Crafting the smoothest, creamiest, and most perfectly tangy vegan sour cream has been my mission FOR YEARS, and let me tell you – no raw cashews, no tofu, and no coconut oil are needed! This isn't your run-of-the-mill store-bought tofu sour cream; I've toiled to ensure it's not just easy but lightning-fast to whip up. You can have it dripping down your nachos or vegan kofta in about as long as it takes to make a dang smoothie!
You’ve just stumbled upon a flawless recipe that checks all the boxes – easy, speedy, and utterly delicious, obviously. This sour cream doesn't demand soaking cashews, and it doesn’t leave the aftertaste of tofu. Like many people, I’ve been on the quest for the perfect vegan sour cream. Spoiler alert – this is it!
Let’s take a lil' peek at "Sour Cream's Less-Evil Sibling." This recipe skips the cashews, ditches the tofu, and says "see ya later 'frigerator" to coconut oil 👋. Enter a shortlist of ingredients that promises not just a condiment but the perfect topping for your vegan tacos, or to add richness to curries like soya chaap sabji and vegan butter. chicken.
Ready to make vegan cooking history? Let’s dive in (like actually dive into a swimming pool of dairy-free sour cream, for real)!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
🌱 Vegan AF and GF: Like all of my vegan dairy recipes, this is made 100% without any animal products. It also just happens to be a gluten-free recipe because I know you hate gluten with all your heart and you scream into the heavens every time you see a slice of bread or whatever.
✅ Approved Worldwide: Like all plant-based recipes on my blog, after I perfect the recipe, this dairy free sour cream has undergone rigorous testing by a global team of hundreds of dedicated recipe testers. It's been tweaked to ensure success in kitchens worldwide, accommodating different ingredient brands and equipment. No matter where you are, this recipe delivers consistent, gorgeous results.
🕍Kosher: Do you keep kosher? Well, obviously, this has no meat or dairy in it, making it naturally pareve. Unlike dairy sour cream, if you are kosher, you can serve this homemade sour cream with anything you like! Depending on whether you use almond, cashew, or coconut-based milk and yogurt in the recipe (not soy, which is considered by some to be kitniyot), it can also be Kosher for Passover! But look, don't think of this as a sour cream substitute; this is the real thing; it is just plant-based!
🥇Flavor First: Yo, the basic version of this recipe is bangin’ as it is, but I have also given some great variations for you to check out. Adding roasted jalapeño, and scallions for use on your vegan elotes? Yes pls! Garlic, dill, and chives added to it to go with your vegetarian stuffed cabbage. This is a creamy canvas for you to get jiggy with.
🥛Notable ingredients and substitutions
The natural lecithin which is present in soy milk aids emulsification, providing a creamy texture. It’s a great vegan milk to use, which is why I use it in everything from Vietnamese banh flan to steamed Indonesian roti kukus. Almond milk or oat milk can also be used in this recipe. You can make it with any unsweetened, and unflavored non-dairy milk that is available at your favey grocery store. Just don’t use vanilla flavored milk, as that will make terrible, and weird sour cream.
Unsweetened Plant-Based Yogurt
Vegan yogurt has come a long way. About 20+ years ago, all the vegan yogurts on the market tragically sucked. Now there are about a zillion great options for unsweetened vegan yogurt (my personal fave is the unsweetened Kite Hill yogurt- their regular one, not their Greek yogurt). Commercial vegan yogurts are now good enough to use in recipes like my seitan kofta and tzatziki sauce, and Turkish yogurt and mint soup.
With a mild, slightly sweet flavor, rice vinegar adds essential acidity to balance the richness in the sour cream, and it has a distinctly dairy-like tang. If you get some to use in this recipe and want to know what else to make with it, my Korean BBQ sauce, and bami goreng noodles are great things to use it in. Apple cider vinegar, lime juice (if you are using it in Mexican dishes), or white wine vinegar are also worthy substitutes for this recipe.
My plant-based sour cream recipe has a touch of sweetness to balance the acidity of the vinegar and yogurt. Natural cane sugar rounds out the flavors without overpowering the sour cream. Palm sugar (which I use in bubur sumsum and my wonderful recipe for klepon), maple syrup or agave nectar are good substitutes if you want to avoid cane sugar.
Drizzled slowly during blending, neutral tasting oil provide healthy fats, forming the base for the creamy emulsion in the sour cream. I have had success making this recipe with canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, and avocado oil. If you use something else, use an oil that doesn’t add flavor (I definitely would not mess with sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil here).
