• Kelly King

Creamy Vegan Cashew Pesto

Updated: Jul 21

Raise your hand if you LOVE pesto but read the labels at the store and wince. Me!! In an effort to be a litttttle bit healthier I decided to try out a creamy pesto recipe that is perfect for pasta, spreads, dressings and whatever else you want to throw pesto on.

This was made start to finish in under 30 minutes and lasts in the fridge for about a week. It's also incredibly versatile, so you will use it all in the week in multiple dishes!

Most of these items used to make this are shelf-stable, basil, however, goes quickly. Drop a comment if you have any tips on growing your own basil, I can't seem to get it right! Cashews are also pricey, and I recognize that when on a budget they may not fit your bill. I buy them in bulk because it is cheaper, in the long run, to drop almost $10 on a big bag, then buy $3-$5 small bags over and over. Side note; cashews are versatile and you will find ways to use them in many, many recipes!

This recipe is made for you to create delicious meals but stay within your health goals. It fits a vegan diet, a gluten-free diet, a dairy-free diet (due to it being vegan), and a low-glycemic diet.


  • 1 cup basil

  • 1 cup cashews divided into 1/2 cups (I use roasted and lightly salted)

  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1/3 nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 hot water


1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Drop in 1/2 cup cashews and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then strain the water and set cashews aside.

2. In a blender OR food processor, blend basil, soaked cashews, unsoaked 1/2 cup of cashews, 1/4 cup olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and salt.

3. Blend/process until smooth, but ensure there is til texture in the pesto. If the mixture is will not blend easily, add in the hot water by the spoonful. You will most likely not need the water.

4. Move to a bowl or food storage and top with the tablespoon of olive oil.

5. Enjoy!

Use this pesto for Pesto Toast, Tortilla Pizza, in pasta dishes, as a dip or anything! Let me know what you try this recipe for, I'd love to try it myself.

#veganpesto #healthypesto

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Kelly Elizabeth King Integrative Health Coach Based in Boston, MA

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