Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Sauce

Who got a new kitchen gadget for the holidays? Or, just for fun recently? While I’m excited about the new Instant Pot I received for Christmas and all the delicious recipes to come, my favorite kitchen tool for the past couple of years has been my immersion blender.

immersion blender cream sauce

I use this in a variety of recipes for several reasons

  1. It’s safer than transferring hot liquid/food to a standing blender.
  2. It can be used with hot liquid batch recipes like soups or for single serve cold recipes like smoothies.
  3. Dairy-free recipes can be made creamy with a variety of ingredients.
  4. It doesn’t take up much space.
  5. Clean-up is faster than with any other kitchen tool.

creamy cashew tomato sauce

Before I started to get more creative, my go-to dairy free creamy recipe was the cashew cream tomato sauce I’m sharing in this post. Since then, my immersion blender has helped me use not only cashews, but also white beans to give recipes the creamy texture many desire without the dairy.

Creamy Vegan Cashew Tomato Sauce
And, sometimes, using the immersion blender is not about the omission of dairy, but just getting a delicious texture in a soup, chili, or homemade tomato sauce {like this butternut squash and leek soup , red lentil and red pepper chili, or this easy homemade tomato marinara sauce}

Now, whether you need to be dairy free or not doesn’t really matter – variety is not only the spice of life, but is also important to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients into your body. The mono-unsaturated fats in nuts like cashews and the fiber you get from white beans are things many Americans are lacking in their regular eating patterns.

vegan cream sauce

While some people like to ignore GI responses to dairy, especially from creams that are used in many of the recipes I reference (lactose intolerance effects up to 2/3 of people!), when it comes to fitness nutrition, most people want to avoid any unpleasant symptoms. Maybe you’ll enjoy a good ole’ classic fettuccine alfredo here and there, but it’s likely something you’d avoid on a regular basis if you know it will impact your workout routine or tomorrow’s race. Plus, the healthy fats here can help balance the body’s inflammation when you eat more of them on a regular basis.

And, as many of you know, while I can’t have dairy, I have a cheese lover in the house who confirms the deliciousness of any recipes before they’re shared on this blog! On the regular, we enjoy sauces like this with bean pastas from brands like Explore, Tolerant and Banza, since they boost protein, fiber and satiety, but sometimes it’s great just to have the traditional version, too.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? Share in the comments so that I can cater recipes to you in the future 🙂

Interested in what other cool kitchen gadgets are out there, or have some sitting in the cabinet because you don’t know what to do with them? Click on the Recipe Redux link at the bottom of this post to see what my fellow-bloggers love to make with their favorite kitchen tools!

Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Sauce

Serves 8-10
Vegan, Gluten Free

creamy tomato sauce



  • Ahead of time, soak cashews in the water for a minimum of 2 hours, by dumping them in a small bowl and filling with water just to cover. An overnight soak is best – the longer you soak, the less time you’ll spend blending and the more creamy the sauce will be.
  • Add your sauce to a medium sized pot over low-medium heat. After about 3-5 minutes, stir in the drained cashews and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Submerge the bottom of your immersion blender into the sauce and pulse on low for roughly 10-15 seconds. Increase speed to medium and blend an additional 30-60 seconds, until you reach a creamy consistency to your liking.
  • Serve with your favorite pasta, vegetable and protein, or a bean based pasta to cross both the pasta and protein off the list at once.


24 thoughts on “Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Sauce

  1. What a great way to amp up the nutrition in normal tomato sauce! I love using cashews as a dairy substitute… though I have never thought to use my immersion blender. Great tip – thank you!

  2. I love everything about this post! I’m always looking for new creamy non-dairy recipes AND I LOVE using my immersion blender so this is just great 🙂

  3. Pingback: 15 Creative Uses for Nut Butter - Kelly Jones Nutrition

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