Homemade Cashew Pesto is so easy to make! Use cashews rather than pine nuts to make a nutty, herby spread that will add flavor and character to so many different meals.
CASHEW PESTO RECIPE
Cashew Pesto is an amazing, delicious, versatile food! I love making in the summer when my little herb garden grows like crazy and we have tons of fresh basil.
Traditional pesto recipes call for pine nuts, which are delicious in pesto, but also hard to find and usually pretty expensive. Cashews make an extra creamy pesto that is just as good, if not better than pine nut pesto and I just adore making Cashew Pesto.
I've made all kinds of pesto recipes. I have a nut-free pesto that uses sunflower seeds, and a traditional pine nut Basil pesto too. Choose your favorite, or try them all!
Try this cashew pesto drizzled over Air Fryer Potatoes or stirred into some Instant Pot Quinoa.
INGREDIENTS IN CASHEW PESTO
Minced Garlic - We get tons of flavor from garlic in this pesto. Fresh garlic is going to give you the best results.
Fresh Basil - Measure basil leaves by tightly packing them in to your measuring cup.
Olive oil - This is what blends everything together and gives the beautiful texture and mouthfeel that you expect from a pesto. Use a high quality, extra virgin olive oil for this recipe.
Lemon Juice - Squeezed from a fresh lemon, please!
Unsalted Cashews - this gives our sauce bulk and a delicious creaminess. Be sure to buy unsalted nuts. Salted ones will be too salty for this recipe.
Parmesan Cheese - I've made this with both traditional cheese and vegan parmesan cheese. It's delicious either way.
Salt and pepper - Add as much or as little as you like.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP!
HOW TO MAKE CASHEW PESTO
- Place the minced garlic and a cup of tightly packed fresh basil leaves into a food processor (or high powered blender)
- Add in oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Then add cashews and parmesan cheese to the mixture in the food processor.
- Pulse until well combined, but not completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust to desired consistency by adding more oil if needed.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CASHEW PESTO
Pesto is amazing in so many dishes! Try it with your favorite pasta for a simple meal, or dip bread into it for an appetizer or snack.
You can drizzle pesto over fish (if you eat fish), and it's perfect as a sauce on almost any kind of vegetable. Cashew pesto pairs really well with cauliflower and broccoli. You can just steam or roast the veggies and drizzle away! It's also great on asparagus, zucchini, or tofu.
Try Cashew pesto with Air Fryer Corn on the Cob for a really special side dish.
Pesto works really well with Air Fryer Chicken Breast too if that's something you enjoy.
CAN I USE DIFFERENT NUTS TO MAKE PESTO?
Pesto will work with just about any kind of nut. Try pine nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, or even sunflower seeds!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE PESTO
It takes less than 5 minutes to make pesto start to finish. The food processor does most of the work too.
CAN I MAKE PESTO IN A BLENDER?
Pesto is easiest to make in a food processor, but can also be made in a high speed blender like a Vitamix or a Ninja. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a knife to cut up the nuts and basil before putting into the blender so it's easier to blend.
MORE VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN SAUCE RECIPES
Mediterranean Sauce is a delicious creamy sauce that can be made with vegan mayo and used for sandwiches or salads. Vegan BBQ Sauce is amazing with Tofu, potatoes, or anything you cook on the grill.
Enjoy your cashew pesto with Air Fryer Eggplant or with Roasted Broccoli.
Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment AND rating below! It helps other readers!
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- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 cup Fresh Basil tightly packed
- ¼ cup Olive Oil plus more as needed
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup Unsalted cashews
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese shredded. Can use Vegan cheese if desired
- Place the minced garlic and a cup of tightly packed fresh basil leaves into a food processor.
- Add in oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Then add cashews and parmesan cheese to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse until well combined, but not completely smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, then adjust to desired consistency by adding more oil.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Make this recipe vegan by using a vegan parmesan cheese substitute.
- Use high quality, fresh ingredients for the best results.
All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.
I love how creamy the cashews make this. I'm probably only making cashew pesto from now on!
Hi Jan, I am so happy you enjoyed it! We love it too!