If you’re looking for a delicious, all-purpose dipping sauce made entirely from plants, you’ve come to the right place. This garlic chive sauce is creamy, smooth, full of flavour and a garlic lover’s dream. As always, you’ll find this sauce is completely whole food plant-based, oil-free and vegan. You’ll want to use this one for everything, so let’s get to it.
I’ve probably said this before, but when it comes to simple, plant-based meals, a good sauce can be a game-changer. It can take your simple snack of raw vegetables to the next level, or make that beautiful buddha bowl absolutely incredible. I’m giving it to ya straight, sauce is the boss. So, it’s no surprise that I’m always brainstorming flavour combinations that would make an epic sauce or dip.
This time around, I was looking for something all-purpose. The kind of delicious savoury sauce you could pair with just about anything. For me, one of my go-to flavours is garlic. As part of the allium family, it’s linked with a ton of health benefits (including its cancer-fighting ability), but it adds a yum factor that we absolutely love. Now raw garlic is one thing, but roast those beautiful little cloves and absolute magic happens in the flavour department.
So, of course, garlic was coming to the party, but what would I pair it with? After some thought, I went with its allium cousin, chives. Truth-be-told, I’ve been obsessed with chives lately. They add such a nice delicate and fresh onion flavour. In my humble opinion, these two together are a match made in flavour heaven. I knew from the first test batch that this sauce was soon to be a family favourite, it does not disappoint.
If you’ve checked out any of my previous recipes, you’ll know that I aim for simple ingredients that should be easy to find. I do this because want my recipes to be accessible to anyone who’s interested in eating more plants. This sauce is no exception. Simple ingredients that come together in a delightful way.
To make this garlic chive sauce, you will need:
Raw cashews (see substitutions)
Chives (fresh or freeze-dried work well here)
Making Garlic & Chive Sauce
This sauce is pretty easy to throw together. You’ll want to start by roasting the garlic. Despite what you may be thinking, you can absolutely roast them without any oil. The standard method is to peel any loose paper off of the head, cut the top off, exposing the bulbs beneath, and bake in a 375-degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Just until the bulbs are brown and softened.
There is a quicker way though if you have an air fryer. I like to peel my cloves first (or you can take a shortcut and buy pre-peeled cloves) and pop them in the air fryer. Set to 375 and air-fry for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the cloves). Check after 4 or 5 minutes and add time as needed. Smaller cloves will roast quickly, but those larger cloves will need a few extra minutes. You’re looking for nicely browned cloves that are soft if you apply gentle pressure.
Next, you’ll want to soften the cashews. The easiest way to do this is to place them in a bowl and add boiling water from your kettle. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes, then use a strainer to drain the excess water and they’ll be good to go.
Then chop your chives (if using fresh), measure out the rest of the ingredients and add them all to the blender (including your now-roasted garlic). Blend it all up until smooth and creamy. You can then transfer to reusable container or mason jar. It should stay good in your fridge for up to a week.
If you’d like to make this recipe nut-free, you can substitute an equal amount of sunflower seeds for the cashews. I like to soak them and blend them a little longer to ensure a velvety smooth sauce. As a nice bonus, sunflower seeds tend to be a fair bit cheaper than cashews, so this is a budget-friendly option as well.
If you’re looking for a lighter version of this sauce, try substituting white beans in place of half of the cashews. This will increase the amount of fibre and lower the fat content. A great option if you’re watching your calories or working on releasing some weight.
This recipe makes a thick dipping sauce, however, it can also be used as a dressing. Simply stir in some more water to thin it down to your desired consistency. This garlic & chive sauce would be amazing drizzled over your favourite buddha bowl or salad.
The next time you’re looking for a great dipping sauce for veggies, or a scrumptious dressing that makes you fall in love with salad again, whip up this garlic chive sauce. You’ll be glad you did.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 cloves roasted garlic
- 3 tsp chives
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Start by roasting the garlic. Slice the top off of the head of garlic. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 375° oven for 30-40 minutes, until cloves are golden and soft.
- Alternatively, you can peel your cloves and place in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 375° for 5-10 minutes, until golden and soft.
- While your garlic is roasting, soak your cashews in hot water for about 10 minutes. This will soften them for blending.
- Strain your cashews and add all ingredients to the blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Store sauce in an airtight jar or container in the fridge. It should be good for about a week.
1. For a nut-free version, substitute the same amount of sunflower seeds in place of the cashews.
2. For a lower fat version, use 1/2 cup cooked white beans and reduce the cashews to 1/2 cup.
3. To use as a dressing, stir in a couple of extra tablespoons of water to thin to the desired consistency.
Made this recipe? Tag me (@mentalforlentils) and use the hashtag #mentalforlentils. I love seeing what you are cooking up in your kitchen!