Magic Vegan Mushroom Sauce
This vegan mushroom sauce is pure magic! It's a lightened-up dairy-free sauce with earthy mushrooms and creamy cashews that's perfect on everything from pasta to potatoes. It's quick and easy to make, and it's ready in 25 minutes!
If you love mushrooms as much as we do, also try our vegan mushroom gravy and cashew cream of mushroom soup.
While the mushrooms in this sauce won't make you feel funny, it does taste quite magical. It's a dairy-free mushroom sauce that tastes like it has whipping cream in it, but it doesn't. It's so rich, creamy, and delicious that you may not even know the difference!
It's an easy vegan sauce that's perfect for quick and healthy weeknight meals. Toss it with pasta, pour it over mashed potatoes, or add in some chunks of tempeh and serve it over brown rice for a completely vegan meal.
To make it, simply brown some mushrooms in a pan with olive oil then transfer some to your blender along with the soaked cashews, garlic, salt, pepper, and water. Blend it all until smooth and creamy. Add the sauce back to the pan with the rest of the mushrooms, and warm it on the stove. That's it!
One thing to keep in mind is the cashews need to soak either overnight or using our quick-soak method. You'll also need a good blender for that extra smooth texture.
Magic mushroom sauce ingredients
You only need a few simple ingredients and most of them you're likely to have on hand. Here's what you need to make this healthy mushroom sauce:
- Cashews – look for raw un-roasted and unsalted cashews for this recipe. They need to be soaked either overnight, or using our quick-soak method (see below).
- Olive oil – for sautéing the mushrooms. You can also use a vegan butter alternative if you prefer.
- Mushrooms – we use a mix of cremini mushrooms but you can use button mushrooms or a mix of your favorites.
- Garlic – because garlic and mushrooms belong together, and because garlic adds lots of flavor to the earthy mushrooms.
- Sea salt + pepper – for seasoning, to taste.
The cashew quick-soak method
Don't worry if you didn't plan ahead and soak your cashews overnight. This easy quick-soak method is here to save the day!
Here's how to quick-soak cashews in just two simple steps:
- Place cashews in a heat-safe bowl or dish.
- Cover them with boiling water for at least 1 hour. That's it! Now they will be soft enough to blend into a creamy sauce.
How to make magic mushroom sauce
This vegan mushroom cream sauce is a versatile creamy sauce with lots of different uses from pasta, to mashed potatoes, and even burgers. It's quick and easy to make, and it's completely dairy-free. Here's how to make it in a couple of simple steps:
- To start, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until they look nice and browned.
- To your blender, add the soaked cashews, garlic, sea salt, and pepper along with some water and a scoop of the mushrooms. Give it whiz until it's smooth.
- Pour the sauce mixture into the pan with the rest of the mushrooms, and heat it on the stove until it's warmed through. Enjoy this magical mushroom sauce on anything your heart desires!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Unfortunately no, cashews are the only nut (that we know of) that are neutral flavored and become super creamy when blended.
This sauce will stay fresh in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days.
Yep! It will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months. When it's thawed, give it a good whisk to remove any lumps.
Ideas for serving this mushroom sauce
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy this cashew mushroom sauce. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
- Use it in a casserole. It's the sauce we use to make our vegan green bean casserole, and it tastes great in tuna noodle casserole, or baked pasta dishes, too.
- Pair it with potatoes. Serve it with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or any other kind of potatoes you can think of.
- Make a grain bowl. Serve it with some tempeh or cooked chicken chunks and spinach over brown rice for a healthy complete meal.
- Toss it with pasta. Fusilli, spaghetti, penne, you name it. Use gluten-free pasta if needed, or veggie noodles for a lighter meal.
- Turn it into soup. In our cashew cream of mushroom soup, we add vegetable or chicken broth to thin it and some thyme and black pepper for flavor. In just 20 minutes, you can wrap your hands around a mug of this not-from-a-can mushroom soup.
