11 Amazing Substitutes For Cashews

Cashews, premium nuts, are loved by people in confectionary, nut bars, and snacks. Unfortunately, cashews are expensive and unaffordable for some people because of the hard work required for harvesting, shell removing, drying, and steaming.

Raw cashews have toxic substances in the skin and throat, so it is not recommended to consume unprocessed cashews. These processing steps remarkably affect the final cost of the product.

Why should you look for substitutes for cashews?

Besides being pricey, cashews are unsuitable for people allergic to nuts. For them, it is advised to consume any alternative that can bestow with wonders of nutrients. The most common nut allergies are cashews, pistachio, walnuts, and almonds. Cashews and pistachio can cause the most intense reaction in case of allergy.

In the US, the most common allergy is from cashew nuts. If ingested it can cause hives, cramps, runny nose, vomiting, or nausea. Therefore, people often look for cashew substitutes because of their immense benefits. So, let’s explore the other food products that can be sources of minerals that are affordable

11 Amazing Substitutes for Cashews

1. Hazelnuts

These nuts have a mild and sweet flavor that can give the aroma and taste of cashews. This nut is called many names like hazel, filbert, and cobnut. Their fatty content gives a creamy texture to the hazelnut paste that can replace cashews. The smooth texture gives a delicious flavor. Hazelnuts are also advantageous for heart health and lipid profile. These nuts can avert the chances of getting obese and causing dementia (1).

2. Walnuts

Walnuts have almost the same fat content that cashew possess. However, in appearance, they differ in their texture. Yet you can make a paste of walnuts that will give a creamy texture. It can also be used to replace cashews in drinks and over toppings, enhancing the flavor of the other ingredients. Just like cashew, walnuts are full of nutrients that boost health status. These contain phytosterols, gamma-tocopherol, and omega-3 fatty acids (2). They can significantly lower the inflammation in the body, are great for brain health, and can be a good source for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Almonds

Almonds belong to the nutty family, but in reality, they are called seeds like cashews. These nuts enclose many minerals, vitamins, protein, and fiber. One handful of almonds can deliver 8 grams of DVI protein to the body (3). Being less expensive than cashews, these are a great substitute. Almonds have multiple health benefits, including the magical ability to lower the body’s bad cholesterol (LDL). According to research, it is concluded that daily consumption of almonds can increase vitamin E levels in the body and reduce cholesterol.

Vitamin E is worth its weight in gold for heart health because it prevents blood clogs. It can also reduce the risk of developing a cancerous stage in the body. This is not the end of its benefits since it can also significantly manage the blood sugar levels in the body. So, if you are diabetic or at risk of developing any heart problem, these nuts are a great option. 

4. Sunflower seeds

Some sensitive people are allergic to tree nuts and can’t digest them well. It would be unfair to keep them devoid of the amazing nutrients found in nuts. But don’t fret! We have found an effective substitute for you all: sunflower seeds.

These are crunchy and nutty in flavor. It can replace the toppings, parfaits, and granola that have cashews. Sunflower seeds will not only save your day but will also save your money too since these are cheaper than walnuts. Sunflower seed butter can also be used in the replacement of cashew butter. These are laden with vitamin E, selenium, and polyunsaturated fats (4). Because of these nutrients, sunflower seeds can benefit the heart and diabetes.

5. Sesame Seed Butter

Cashew butter is a scrumptious spread made from baked or roasted cashews. It gives a flavorful taste when eaten with meals or bread. It can be substituted with a sesame seed butter, also known as Tahini. Also, it can be a good source for allergy people. By blending seeds, a butter is formed that is slightly less creamy in texture but can be a replaceable source of cashews as it has a similar flavor.

It is also cost-effective and budget friendly. One tablespoon of sesame seed butter can meet 27% of the daily value of copper. This mineral assists your body in absorbing iron and preventing anemia. Moreover, it can manage blood pressure and halt blood clot formation (5).

6. Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu is unpressed tofu that is made by coagulating soy milk. Silken tofu is creamier in taste and smoother in texture. In Chinese, it is known as Juan Dou Fu. You can replace tofu with meals that are served with cashew. Tofu is among the top sources of protein and provides an ample amount of calcium. Its calcium content promotes bone health in its consumers. It is also used to reduce inflammatory reactions in the body. Furthermore, it is abundant in iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. So, try this out with your meals. It will enhance the base flavors of your meal (6).

7. Pine Nuts

Pine nuts have a flavor and texture similar to cashews, making them a great substitute.These can be used in toppings, snacks, drinks, or desserts. These provide an even nuttier flavor that makes meals more appetizing. Pine nuts boost your energy levels and health status because of their protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin K, and manganese content. 28 grams of pine nuts provide 19 grams of fat. Likewise, pine nuts are good for the heart, brain, and diabetes (7).

8. Combination of Zucchini and Pine

It is previously mentioned that pine nuts give a nuttier flavor. This enhanced flavor doesn’t seem very flavorful to some people. To balance the taste, it can be combined with zucchini. Zucchini makes it more palatable and similar to cashews.  This amalgamation will give a creamy and buttery flavor (8).

9. Peanuts

Peanuts are tough in texture, giving them a look of cashew and a similar taste. These can also be used as a replacement for cashew butter. Raw chopped peanuts can be topped on the desserts as cashews are exorbitant. Peanuts are enriched with phosphorus, magnesium, B vitamins, and potassium.

Peanuts are a good source of protein and can provide 25.8g of protein per 100g. The recommended protein intake is 46 g for women and 56 g for men (9). It can help manage blood sugar levels, weight, and heart health. 

10. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts give a creamy flavor and have high-fat content. These nuts can be substituted with cashews in trail mix, roasted vegetables, and desserts. These nuts have vitamin E and phenols that combat oxidative stress and inflammation. Besides this, brazil nuts have selenium. Selenium is a trace element necessary for your body to function properly. It is the best therapeutic mineral for thyroid patients, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s patients.

The highest quantity of selenium is found in thyroid tissue, which contains proteins that guard your thyroid against injury and the thyroid hormone T3. Low selenium levels can cause cellular damage, decreased thyroid activity, and autoimmune diseases like Graves’ and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

It also strengthens immunity and prevents health conditions like infertility, heart problems, and infections (10).

11. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts have a mild flavor and a creamier texture. These can be added to both sweet and savory recipes. These are rich in fats, protein, and fiber, making them a good substitute for cashews. 28g of these can meet 58% of the daily manganese requirement.

These are also enriched with antioxidants and are beneficial for weight loss and gut health. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and raise your risk of developing diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals.

Furthermore, of all tree nuts, macadamia nuts have some of the highest quantities of flavonoids. This antioxidant reduces cholesterol while combating inflammation. It improves gut health, prevents the chances of metabolic syndrome, and controls blood sugar levels, including heart health and weight management (11).

Tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E with antioxidant characteristics that may aid in lowering cholesterol levels, are also abundant in this nut. These substances may potentially offer protection from cancer and neurological disorders.

In your feedback, let us know which food you will use to replace cashews. I hope this article helps you in finding a reasonable substitute.


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  2. Walnuts 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/walnuts
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  8. Krista. Top 8 Alternatives For Cashews That Will Make You Surprised [Internet]. Oh She Cooks. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: https://ohshecooks.com/substitute-for-cashews/
  9. Peanuts: Nutrition, health benefits, and comparing types [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325003
  10. Contributors WE. Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts [Internet]. WebMD. [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-brazil-nuts
  11. 10 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Macadamia Nuts [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/macadamia-nuts