You won’t be able to tell the difference between this Spicy Cashew Dressing and the original from Sweetgreen. This easy and creamy dressing adds so much flavor and comes together in 5 minutes or less. With hints of hot sauce and cilantro, you’ll be putting this on everything and going back for seconds!

A spoonful of Spicy Cashew Dressing from a white bowl.

Sweetgreen Copycat Cashew Dressing

If you have ever been to Sweetgreen and had their spicy cashew dressing then you already understand the obsession.

If not, then you’re about to. Because this cashew dressing recipe you’ll find below tastes JUST like it.

Wanna know how I know? I kept tasting them side-by-side (and eating their Crispy Rice Salad for WEEKS) until I got it just right.

It’s got the perfect balance of creamy and nutty cashews, fresh cilantro, zesty citrus, and just the right amount of spice. And it’s a great way to get in some extra protein with a salad.

Throw everything into a food processor, blend away, and it will be ready for your favorite salad in less than 5 minutes!

This recipe just might become your new favorite dressing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Cashews, oil, cilantro, sweetener, lime, vinegar, and hot sauce are some of the ingredients for this dressing.
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A cover, table of contents, and recipe page for the 17 healthy salad dressings e-book.

17 Simple Salad Dressings e-Book

An e-cookbook full of quick vinaigrettes and creamy dressings that are ready in under 5 minutes!

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make your own version of cashew salad dressings at home include:

  • Cashews. Be sure to get roasted and salted cashews for the best texture and flavor.
  • Cilantro. Fresh cilantro is key.
  • Lime. If possible, stick with fresh lime juice and not the bottled kind. Lemon juice will work in a pinch.
  • Soy sauce. You can also opt for Tamari or coconut aminos if your dietary needs call for it. (Here’s more info on Tamari vs. Soy Sauce.)
  • Rice vinegar. This type of vinegar yields the best flavor. However, you can sub in apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, but it won’t taste quite the same. (Find more Rice Vinegar Substitutes here.)
  • Maple syrup. You only need a little bit of sweetener. Maple syrup is the best, but you can choose honey instead. (This post has you covered with other Maple Syrup Substitutes.)
  • Ginger. You can either choose fresh ginger and mince it yourself, or grab a bottle of ginger paste at local grocery stores.
  • Garlic. Fresh minced garlic is so important for this recipe. Whole cloves really create a deep flavor of the dressing rather than garlic powder.
  • Sriracha. This recipe only calls for a little bit of hot sauce. You can add more for extra flavor, or leave it out completely if you prefer.
  • Oil. Either avocado oil or olive oil, or another neutral oil, will work, depending on which taste you like better.

How to Make Spicy Cashew Dressing

Below you will find the steps to make this spicy cashew salad dressing at home:

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Make the Base

The best way to make this dressing is in a food processor. You can also use a high-powered blender if that’s what you have.

Add everything except for the water to the bowl of the food processor.

Pulse a few times so the cashews start to break down and the ingredients start coming together.

Then, blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until the dressing is well combined. You might still see some chunks of cashews, and that’s ok.

Thin It Out

Slowly add the water to the dressing, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Be sure to blend well after each addition.

You only need to incorporate enough water to get the consistency you prefer. You might not need the full amount of water listed. Process longer for a smoother sauce.

Store this salad dressing in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator for the best results. It’s even better after a couple of hours.

The dressing is blended until smooth.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can make the entire dressing a couple of days early, just keep it in the fridge.
  • How to store: If you don’t use all of the cashew dressing, you can save leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 to 6 days.
  • How to freeze: Freezing is not recommended as the dressing will separate and the texture will change upon thawing.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Roasted is best. Don’t get raw cashews for this dressing!
  • Make it yours. You can add in extra Sriracha or leave it out, depending on how spicy you like it.
  • High powered. You really need a good food processor that can handle nuts for this recipe.
  • Get creative. Yes, this is a salad dressing, but you can also put it on roasted or fresh veggies or even protein, like chicken or shrimp.
  • Pay attention. Only add a little water at a time until it’s the consistency you prefer.
Spicy cashew dressing accompanies a bowl full of greens and vegetables.

What to Serve with Spicy Cashew Dressing

Of course, this dressing is great on top of your favorite salads. But its uses don’t stop there. Try it with any of these recipes, as well.

Salads, like this Fresh Peach Salad and this Massaged Kale Salad are great options.

You can double up on the Sweetgreen recipes and try it on a Harvest Bowl.

Serve it with protein as a dipping sauce with these Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets or Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs.

A cover, table of contents, and recipe page for the 17 healthy salad dressings e-book.

17 Simple Salad Dressings e-Book

An e-cookbook full of quick vinaigrettes and creamy dressings that are ready in under 5 minutes!

More Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

Who knew making your own homemade dressing was so easy?! Whip up these options next.

Classics like Ranch DressingBalsamic VinaigretteThousand Island, Apple Cider Vinaigrette, and Honey Mustard are so easy to make yourself.

Or, change up the flavors with Balsamic VinaigretteAvocado RanchLemon Vinaigrette, or Greek Dressing.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 6 votes

Spicy Cashew Dressing Recipe

You won't be able to tell the difference between this Spicy Cashew Dressing and the original from Sweetgreen. This easy and creamy dressing adds so much flavor and comes together in 5 minutes or less.
A spoonful of Spicy Cashew Dressing from a white bowl.
Yield 8 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • ¾ cup cashews roasted and salted
  • ¼ cup cilantro loosely packed
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. soy sauce or Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. ginger minced or paste
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • ½ – 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce depending on desired spice level
  • ¼ cup oil avocado or olive
  • 3-4 Tbsp. water depending on desired consistency
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients except for the water to a 3-4 cup food processor. Pulse a couple of times to begin breaking down the cashews and then blend for 1-2 minutes, or until combined. It’s ok if the cashews are not completely broken down and there are still some small chunks visible.
  • Pour in the water one tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition, until your desired consistency is reached.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 6 votes

Video

Notes

  • One serving is roughly 2 tablespoons of dressing.
  • This sauce will thicken up after being stored in the refrigerator. Simply add additional water, a teaspoon at a time, to bring it back to your desired consistency.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can make the entire dressing a couple of days early, just keep it in the fridge.
  • How to store: If you don’t use all of the cashew dressing, you can save leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 to 6 days.
  • How to freeze: Freezing is not recommended as the dressing will separate and the texture will change upon thawing.

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Sodium: 165mg, Potassium: 98mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 35IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!