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Basil Cashew Pesto Recipe

Basil Cashew Pesto

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 1.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian


Velvety and creamy, this cashew pesto is made with fresh basil, olive oil, lemon and garlic. It’s full of flavour and is a nutritious dip, condiment or sauce. It’s dairy-free, so it’s paleo, vegan and Whole30 friendly.It’s also low-car and keto friendly.


  • ½ cup cashew nuts, soaked in warm water for 34 hours
  • 1 medium bunch of fresh basil (about 2 cups packed with leaves)
  • 1/3 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 clove of garlic, chopped roughly
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • A generous pinch of pepper
  • ¼ cup water (you can add more for thinner consistency)


  1. Pre-soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of warm water for 3-4 hours and strain through a sieve.
  2. Tear off the basil leaves and save the stalks for a soup, although you can also use some of the stalks in the pesto.
  3. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender. Process into a thick puree, adding a little more water if the consistency is too thick. Taste the pureed mixture for salt and lemon, and add more if you like.
  4. You can also add some chilli or more garlic, if you like an extra kick, or some nutritional yeast flakes for a more cheesy flavour.


Store this creamy cashew pesto in an airtight jar or container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 95
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 98 mg
  • Fat: 9.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
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