More healthy sauce recipes
Magic Mushroom Sauce
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 1 cup cashews, soaked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ lb crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are brown, about 15 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 ½ lb crimini or button mushrooms
- Add the soaked cashews, garlic, sea salt, pepper, 1 ½ cups of water and a scoop of the cooked mushrooms to a food processor or blender and blend on high until smooth.1 cup cashews, 1 large garlic clove, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Pour the sauce into the pan with the rest of the mushrooms. Bring the sauce to a boil then remove it from the heat.
Good post guys!
To be fair, there’s no reason not to make this with fresh magic mushrooms
I made this tonight and it was so yummy! I added onion and zucchini and served it over millet and brown rice pasta! Excellent! This is definitely a keeper 😊
Made this for dinner tonight as a sauce for chicken and going to have the rest as soup for lunch. Absolutely delicious! Have had to cut out dairy due to medication induced lactose intolerance and am looking forward to trying out more cashew substitutions. I only soaked the cashews for 2 hours and used my food processor. I think it would have been a bit smoother if I had soaked them longer, but it still came out great! The garlic is key for seasoning.
Hello ! Thanks for this very good recipe 🙂 : it’s both good when eating it, and good for health.
This turned out perfectly! Delicious! I might try different versions of it in the future (like herbs and garlic) but as is, this was terrific. My whole family loved it.
I want to preface this comment by saying: I never follow recipes. Ever. I use them as inspiration and then make my own recipe.
I’ve been making this recipe without alteration since 2017. My kids and I are respectively dairy free and plant based due to allergies and health issues, this makes holidays in my food centric family really difficult.
I have taken over the food making for holiday meals (it only takes one year of watching a Thanksgiving you can’t eat from behind your peanut butter sandwich.) and this sauce makes a green bean casserole that is not only “acceptable” but raved over. I hate canned cream of mushroom soup (even cooked into stuff) I will eat this with a spoon.
As long as I am cooking holiday meals this recipe will be a part of our family traditions, and my kids love to help me cook, so maybe they’ll keep making it when I retire in fifty some years. ?
Thanks for something amazing,
That makes me so happy to hear! Thanks, Kate!
Just a quick update since I made the recipe for Thanksgiving this past weekend. I made the full recipe and was surprised how much sauce it made – over 3 cups! It was verrry thick once it sat in the fridge for a few hours. But the great thing is that it’s easy to thin with a little water if needed. I sauteed the garlic with the mushrooms rather than adding them raw into the blender. I would advise using white mushrooms as the brown ones I used made the sauce quite gray. I love Herbs de Provence seasoning so I added a teaspoon (dried) or so to the mushrooms as they cooked. The result was excellent!! Creamy and delicious. I used the sauce to fold into my wild rice casserole and everyone loved it. Forget Cream of Mushroom soup (full of chemicals and sodium!) from now on – this sauce will be my go-to. Thanks, Kristin.
You’re so welcome, Julie!
Kristin, I like to make a few dishes in advance of Thanksgiving (in Canada this weekend.) How long does this keep in the fridge once it’s made? I don’t suppose it freezes well? Thanks!!
Happy almost Thanksgiving! While I’ve never frozen it before, one reader said that she tried it and it turned very watery afterward. But the sauce will last for at least 5 days in the fridge so you can make it well in advance. 🙂
Thank you so much!! I suspected freezing might result in watery sauce or separation. But I’ll make it today or tomorrow if it’ll keep well until Sunday. I’m putting it in a wild rice casserole “stuffing” to go with our turkey. Really looking forward to trying it. I’ve honestly loved every recipe I’ve tried from your site.
I prepared this sauce. I followed the directions carefully but the result was not good.
Wow! it looks so creamy and delicious. Thumbs up for this recipe. I will probably try this at home soon. It looks really good on pasta. Big thanks for sharing this stunning recipes.
This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to make this! I was just wondering, could this be used to make an instant mushroom risotto? ( to be mixed with cooked rice) I’m from India so Arborio rice is not something easily available.
