Poblano peppers are amazing and this poblano sauce is creamy, tangy, and the perfect complement for just about anything with their earthy notes. It's also vegan and gluten-free and super creamy!
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Vegan and gluten-free: This recipe is super creamy but also vegan thanks to the use of cashew nuts.
- Great on tacos, salads, and pastas: Talk about a one-stop-shop for with so many different uses. I've used it on tacos (like this fried avocado taco), salads or even on pasta (poblano pasta, what?!)
- 4 ingredients, 30 minutes to make, great for make-ahead: This is ready start-to-finish in 30 minutes (and only 5 minutes of active prep time!)
📋 Ingredients and notes
You'll need 3 to 4 poblano peppers, a cup of cashew nuts and an equal amount of water, as well as some fresh lemon juice, and garlic cloves.
This is a simple, base recipe, but you can easily customize this to your likes!
- Make it spicier: I add jalapenos or Serrano peppers when I want to make this spicy!
- Add herbal notes: You can throw in some parsley or cilantro to make it extra herby
- Make it nut-free: It's super easy to make this nut-free, just substitute the cashew and water with 1-2 avocado slices. Creamy, nut-free poblano sauce is ready!
📖 Step-by-step instructions
Start by roasting the poblano peppers
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place your poblano peppers side-by-side on a baking sheet along with a couple of garlic cloves wrapped in aluminum foil and slide them into the oven for about 15 minutes. Turn halfway through if you desire.
Remove the stems and the seeds of the poblano peppers so it's ready for blending. You can choose to remove the skin as well, if you prefer (by placing them in a Ziploc bag and allowing the steam to peel them off). I don't typically do this but it reduces bitterness!
Soak the cashews in your blender
Dump your cashews, an equal amount of water and lemon juice into the blender. Don't blend yet, just let it soak there for a few minutes while your peppers are roasting.
Blend away to get creamy, roasted vegan poblano sauce
Once the peppers are roasted (they'll be charred on the outside), let them cool for a few seconds and remove the skin of the peppers (this makes the sauce bitter). Then, use a pair of tongs or if cool enough, just hold down to slice off stems and scoop out the seeds.
Dump the rest of the pepper and the cloves of garlic into the blender and give it a good whirl. I use a Vitamix, so just use the smoothie setting to get it nice and smooth. If you don't have a preset, I suggest blending on high speed for at least 3 to 4 minutes to your desired consistency. Done!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
Store in an airtight container (like a Mason jar) for up to a week in the fridge. You can also freeze this in gallon bags and then thaw to the right consistency. The sauce does thicken the longer you leave it out, but you can always thin it down with a bit of water or broth! I like serving it thicker on tacos (like on my fried avocado tacos)
If you liked this vegan poblano sauce, check out these sauce recipes:
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Easy Poblano Sauce
- 3 poblano peppers, also called pasilla peppers
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 425F. Lay the Poblano pepper side-by-side on a baking sheet. Wrap some garlic cloves in aluminum foil and also place those on the baking sheet. Pop the sheet in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. You can turn the pepper over halfway through if you desire. If using an open flame, you can also just char the peppers and not roast the garlic cloves!
- Add cashews, water, lime juice and let it soak in the blender (don't blend yet!) while the peppers are roasting
- Once the peppers are cooked, allow them to cool down for a minute. Chop off the stems of the pepper, use a spoon to remove the seeds and then pop the rest into the blender along with the roasted garlic cloves. Optional: You can remove the translucent skin of the peppers. If the skins are not easily removable, then place the peppers in a Ziploc bag and allow them to steam for a minute or two. This will make it easier to peel.
- Blend on smoothie setting or high power for about 3-5 minutes depending on the strength of your blender, until you reach a smooth, sauce like consistency. Serve on everything and enjoy!
- To make this nut free, just pop in 1-2 avocados instead of using cashew nuts and water. This will add the cream factor without using nuts!
- To make this spicier, add a jalapeno or Serrano pepper into the mix! The sauce, as made, is not super spicy.
- To thin the sauce out (say for using as a dressing or to top off enchiladas) just add some water (eyeballing is totally fine!!)