Great dressing for my new focus of eating only whole foods thus avoiding processed foods. My go-to salad dressing is usually lemon juice with salt & pepper, but I was looking for something creamy with a richer flavor.  Found it in this one. Works well with just about any greens or vegetables, and a little goes a long way.

Cashew Cilantro Dressing

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 inch piece of a serrano pepper, red or green, seeds removed
  • 3 T lemon juice (about 1 & 1/2 lemons)
  • 2 peeled & smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional).


  1. Put the cashews and water in a blender and process until smooth
  2. Add all the other ingredients including 1/2 tsp of salt and process until smooth
  3. Taste and adjust with salt and hot pepper as needed.  Makes 1 cup.

Lessons Learned/Advice:

  • The serrano pepper looks like a slender jalapeño pepper, and it’s quite a bit spicier. I take the seeds out by cutting strips of pepper off the outside of the pepper, rather than cutting the pepper in half and trying to get the seeds out (this method works well for other peppers too). If you can’t find a serrano, use an jalapeño instead but use the whole pepper, again without the seeds, unless you really like it hot.
  • If you add too much salt, try using a little extra lemon juice.
  • Great over vegetables as well as salads. Today is was arugula and left over roast potatoes, topped with lemon juice,  salt,  and a generous portion of dressing. Yum!
  • This is “oil free” (oil is a processed food) but it is not fat free (cashews).  Enjoy this whole food home-made salad dressing.
  • I haven’t added the extra hot sauce yet — and I’m tempted to use lime juice instead of lemon. If you try any variations, let me know how it works out. Also tempted just to blend an avocado with lemon juice for an alternative dressing…maybe next week.


I found this in a magazine titled “Forks Over Knives 2017.” There’s also a website and movie by the same name.   I couldn’t find the recipe anywhere online…just here I guess.