A healthy vegan chipotle crema recipe with smoky chipotles in adobo and creamy rich cashew-based cream.
This is the perfect crema sauce for tacos, roasted vegetables, salads, burrito bowls, nachos, and burgers.
This smoky chipotle cashew crema is the ultimate sauce for Mexican-inspired dishes.
It is dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
Mastering how to make vegan sauces like this chipotle crema can make you a master in the kitchen and enhance most meals making a boring and plain meal crave-worthy.
Drizzle this vegan crema on some of our favorite dishes like these quinoa black bean tacos, and tofu scramble breakfast tacos, or make some loaded vegan nachos with this vegan queso sauce. Use as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries or roasted potatoes or with some tortilla chips and salsa.
Making vegan chipotle crema is easy to make, here is what you will need to make this sauce.
- whole raw cashews
- good quality extra virgin olive oil
- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - we will use chipotle peppers and adobo sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- dry seasonings - nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt
See the recipe card for quantities.
Here is how to make vegan chipotle crema.
Start by soaking the cashews by adding them to a large bowl and covering them with water. Make sure to have plenty of fresh water since the cashews will expand. Preferably soak for 6 hours or overnight.
Note: if you are short on time you can do a hot soak and cover the cashews in boiling hot water for 15-30 minutes.
Prepare the chipotle peppers by removing the seeds from the inside of the peppers which will result in a medium spiced crema. If you like a spicy sauce leaving some of the seeds in will result in a very spicy crema.
After soaking the cashews, drain and rinse the cashews and add them into the blender with all the other ingredients, water, apple cider vinegar, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
Start the blender speed on low and work your way to high speed. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
Taste and adjust seasonings if need be.
Remove from the blender and store in the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid until ready to use.
Substitutions + Variations
- Spicy - we suggest removing the seeds from the chipotle peppers, which will result in a medium spiced sauce, if you prefer a spicier sauce you can leave in some of the seeds, keep in mind you can always add spice, but its harder to reduce once added, start small
- Cashews - this crema is cashew-based, but you could use other nuts and seeds like almonds, although raw cashews will result in a rich and creamier sauce with a smoother texture
- Apple Cider Vinegar - this can be replaced with canning vinegar from a jalapeno can or jar, white vinegar, or freshly squeezed lime juice or lemon juice.
A high-speed blender is highly recommended for this recipe in order to get a smooth creamy crema - we use a Vitamix.
Store the crema in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I like to use a squeeze bottle with a lid to keep some handy for drizzling crema on salads, veggies, tacos, and avocado toast.
This chipotle crema can be frozen. Keep in either a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 6 months. When removed from the freezer, defrost and if needed or preferred blend to regain the smooth creamy texture.
You can also freeze the crema in ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes of sauce to a freezer-safe bag for later use.
To get a creamy smooth crema, soak the cashews from soak cashews for 6-12 hours or overnight. Soaking the cashews will not only make a smooth chipotle crema and enhance the flavor and texture but, soaking also allows the cashews to activate enzymatic properties and deactivate anti-nutrients that block nutrient absorption. This ultimately makes the nuts easier to digest and higher nutrient absorption, read more about soaking nuts and seeds.
Vegan Chipotle Crema Recipe
- High-Speed Blender
- 150 grams cashews dry weight
- 150 grams water
- 50 grams olive oil
- 10 grams chipotle peppers canned in adobo
- 40 grams adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers
- 20 grams apple cider vinegar
- 20 grams nutritional yeast
- 2 grams onion powder
- 2 grams garlic powder
- 7 grams salt
- Soak the cashews by adding them to a large bowl and covering with water. Make sure to have plenty of fresh water since the cashews will expand. Preferably soak for 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove the seeds from the chipotles for a medium spiced crema. Leaving the seeds in will result in a spicy crema.
- After soaking the cashews, drain and rinse the cashews and add them into the blender with all the other ingredients, water, apple cider vinegar, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt.
- Start the blender speed on low and work your way to high speed. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if need be.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
More Sauce Recipes
Try this copycat bitchin' sauce recipe, which is an almond-based dip found in stores, that is perfect for sandwiches, burgers, dipping sauce, or grain bowls.
Try this easy garlicky vegan aioli recipe that is perfect on grain bowls, veggie burgers, fries, onion rings, and more.
Try this creamy avocado sauce has tangy and bright hints of cilantro and lime and is the perfect sauce to have on hand for tacos, nachos, quesadillas, salads, veggie burgers, and much more.
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