A Lemon Cream Sauce Minus The Cream

by Pamela

lemon cream sauce, cream sauce recipe, lemon sauce for fish

Do you love cream sauces as much as I do, but you just can’t eat them (lactose intolerant, eating Paleo, eating Vegan, don’t have any cream in the house)? Then this lemon cream sauce recipe is for you…there’s no cream in it. Which then leads to the questions: how can you call it cream sauce and what makes it creamy? Cashews. Yes, the nut, cashews.

Remember that ridiculously good vegan vanilla ice cream recipe I posted a couple of weeks ago? Those cashews that worked their creamy magic in the ice cream can do the same thing in sauces too. If you haven’t figured it out yet, cashews are a Vegans’ secret weapon when it comes to making things that have a creamy texture to them.

Pureed cashews, or cashew cream is an excellent sub for heavy cream in both sweet and savory recipes. No, it won’t whip up like whipped cream, but as a base for sweet or savory sauces it’s fantastic. It’s especially good if you need to make a recipe that will be consumed by someone with special dietary needs: no dairy, no eggs and no soy.

A perfect lemon sauce for fish

The hardest part about this lemon cream sauce recipe is remembering to start it 5 or 6 hours before you need it. (Since you need to soak the cashews before blending them up). Speaking of soaking cashews….Did you know that soaking nuts helps to release more of their nutrients? It also helps your body digest them a bit easier.

I used this as a lemon sauce for fish (see picture), but I also used it as a dipping sauce for grilled shrimp, topped baked chicken with it and stirred it into pasta. Talk about a versatile sauce recipe. You could also thin this out a bit more and maybe add a touch more garlic and use it as a creamy salad dressing too.

A Lemon Cream Sauce Minus The Cream
Prep time
Total time
This lemon cream sauce, sans cream, is perfect for fish, chicken or pasta. What makes it creamy? It uses cashews instead of dairy for creaminess.
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 1
  • ½ Cup Raw Cashews
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme (leaves only)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  1. Cover cashews by 1" with water and let sit for 5-6 hours, then drain.
  2. Add all ingredients to blender (salt and pepper to taste) and buzz until everything is smooth and liquified. If you want a thinner consistency, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Store in covered container, in the refrigerator 3 or 4 days.
Makes around ½ cup of sauce. If using as pasta sauce, save some of the pasta boiling water to use to thin sauce down.


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sippitysup October 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I tasted cashew cream (as a sweets sauce) this past weekend and I have to say that I am sure it will be fabulous on savory foods as well. GREG

Pamela October 15, 2014 at 5:24 am

It’s so versatile Greg, sweet or savory and it will do light or heavy too. I’m having a lot of fun playing with it.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 8, 2014 at 6:19 pm

I love the idea of using this as a salad dressing. All the ways you could flavor it are jumping around in my head.

Pamela October 15, 2014 at 5:24 am

Maureen, this would make a GREAT salad dressing! It’s such a blank canvas. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

John@Kitchen Riffs October 8, 2014 at 8:37 am

I had no idea that soaking nuts released more of their nutrients! Cool fact. And this is a cool recipe — I love lemon. And although I do use cream in recipes, always great to have a wonderful looking alternative. Thanks for htis.

Pamela October 15, 2014 at 5:25 am

Hi John, yep…soaking nuts and seeds helps to make them healthier by releasing nutrients.

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