Are you tired of your boring salads and mediocre dressings? This spicy cashew dressing has a creamy texture and a fiery kick! This copycat recipe is not only better than Trader Joe's but is perfect for salad enthusiasts.
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Trader Joe's Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing may be discontinued. But no fear, you can make this spicy sauce in just a few minutes. Originally I made this dressing for my kale and apple slaw. But it has so many other uses.
📖Why This Recipe Works
No Coconut- The original version contained coconut milk which isn't great for some people. My version is still vegan and gluten-free.
Use Any Cashew Butter- Store-bought or homemade cashew butter it doesn't matter. Fun fact: you don't have to use soaked cashews so you can make this dressing in minutes.
Big Flavor- Listen I love a light vinaigrette but this dressing is not that. It has bold flavors, we use a red chili pepper rather than chili paste for a delightfully fresh taste.
We have already talked about the cashew butter so let's get into the other ingredients.
Fresh Lime- Most of the flavor is in the lime zest and we use the juice to help thin out the dressing. For a fun twist, try an orange!
Cilantro- Fresh, obviously. Try to remove any woody stems.
Fresno Chili- Use any spicy red chili pepper. Whether or not you remove the seeds and the veins is up to you.
Soy Sauce- I use tamari to keep it gluten-free but the original used coconut aminos. Personally, I am just not a fan so soy sauce it is.
Rice Vinegar- Because we aren't using chili paste we need to add acid via vinegar and a little fresh garlic for flavor. Cider vinegar is a fine substitution.
Sweetener- Maple syrup was used in the original because it was vegan. If that isn't a concern, you can use honey.
⏲️How to Make Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing
You definitely want to make this recipe in a blender or food processor.
Add all the ingredients except the water. Blend until smooth- this will take 1 to 2 minutes.
Slowly add very hot water until you get to your desired consistency.
I never use more than ¼ cup of warm water.
🥗 How to Use Spicy Cashew Dressing
In addition to serving on your favorite salad here are a few more ideas:
- As a dipping sauce for veggies
- Sub out the avocado sauce and make a Thai-style spicy coleslaw
- Use as a marinade for grilled chicken satay
- As a dip for summer rolls
- As sauce for a spicy chicken sandwich
- Drizzle on a poke bowl or on a kani salad
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
If you deveined the pepper and it isn't spicy enough, simply add more crushed red pepper.
Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Stir well before each use to recombine any separation.
If the dressing is too thick you can place the bottle in a bowl of warm water to quickly smooth it out without watering it down.
More Salad Dressing Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
While cashews work best for creaminess, you can experiment with almond butter or peanut butter for a unique twist.
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Spicy Cashew Dressing
- ½ cup Cashew Butter
- 1 lime juice and zest
- ½ cup fresh cilantro loosely packed
- 2 Tablespoons tamari gluten free soy sauce or regular soy sauce if not GF
- 2 Tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- 2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Fresno chili stem removed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ crushed red pepper flakes
- hot water about 2 to 4 tablespoons
- Add all ingredients , except the water, to a high powdered blend and blend on high for 1 minute.½ cup Cashew Butter, 1 lime, ½ cup fresh cilantro, 2 Tablespoons tamari gluten free soy sauce, 2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, 2 Tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 Fresno chili, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ crushed red pepper flakes
- Gradually add hot water until the dressing reaches a pourable consistency that isn't too thin.hot water
- Remove the seeds from the chili is optional.
- You can substitute a small Thai chili, serrano pepper or jalapeño for the Fresno chili.
- Place ¾ cup raw cashews on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 F degrees.
- Cool for 10 minutes. Then blend for 5 to 10 minutes until a paste forms.