I know this is not something purists of Italian cooking would be okay with, but I don’t have much of an option!
I think mixing it with rice would be delicious!
Some of the comments mentioned this recipe being bland and I’m trying to limit my salt intake so I substituted vegetable stock (unsalted) for of water, omitted the salt, and added 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. The results are FANTASTIC. 11/10 highly recommended.
That is so wonderful to hear! Thanks, Breanne!
Is there a reason to use water instead of unsalted veggie stock?
Veggie stock would work too. I don’t usually keep any on hand and the sauce is still very flavorful even when made with water.
I’m in love! Thanks for such a simple yet satisfying recipe. I feel much less guilty making sauce with a cup of cashews over a cup of heavy whipping cream! This will definitely be a made often in my house from now on!
That’s so wonderful to hear! Hooray!!
Very good, I soaked porcini mushrooms in boiling water and used this instead of plain water, I also added the soaked mushrooms to the blender to add flavour. It needs to be seasoned well with salt and black pepper, and I’d add even more porcini mushrooms next time to make it more flavourful… I love the flavour of mushrooms. Serving with a seitan steak, yummy.
Great call on the porcini mushrooms!
The taste was absolutely delicious, I followed the recipe to a T. But mine turned out a grainy paste of a sauce more than a creamy sauce. On the Pinterest page and I see pictures and the sauce looks as creamy as cream of mushroom soup. Just curious if you have any suggestions or answers as to why mine didn’t turn out so creamy?
It sounds like it may be because of your food processor. Some work great and are able to blend the cashews into cream, but others aren’t as powerful and can leave the sauce a little grainy. The best thing to do it to add a little additional water to help the sauce blend a little better. If it’s really grainy, you can try straining it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any of the grainy bits. I hope that helps!
Can’t wait to try this out. How long do you think it would keep stored airtight in the fridge?
At least 4-5 days. 🙂
I found this to be bland.
Did you salt the sauce?
This is a must try! Something that will pique the interest of my guests on a Sunday dinner at my house. Something that is healthier and delicious to try. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and amazing recipe.
You’re so welcome! I hope you like the recipe as much as we do. 🙂
This is amazing and so simple. I used mushroom broth instead of water and cut back the salt. I used the sauce to make a gluten and dairy free tuna casserole. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
You are so welcome!
This sauce is awesome!! Absolutely delicious and so easy to make. We have it with rice and quorn or with pasta and broccoli. Thanks so much Kristen!
I’m so happy to hear you love it as much as I do!
I turned this into a tuna macaroni casserole – 3/4 cup dry macaroni cooked / 1 cup broccoli chopped and steamed / 1 small can tuna (7 oz) flaked. /. Topped with a Panko crumb topping.
Delicious !! Thanks for the recipe – I will use this many times!
That is seriously such a great idea! You might see my own version pop up here on the blog!
We made this amazing sauce to cook pork chops in! Just like that blast from the past pork chops in Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup 🙂 Except this was soooooooooooo much better. Way less sodium. Super mushroomy. Absolutely delicious sauce! I was surprised that it was so creamy and held together perfectly – no separation. I used broken cashews and did soak them for about 3 hours in advance. And used a regular blender on high speed. Just a beautiful, healthy, no additive recipe. You could easily thin this on the stove with a little broth to make a lovely soup too. I have made a few of your recipes, Kristen, but this is my favourite by far.
Your comment totally made my day! This sauce is my absolute favorite. We make it all the time for quick and easy dinners!
This looks amaaaazing. I don’t have a food processor OR a blender at this point but I do have an immersion blender. Any chance that would do the trick?
That will definitely work! Just be careful to keep it submerged in the sauce (you will probably need to transfer it to a tall container) so it doesn’t make a big mess. 🙂
We can’t use cashews, can I use sunflower seeds as a replacement?
