thick for your liking, add 1-2 tbsp of additional broth or water. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
- Optionally, you can can mix in some minced fresh herbs for additional flavor. Other tasty mix-ins are pesto, roasted garlic, or hot sauce!
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
I should do this because I HATE regular mayo!
Me too. Nastiness.
Soaking the cashews overnight will make a heavenly creamy mayo than just soaking them 2 to 4 or 6 hours.
Hazel @ fresherfood says
I had no idea that soaked cashews would blend so beautifully smooth. I really dislike regular mayo so this looks perfect 🙂
They do! It's incredible. They make a great substitute for dairy!
Cannot wait to try this. I love the way you do cashew mayo, Kiersten!
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
What an awesome idea for a homemade mayo! I bet the flavor is unlike anything I've had before. I love it!
It's tangy like mayo, since there's lemon in it. 🙂
I also add a teaspoon of dijon mustard and some white pepper and sometimes to the prepared mayo I add minced onion garlic and parsil
dishing up the dirt says
I CANNOT wait to try this!!!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
LOVE cashew sauce and other nut-based sauce. I use it in place of cream in my recipes. So delish!
MAGGIE VALERA says
How do I store it and how long does it keep for?
Store it in a container with a cover in the fridge. It will last for 3-4 days.
I haven't put mayo in anything for so long and now I can make this and start using it again! Thanks Kiersten.
angela @ another bite please says
cashew mayo...haven't heard of before...i've used cashew's for the "cheese" in some dairy recipes and LOVE it...so know this will be a new fav to try!
Well, if you like cashew cheese, you will like cashew mayo too. 😀
I've had trouble blending cashews in the past, but adding vegetable broth sounds like a good idea both to add flavour and make the mixture more smooth. I don't eat mayo much anymore, and the vegan brands have so many processed ingredients in them, that this definitely sounds like a healthier option!
It does take patience! And I've also noticed that blending a larger amount helps. I often want to just make 1/2 cup of cashew cream or mayo, but it never works out--the blender just flings it to the side of the container and it never gets blended.
wow i really have to try this, I don't care for regular mayo because I hate the eggy flavor but I like everything in this recipe. And it doesn't use tofu like alot of other vegan mayo recipes. I tried your cashew cheesecake recipe though, adapted it slightly and now I use it in like everything I would use regular cream cheese in, I even made vegan cheesecake brownies. So I'm betting this will be really tasty too, thanks for the creative recipes 🙂
Ooh, cheesecake brownies are my favorite dessert ever! I'm going to have to try using cashew cream in them. 🙂
just so you don't have a baking disaster if you do try this, i should mention i add a ton of other stuff like sugar, flour, raspberry puree when i make them into brownies. I have no idea how it would turn out without all the added stuff. might still be good, but less sweet definitely
Ooh, raspberry puree. That sounds even better! 😀
Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian says
I do love regular mayo but this sounds like a really cool alternative. Love that photo from above the vitamix!
Oh I love this idea! What a great alternative to egg based mayo. Thanks!
Heidi @ Food Doodles says
Oooh, this sounds wonderful! Far more appealing than regular mayo!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
What a fun twist on mayo. Can't wait to try this! I have a bag of cashews just waiting to be used up too!
[email protected] eco friendly homemaking says
Okay I am off to the kitchen to soak some cashews! Going to make this tomorrow.
I hope you enjoy it! 😀
First cashew milk, and now cashew mayo -- I'm always learning about interesting things at OMV! Do you happen to know how the nutrition stats stack up against traditional mayo? Also like the sound of adding garlic or hot sauce.
I'm not sure off-hand. The cashew mayo would have good fats, while regular mayo probably has more sat fats with the egg...
Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving says
Tee hee, I love mayo. LOVE IT! This recipe is pretty dang neato. I seriously love how creative it is and for some reason it makes me think of tzatziki. No Idea where that is coming from.
You know, I have been wondering if it's possible to make a tzatziki with cashews. Maybe with lots of lemon for the tanginess?
Brenda Williams says
When I get my cookbook I am going to write "and all the things I never knew" under the title...LOL...you have opened up a whole new world to me and I love it!
Well, necessity is the mother of invention and I hate regular mayo so I had to come up with an alternative! 😀
Thanks so much for this recipe! It was a great use of the last of our veggie broth! My SO (who isn't a vegan but has been eating less and less dairy since we started dating) said that it tasted like celery/french onion dip. I think I am going to try and use this as a base for a french onion veggie dip in the future!
Kiersten Frase says
I've been thinking about trying to make this into a vegan French onion dip! I need to get on that. 🙂 I think it would be good as a base for spinach artichoke dip too.
I use this all the time now for making chickpea "chik'n" salad! Thank you so much for sharing!
Rosy Young says
Really great Kiersten -This sounds super easy and super nutritious - fab - making it today!... Will have to use a lime as have not got lemon. Thank you. Rosy.