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
🦄 Don’t be the most boring person in the galaxy.
If you want to mess with some fun flavored variations, stir in minced roasted jalapeño with scallions, a pinch of chipotle powder and nutritional yeast. If you are gonna use a dollop of sour cream in your burritos, or infuse herbal goodness with a tiny bit of Dijon mustard, minced garlic, dill, and chives to go on your blintzes and pierogies (I share my recipes for BOTH of those in my Vegan Eastern European cooking class btw). Think about what you are gonna serve your sour cream with/on and jazz it up to fit the vibe.
📖How to make perfect vegan sour cream
Throw regular sour cream, cashew sour cream and tofu based sour cream off the top of the Empire State Building to their perilous fate below. Nail this recipe on your first shot by following these step-by-step instructions with helpful tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Get the base together:
Combine plant-based milk, yogurt, rice vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a blender.
While blending at medium speed, slowly drizzle in the oil over the course of 60 seconds. Use a container with a corner you can pour from, or a pitcher with a spout for easier drizzling.
Once all the oil has been added, turn the blender to high speed. Blend for 30 seconds until a smooth and creamy emulsion forms.
Enjoy Fresh or Chill:
Use the sour cream immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days. The texture gets even better after it has chilled for about 2 hours.
✅ If using different milk, be mindful of potential separation; re-blend if needed. Soy milk is ideal, thanks to its lecithin content aiding emulsification.
- Temperature Matters: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature, especially the plant-based milk and yogurt. This promotes smoother blending and better emulsion.
- Patience in Pouring: This might be the most important thing to keep top of mind. When drizzling the oil into the blender, maintain a slow, steady pour over the entire 60 seconds. This gradual addition is key to achieving the perfect emulsion, preventing separation later on.
- Don’t use the blender from 1982 you found in your dad’s garage: You can sorta get away with making this in a crappy blender or even a food processor, but it might struggle to give you a good smooth emulsion. I can’t recommend a blender more than the Blendtec blenders. I have used just about every commercial high-speed blender made, and these blenders truly kick ass.
- Oil Quality: Choose a high-quality sunflower oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil for the best results. Ensure the oil is fresh and not rancid by smelling it, and tasting a drop before you use it in this recipe. The oil's flavor will influence the final taste of the sour cream, so opt for a neutral, fresh oil.
🤷♀️ Recipe FAQs
Refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to three days; if separation occurs, simply re-blend before use.
The process of freezing and thawing will ruin the emulsification that you have created when blending the liquids and fats. Additionally, some plant-based milks get grainy and gross-looking when frozen. So don’t freeze this stuff. It is so easy and fast to make fresh whenever you want it.
A high-powered blender is essential for thorough emulsification. A crappy old blender will perhaps have a hard time creating a thorough emulsification of the oil and liquids. But you can make a silken tofu-based vegan sour cream in a food processor if that is all you have.
Sour cream made from dairy contains cholesterol and lactose. In contrast, this delicious recipe utilizes plant-based ingredients, offering a healthier, cholesterol-free alternative. From a nutritional standpoint, opting for the low-fat plant-based version eliminates the concerns associated with dairy, providing a lower-fat and cholesterol-free option.
✌️My faves to serve with vegan sour cream:
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Vegan Sour Cream
Optional additions for variations:
- 1 Jalapeño roasted over an open flame and then minced
- 1 scallion minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons minced dill
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- Place the unsweetened plant-based milk into a blender along with the yogurt, rice vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
- While the content of the blender mix at medium speed, slowly drizzle the oil over the course of 60 seconds. Placing the oil into a square container (that you can pour out of the corner from), or a pitcher with a spout helps make pouring easier and less messy.
- Once all oil has been added, turn the blender up to high speed and blend the mixture for another 30 seconds until you achieve a smooth and creamy emulsion.
- Once your mixture is thick and well-emulsified, use the sour cream immediately, or store under refrigeration for up to three days. It gets a bit thicker once it has chilled for at least 2 hours. Depending on what type of milk you use, it may separate after a couple of days, and require re-blending before use. If you have a choice, soy milk is best for this recipe because it contains lecithin, which helps support emulsification.
- If you want a fun flavored sour cream, stir in roasted and minced jalapeño with minced scallions, or introduce an herby dimension with minced garlic, dill, and chives. Get creative!