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5 Ways to Make Dairy-Free Dishes Creamy and Delicious

Written by Ali Donahue
5 Ways to Make Dairy-Free Dishes Creamy and Delicious

Quick Take

Think going dairy-free means forgoing the rich and creamy dishes you love? Think again! There are plenty of ways to make delicious, creamy sauces without dairy.

How to make dairy-free dishes creamy and dreamy!

Struggling to give up dairy and the creamy dishes that come with it? We've got your back! Going dairy-free doesn't have to be painful. There are plenty of ways to get the textures and flavors you love, minus the dairy products (and casein). Here are 5 of our go-to dairy-free hacks for creamy vegan dishes:

1. Avocado

avocado pasta

From smoothies to pastas to potato salads, the avocado is a magical fruit (yep, it’s a fruit!). When blended, it takes on a thick, creamy texture. Note: it will lend its green color to any dish you add it to so keep that in mind.

Try this creamy avocado pasta recipe.

2. Cashews

dairy free queso

Perhaps the most well-known dairy-free hack for creamy recipes, you’re going to want to make friends with raw cashews.

Soak them in water, preferably overnight, then rinse and toss them in a high-speed (Ninja or Vitamin both work great) with a little bit of water. Blend until completely smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add a little salt if you like then use this delicious creamy base for vegan Mac and Cheese, cashew cream cheese, dairy-free pizza, dairy-free sour cream. The possibilities are endless!

Try this cashew cream recipe for a quick and easy sauce you can store in the fridge for when the mood strikes. 

In the mood for queso? Don't miss this dairy-free version.

3. White Beans

dairy free alfredo

Recipe and image from

Get your fiber AND enjoy our favorite creamy dishes when you use white beans! Put 1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed) in the blender with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, a splash or two of water, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until creamy and use as a creamy Alfredo-like sauce for pasta.

Try this white bean Alfredo sauce recipe (sub out the oil for water in this recipe).

4. Coconut Milk

healing winter soup

For a creamy soup, minus the cream, stir in some coconut milk (full-fat or low fat will do). Chef tip: add a little curry powder or paste for a savory and sweet flavor.

Try this plant-based healing soup recipe.

5. Potatoes

potato leek

Pick up some spuds at the grocery store for a cheap and hearty way to get the smoothness you’re after. Potatoes, when blended with veggie broth and/or plant-based milk, can make any soup creamier, without any dairy!

Try this dairy-free potato leek soup recipe

Don’t have time to meal prep all these creamy dishes?

No worries. Get delicious and dairy-free Mama’s Mac Sauce delivered to your door, ready-made. Add to your favorite 100% whole grain pasta, drizzle on baked potatoes, swirl into hearty stews, or use as a cheese sauce on your favorite veggie burger. 

Key Takeaways

Giving up dairy doesn't mean saying goodbye to creamy. With these 5 hacks, you'll be enjoying velvety delicious and 100% whole food plant-based dishes in no time.

  • Add blended avocado
  • Whip up an easy cashew-based sauce
  • Swap out cheese for white beans and nutritional yeast
  • Use up the coconut milk in your pantry
  • Blend potatoes for creamy soups
  • Bonus: Order Mama's Mac Sauce for a scrumptious vegan take on Alfredo sauce

Updated 7/1/21



By Ali Brown

Ali is a mom, wife, and nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor. She has her Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

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