Sunflower seeds should work fine, but they might alter the taste a little. I would opt for raw (not roasted) sunflower seeds. 🙂
Would this work as “cream of mushroom soup” for a green bean casserole?
Absolutely it would! I actually have a recipe using it in a green bean casserole. 🙂 https://www.theendlessmeal.com/healthy-vegan-green-bean-casserole/
Would this be good with black bean pasta?
It definitely would!
Hi, wanna try this,,,do you use raw or roasted cashews?
I use raw cashews. 🙂
for the 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 4-24 hours .how much water do you put in it. is
1 cup or less?
As long as they’re covered, the amount of water doesn’t matter. I usually put them in a 2 cup mason jar and then fill the jar up with water. 🙂
Doing this for thanksgiving. First time I have had vegans over, but excited to try. I want to cook this ahead of time but am concerned the breadbrumbs will absorb moisture and get soggy. Should I keep the topping and beans separate until day of ? I would reheat the beans, add topping, and serve? Thanks.
If you’re making the vegan green bean casserole ahead of time, I would leave the breadcrumbs off until just before it goes into the oven. You can assemble the rest of the casserole and just keep it covered in your fridge. Happy Thanksgiving!
Just made this and added water to make it a creamy mushroom soup. Fantastic! I”ve been curious about recipes using the soaked cashews and now I know how amazing it is!
It’s so good , isn’t it?! I’m so happy to hear you like it, too!
Just made this for my Mom and I. Great recipe! Skipped the oil, used porcini mushroom stock instead of water, grilled the button mushrooms instead of frying. Turned out fantastic! Just what I wanted!
Good call on the porcini mushroom stock and grilling the mushrooms! Yum!!
I am making this later today as your description and pictures have me sold! I am curious to know how long the sauce keeps. Can it be frozen or best kept in the fridge?
Thank you! ?
I’ve never tried freezing it so I’m really not sure how it would hold up. If you give freezing it a go I’d love to hear how it turns out. It would be super handy to always have some on hand!
Magic is the perfect name for it because my non-vegan husband and son scoff at the word vegan but eat and love this every time I make it ; )
I was so curious about freezing this so I doubled the recipe and froze half for 2 months. After defrosting in the fridge for a day it was very watery and separated. I heated a serving in the microwave and it had lost some flavor and was still slightly watery/separated. Then next serving I heated in the oven and it was not watery, however, it tasted slightly better.
All in all, I would definitely freeze it again and reheat in the oven.
Thanks for making our taste buds happier!!
Thank you so much for letting us know the best way to defrost this! We always do it on the stovetop but will try the oven method!
Made this tonight as part of a shrimp stir fry. Heavenly!
I’m so happy to hear you liked it! It’s one of my fav sauces. 🙂
This does look really good. I just tried to duplicate a cashew cream onion sauce that I had at our local indiad restaurant. It didn’t taste like their’s, but it was good over lots of fresh veggies. I think I sent this to my son in law also, as he was trying to cook gluten free for me when I was visiting them. I will have to try this now, I love mushroom soup.
A cashew onion cream sauce sounds amazing. I’ll have to try that!
Cathy, what about making a onion mushroom cream sauce? YUM
Wow! Never heard of such a thing and can’t wait to try it!
You should! It really is delicious!!
Can this be made w/soaked walnuts?
I haven’t tried it with walnuts yet, but I suspect it would work. It would have a stronger nut flavour, which could be quite tasty. 🙂
Ha! Aww… not ‘real’ magic mushrooms? Wouldn’t that be a trip 😛 So in all seriousness, this sauce looks so freakin’ good! I’ve never tried a vegan cream sauce, but you have me convinced I need to give this a try!
Ha ha it would be a total trip. Can you imagine the dinner party after serving this? 🙂
You so need to try a cashew sauce. It’s crazy how identical it is to the real thing!
O this would be a stellar pizza sauce! That would be amazing!
I’ve got that on my pizza sauce list for my next pizza party. 🙂