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Cashew Cream Smothered Pork Chops – Dairy Free!

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5 from 13 reviews

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These smothered pork chops made with cashew cream instead of dairy are the perfect healthy comfort food! The sauce is made with sweet caramelized onions, flavorful herbs, and a smooth and luscious cashew cream that is 100% dairy free. An ideal cold weather dinner that will warm you up from the inside out. Recipe is gluten free, dairy free, whole30 compatible, and paleo friendly. 


  • 4 thick cut bone in pork chops – about 2 pounds worth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per half pound meat – about 1/2 teaspoon per pork chop
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews OR 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts + 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
  • enough just boiled water to cover the cashews (or macadamia nuts)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning 
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or fresh thyme to garnish (optional)


  1. Dry brine pork chops. Evenly season the pork chops with kosher salt and move to the refrigerator in a covered container to dry brine for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. 
  2. While the pork chops are resting, soak your cashews. In a heatproof bowl cover cashews with just boiled water. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes. (If using the cashew substitutes, soak the macadamia nuts the same as you would the cashews).
  3. Move pork chops to room temperature. When ready to start cooking, remove pork chops from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature while you prep and measure the other ingredients. 
  4. Sear pork chops. Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil over medium high heat in a large skillet until shimmering. Pat pork chops very dry with paper towels. Sear (in two batches if they’re too big to fit in the pan without overcrowding) for about 3-4 minutes per side – until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside. 
  5. Cook the onions. Reduce heat to medium and add sliced onions with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until transluscent and starting to caramelize – about 5 minutes.
  6. Make cashew cream sauce. While onions are cooking drain and rinse cashews. Add to a blender with broth and blend on high until smooth and creamy with no visible pieces of cashew remaining. Set aside. (For cashew cream substitute drain and rinse the macadamia nuts and add the sunflower seed butter to the blender as well).
  7. Add remaining aromatics and spices. When onions are nicely caramelized, add chopped garlic, nutritional yeast, pinch of cayenne, all purpose seasoning, coconut aminos, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about one minute, until spices are aromatic. 
  8. Add blended cashew cream to the pan and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer reduce slightly until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon – about 3-5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. 
  9. Finish cooking the pork chops. Add pork chops back to the pan along with any juices that have collected on the plate, and turn to coat. Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer.  Simmer until pork chops are fully cooked, flipping halfway through cook time, for about 15-20 minutes. Cook time will depend on the thickness of your pork chops. 
  10. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired, serve, and enjoy!


  • If you prefer boneless pork chops you can easily substitute those for bone in. Keep in mind they will cook a lot faster than bone in pork chops, so you’ll likely be able to reduce the cooking time in the final step.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: comfort food