Recipes » Cashew Tzatziki

Cashew Tzatziki

This vegan cashew tzatziki sauce is made with grated cucumber, lemon juice, and garlic for a dairy-free version of the traditional. Perfect for Greek-style bowls, wraps, and salads.

A blue bowl on a black background. visible in the bowl is vegan tzatziki topped with grated cucumber.

Why I Developed This Recipe

Cashew tzatziki sauce is both simple and amazing. Quick to make in a high-speed blender, cashews, fresh lemon juice, and garlic combine to make a creamy, dairy-free base for grated cucumber, making a sauce that instantly elevates whatever dish it tops. Try it with vegan souvlaki, a Greek-style bowl, or as a salad dressing.

Traditional tzatziki sauce uses olive oil and yogurt as its base. For this recipe, I instead rely on cashews to provide richness, and lemon juice and nutritional yeast for a hint of that familiar yogurt tang. Grated cucumber and a few hours in the refrigerator bring all of the flavors together perfectly.

I have chosen to leave herbs out of this tzatziki recipe, however, if you are looking for a dressing that uses dill, try my Hemp Seed Dressing with Dill.

Keeping sauces like this one on hand makes it easy to get dinner to the table. There are so many ways to combine canned beans, salad greens, bread, and grains into exciting meals. Try using my Creamy Salsa Dressing for a southwest flair, or my Curry Dip for a sweet and tangy sandwich spread.

Ingredients

vegan tzatziki ingredients arranged on a cutting board. pictured ate soaked cashews, cucumber, lemon, water, garlic, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.
  • Raw Cashews – Make sure they are unroasted and unsalted. This recipe calls for soaking the cashews in water for an hour, which helps them blend up into a creamy sauce.
  • Garlic – Make sure to choose a small clove as raw garlic can be quite potent.
  • Lemon Juice – I tested this with fresh lemon juice, and recommend using that if you can. If you are using bottled, the label should indicate how much to use for the equivalent of 1 lemon.
  • Nutritional Yeast – A small amount is used to give a bit of a yogurt flavor to the cashew base of this recipe.
  • Cucumber – I prefer to use the long English seedless cucumbers. If you use a regular cucumber, remove the seeds before grating.
  • Salt – I do add salt to my food, however, my recipes generally do not include a specific amount in the ingredients. Differences in the type of salt you choose, and also whether your ingredients are low sodium or no sodium can significantly affect the taste of the final product. Please adjust salt to your taste and in accordance with your dietary needs.

Method

To soak the cashews, place them in a jar and add enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Place the jar in the refrigerator.

While the cashews are soaking gather the other ingredients. Grate the cucumber and juice the lemon.

Drain the cashews, and put them in a blender with the water, garlic clove, salt to taste, pepper, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.

Blend until creamy, stopping several times to scrape down the sides.

Note – the time this takes will differ depending on what type of blender you are using. Blend until the texture is smooth, with no grainy particles. If you are using a high-speed blender, the sauce may start to get warm from the action of the blades. This is not a problem since you will be refrigerating this sauce in the final step, but I find stopping frequently when scraping down the sides can help prevent the sauce from getting too hot.

Pour the sauce into a bowl and fold in the grated cucumber. Taste and adjust salt.

You can use it right away, but the flavors will be best if it rests in the fridge for several hours, or overnight.

This stores well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. If the sauce thickens, thin it back out with a small amount of water.

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Cashew Tzatziki

A blue bowl sits on a white background. Inside the bowl is vegan tzatziki with grated cucumber visible on top.

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This vegan tzatziki is made with cashews, lemon juice, and cucumber, giving it all of the traditional flavors, but dairy-free!

  • Author: Jennifer @ Always Add Alliums
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Greek-Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

1 cup Raw Cashews, make sure they are unroasted and unsalted

3/4 cup Water

1 small clove Garlic

juice of 1 Lemon, use fresh if you can

Salt, to taste

1/4 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast

pinch of Black Pepper

1 cup grated English Cucumber, if using a regular cucumber, remove the seeds before grating

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in water for approximately 1 hour.
  2. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender along with the water, garlic clove, lemon juice, salt to taste, nutritional yeast, and black pepper.
  3. Blend until smooth and no grainy particles remain, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Pour into a bowl and fold in the grated cucumber. Taste and adjust salt.
  5. Serve right away or refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
  6. Stores well refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Notes

  1. See the Method section in the above post for detailed instructions.
  2. Look for unroasted and unsalted cashews, roasted cashews will not work in this recipe.
  3. I do not offer a specific amount of salt in this recipe, as differences in the type of salt you choose can affect the taste of the finished sauce. Add salt according to personal preference and dietary needs.
  4. Stores well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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