Spicy Cashew Dressing

5 from 4 votes
Jump to RecipePrint

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Spicy Cashew Dressing is bold and brilliantly flavored with chili paste, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Inspired by the fan-favorite Sweetgreen Spicy Cashew Dressing, it’s perfect on grain bowls, salads, roasted veggies, chicken and/or tofu.Spicy cashew dressing in a small white scalloped bowl

If you’re unfamiliar with the fast-casual restaurant chain Sweetgreen and their hugely popular Spicy Cashew Dressing, let me enlighten you.

This dressing is, admittedly, one of the only reasons I go to sweetgreen. It’s rich and creamy with nutty undertones from toasted sesame, zingy brightness from ginger and lime, and spicy strokes of chili.

It’s endlessly versatile and comes together in 5 minutes flat.

I love using it on grain bowls, salads, roasted veggies, chicken, or tofu. 

Keep a batch in the fridge and use it to elevate weekday lunches or speedy dinners.

How to Make Spicy Cashew Dressing

I prefer using an immersion blender over a food processor for this dressing, however either will work.

Just make sure you wait until the very end to add the cilantro or the whole dressing will turn green.

The IngredientsRecipe ingredients in separate bowls on a rimmed baking sheet

  • Cashew Butter: Mild, creamy, and with a mellow sweetness, creamy butter adds rich creaminess to the dressing.
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is more mellow than other vinegar varieties. 
  • Oil: Use a neutral oil, such as safflower, sunflower, or grapeseed oil. Unfortunately, the grassy undertones of olive oil skew the flavor of the dressing too much.
  • Chili Paste: I suggest Sambal Oelek, which is a popular chili paste you can find in most grocery stores. I tried using red pepper flakes (knowing most folks already have them on hand), however their flavor was just too flat.
  • Lime Juice: You need 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice (from 1/2 lime).
  • Ginger + Garlic: Use fresh, which offers more pungency than dried. This dressing is heavy on the ginger, which adds to the spice.
  • Sesame Oil: Look for toasted sesame oil, which has a richer, deeper flavor. 
  • Cilantro: A little goes a long way in this dressing. If you’re not a cilantro fan, you can omit it.
  • Maple Syrup: Sweetness from maple syrup balances the spice.

The Directions

Step 1: Blend Ingredients

In a medium bowl, combine everything except cilantro. Use an immersion blender to blend dressing until mostly smooth. (Alternatively, use a Nutribullet or small food processor.)

Add cilantro and blend again until green specks are disbursed throughout the dressing.Cashew butter, oil, vinegar, chili paste, ginger, and garlic being combined in a bowlDressing being stirred with a spoon in a white bowl

Suggested Uses:

This spicy cashew dressing can be used to elevate anything from grain bowls and salads to grilled meats. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Roasted or Sautéed Veggies: Toss with Perfect Sauteed Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or roasted cauliflower. 
  • Grain Bowls: Pretty much ANY of the grain bowl recipes on my site would benefit from this dressing. However I especially love it with this Curried Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowl (in lieu of the yogurt sauce and parsley oil).
  • Salads: This dressing pairs especially well with a hearty kale salad. Try it in my Autumn Delicata Squash Salad (In lieu of the almond butter dressing). 
  • Protein: Chicken or Tofu Skewers are fabulous dipped in this spicy cashew dressing.

Storage Tips:

  • To Store: Refrigerate dressing in an airtight container or jar for up to 2 weeks.

Broccoli salad being tossed in sweetgreen spicy cashew dressing

More Healthy Dressing Recipes to Try:

Almond Butter Dressing

Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Creamy Chipotle Dressing

If you try this copycat sweetgreen spicy cashew dressing, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 4 votes

Spicy Cashew Dressing

This Spicy Cashew Dressing is bold and brilliantly flavored with chili paste, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Perfect on grain bowls, salads, roasted veggies, chicken and/or tofu.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Immersion blender, Nutribullet, or small food processor

Ingredients  

  • 1/4 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 2 Tbsp. neutral oil (such as safflower, sunflower, or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sambal oelek (chili paste)
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. water (depending on desired consistency)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except cilantro. Use an immersion blender to blend dressing until mostly smooth. (Alternatively, use a Nutribullet or small food processor.)
    Add cilantro and blend again until green specks are disbursed throughout the dressing. (Don't overblend or the dressing will turn green.) Dressing will be thick.
    Refrigerate in a storage container or sealed jar for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Use dressing in hearty kale salads or grain bowls, over roasted veggies, or as a sauce for grilled chicken or tofu.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp. | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 362mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1.5g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
214 Shares

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Erica says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing and so spot on for sweetgreen copycat. Thanks for helping elevate my at home salad game!

  2. Cassidy says:

    5 stars
    A M A Z I N G. 10/10.

  3. Laura says:

    What would you recommend to use instead of Lime Juice? I’m allergic to all citrus items.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Laura – you can omit the lime juice and just add 1 extra teaspoon of rice vinegar. Enjoy!