Glass jar of fresh citrus salsa on a wooden tray next to cilantro and orange slices

Fresh Citrus Salsa and Vegan Citrus Cream Sauce

This fresh citrus salsa and vegan citrus cream sauce is a two in one recipe that is so light and flavorful you'll be coming back to it over and over again!

Course Appetizer, Snack, Topping
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Creamy citrus sauce, salsa with fruit
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 201 kcal
Author Sophia DeSantis


  • 2 cups oranges , peeled and coarsely chopped (naval variety are best, about 3-4, see note)
  • 1 cup grapefruit , peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 grapefruit, see note)
  • ½ cup red onion , coarsely chopped (about 1/4 of a medium onion)
  • ¼ cup cilantro , packed in for measuring
  • 1 tablespoon Serrano pepper , chopped and seeds removed (about 1/2 a pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice , Meyer lemon is best
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon garlic , roughly chopped (about 2-3 cloves)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

Citrus Cream Sauce:

  • 1 cup juice from salsa , see instructions
  • 1 1/4 cups cashews (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice , Meyer lemon is best
US Customary - Metric


  1. You can peel the skin off of the oranges and grapefruit or leave it on. I made it both ways and while it is nice to have all fruit meat, the skin didn’t bother me much. The easiest way to remove the thin white skin from the grapefruit and oranges so that you only get the pulp is cut them into fourths and invert them, see photo in post. Peel the peel off of the fruit and then individually get each section out of the skin. For the oranges, it can be hard because they are more delicate so cut the peel and thick white sections off and simply chop that way. Or do this for both to make it easy.

  2. Put onion, cilantro, pepper, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until chopped.
  3. Add cleaned grapefruit and oranges to the processor and pulse a few times. I like mine chunky.
  4. Drain the salsa with sieve and save the juice. You should get 1 cup juice. If you don’t your citrus wasn’t ripe enough. If you get less juice, then when making the cream, simply adjust the amount of cashews and lemon juice for whatever amount of citrus juice you got from the salsa. For example, if you get ½ cup citrus juice, use ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cashews and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  5. To make cream, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  6. Use both toppings in tacos, as a dip, in wraps, over nachos or simple devour with a spoon!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Citrus Salsa and Vegan Citrus Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 524mg 22%
Potassium 364mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 10g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 12.9%
Vitamin C 58.2%
Calcium 4.5%
Iron 10.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.