This four ingredient creamy cashew butternut sauce recipe is rich, smooth, and goes on everything. ~Cashews, butternut squash, garlic~
Did you know you can make ridiculously delicious things with cashews? Things like creamy sauces?? If you already know, then you're totally going to get me for this whole post. But if you don't already know, then I imagine you potentially fitting into one of the following categories:
- Skeptics: You see 'cashew' and 'sauce' in the same phrase and are like say wuuuut. Nope sorry nuts can't be sauce.
- Traditionalists: When it comes to food, you stick to what you know, and what you know is that your mom never made sauce out of cashews. (If this is you there's probably a good chance you're my dad reading this. 'Sup Dad.).
- Hesitators: You've been seeing cashew sauce recipes here and there on the Interwebs and social media, and you're intrigued but haven't gone for it just yet for whatever reason.
Or perhaps you fall into any combination of the three.
To all my skeptics, this is for real. Cashews can, with the help of a powerful blender or food processor, be turned into nothing short of a delicious, creamy sauce. It's truly amazing, and I'm going to show you. Do you see this smoothness of this sauce? That was once a pile of cashews. Kid you not.
Traditionalists, I know you're set in your ways and there's something to be said for knowing what you like, BUT. If you branch out just this once I promise promise promise you won't be disappointed. The flavor speaks for itself. For goodness' sake I will even make some and bring it to you if that's what it takes.
Lastly, hesitators, I WAS YOU. I would come across recipes like these Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce, and I'd promise myself I'd make them someday soon...but I never did. As if buying cashews was this massive obstacle (psh, lame). Aaaaand when I found myself with all of this leftover butternut squash from the Thai-Spiced Butternut Bisque I made a couple weeks ago, I thought, cashew sauce with butternut squash... YUP. It's happening. And you know what? It turned out to be so easy and practical, even though it sounds all fancy and impractical. Far from it, my friends. I mean, even your most basic cashew sauce has just cashews and water, so what's adding one or two more ingredients, right?? Right.
So, let's talk about it.
Creamy Cashew Butternut Sauce
For a basic cashew sauce, you just soak cashews in water for a couple hours, drain them, throw into a blender with more water or broth (and optional spices), and blend until it's super smooth. And guess what? (I think you know where I'm going with this.) If you can do that, then you can totally do cashew butternut sauce because the only difference is--surprise!--adding in a bit of butternut squash. And spices (always). The thing I like about it? It almost has a cheesiness to it. No, I'm serious! I really think you could use it as a healthy sauce for pasta and have a mac-and-cheese-like experience. (Traditionalists, I may have just lost some of you). I'll prove it to you with a recipe... 😉 ---> No, really, it'll be necessary since I have so much cashew butternut sauce in my freezer after this.
^I do think countless vegans would vouch for me on that one, though.
So, since you're about to end up with somewhere are three cups of creamy butternut cashew sauce, here are some ideas for using it:
- Eat it plain (someone had to say it)
- Toss with pasta
- Make dip
- Drizzle it on tacos
- Spread it on sandwiches and wraps
- Put it on chicken (or any meat, really!)
- Use as a soup base
- Sauté in a skillet with tons of veggies
It's such a versatile sauce, which leaves you with tons of opportunities to get creative in your kitchen . End of the week and all you've got is the veggies left in your fridge and a box of whole wheat pasta? Perfect. Toss it all into a skillet. Let's just put it this way: anything that calls for a creamy sauce warrants this cashew butternut sauce. It just works.
A couple other tips:
- It freezes well, so freeze what you can't use up within a week. I learned this the hard way... aka the grody-to-the-max way.
- I tried this with both a high-speed blender and a food processor, and the sauce came out a lot smoother for me with a high-speed blender.
Okay, so I think I know where we both need to be right now: at the store or farmers market picking up ingredients for creamy cashew butternut sauce. Oh, and did I mention? There are only four (unless you count salt and pepper, which I totally don't because they're kind of a given).
Creamy Cashew Butternut Sauce
This cashew butternut sauce recipe is creamy, versatile, rich, and easy to make. Perfect for topping pasta, veggies, meat, or anything!
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: ~3 cups
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Blend
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 ½ cups broth, plus more as necessary
- 1 ½ cups cubed butternut squash, cooked
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place cashews in a bowl of water (they should be completely submerged). Cover the bowl and allow cashews to soak at room temperature for 2-3 hours (not overnight). If your butternut squash isn't already cooked, you could use part of this time to cook it.
- Drain cashews and place in a high speed blender with broth, butternut squash, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until completely smooth.
- To serve warm, heat sauce in a small saucepan or skillet.
*Add more broth (or water) as necessary to achieve desired consistency.