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Overhead shot of a bowl of creamy green cilantro jalapeno cashew sauce.

Creamy Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Tracy Halasz


  • high-power blender


  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked
  • ⅓-1/2 cup water
  • ½ bunch cilantro, rough chop
  • 1 jalapeno, cut into 3 or 4 chunks
  • 1 medium garlic clove, rough chop
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • ½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ¼ - ½ tsp maple syrup (optional)


  • If no high-power blender: place cashews in the blender cup, pour boiling water over the cashews, replace lid and let soak for 30 minutes up to 2 hours (until plump).
    Drain, rinse and continue with recipe.
  • With a high-power blender, you can get away without pre-soaking. Just boil the ⅓-1/2 cup water, pour over the ½ cup cashews in the blender cup, add the other ingredients, replace the lid and puree until smooth.
  • It's not necessary to pick the leaves off the cilantro. Cut any large stalks off but the smaller, tender stems are fine to include.
  • The consistency will be a thick dressing. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if you want a thinner more pourable drizzle. Or add less water if you'd like a thicker dip or sauce.


Easy to make thick or thin consistency to use as a dip, sauce, dressing or drizzle by adding more or less water.
Jalapeno peppers carry heat in the seeds and membranes as well so if your family doesn't like too much heat, remove the seeds, start with ½ a jalapeno pepper, and then taste and adjust to your personal preference.
The cashews puree more evenly and creamy if they are plump and juicy. If you don't have a high-power blender, soaking the cashews is essential for a smooth cashew sauce. Either the boiling water method for up to a couple hours or soak in cool water overnight covered in the refrigerator.