Creamy Vegan Southwest Dressing

By Crystal Baldwin

This very creamy southwest dressing can be made vegan or not - just change out the cashews for mayo if you don't have any dairy or egg concerns and this recipe will whip up fast!

Nothing adds flavor to your favorite southwest dish than a great dressing.  The problem is most dressings are loaded with sugar and preservatives that  just add empty calories and aren't so good for you. 

This dressing takes all of the yucky stuff out and leaves you with lots of flavor and a smooth, creamy dressing that you can use on all kinds of foods.  If you are vegan or have health concerns and need to avoid the dairy and eggs this is the perfect dressing for you. 

The other great thing about this recipe is that it has some pretty simple ingredients that you usually have around the house.  It whips up quickly and you can store it in the fridge to use all week.  I haven't tried freezing this, but I bet it would freeze well and just need to be re-blended when you pull it out of the freezer. 

You can use this dressing in so many ways:

  • On Tacos
  • Taco Salad dressing
  • Fajitas Sauce
  • Chopped Southwest style salad
  • Black Bean and Rice Bowl
  • Corn Chip Dip 
  • Great on Sweet Potatoes
  • Veggie Dip 
  • Turkey or Veggie Wraps
  • Dip for Zucchini Fries  (one of my favorites)

Creamy Vegan Southwest Dressing



  • 1 cup Cashews, soaked & drained (or use mayo of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Salsa (more if you want more tomato taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice plus, zest for more flavor
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Dill
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (or regular)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne for some heat (or to taste)
  • 2 Cups Water (can use more if needs to be thinner)


  1. Soak cashews overnight (Quick method – pour boiling water over cashews and leave for 30 minutes). Strain in the morning and rinse & strain again. (Substitute with Mayo if not vegan or use vegan mayo for a quicker dressing)
  2. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender
  3. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth
  4. Add water if needed, remember this will thicken once in the fridge
  5. If dressing thickens too much once chilled, add a little water to thin as needed
  6. Store in the fridge, use within 1 week

This dressing works great on a southwest salad, a black bean rice & quinoa bowl with veggies and avocado’s or even as a dip for chips.  You can drizzle it over veggies or sweet potatoes for extra flavor. Anywhere you want southwest flavor- add this dressing!

If you are not vegan or don’t have a dairy or egg concern, feel free to trade out the soaked cashews for mayo of your choice – this will make a faster dressing.   For vegans that want a quicker sauce, use a vegan mayo in place of the cashews.

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