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Cashew pesto pasta in white bowl.
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5 from 5 votes

Cashew Pesto

Fresh and peppery, this cashew pesto is made with arugula, and basil and packs a flavorful punch. It's a delicious alternative to the more expensive pine nut pesto with the substitute of cashews for a flavorful and economical recipe! Ready in under 5 minutes!
Prep Time2 mins
Processo Time2 mins
Total Time4 mins
Course: sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8
Calories: 91kcal
Author: Alison Corey


  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup arugula
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


  • Combine basil, arugula, olive oil, cashews, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend for about 1 minute.
  • Remove the lid. Scrape the sides of the food processor with a spatula to combine any ingredients that haven't been incorporated. Secure the lid, and blend for another minute.
  • Stir in the pesto with your favorite type of pasta, use as a spread for sandwiches, or crackers, or use as a dip.



Expert Tips for Cashew Pesto
  • Make sure you pack the arugula and basil to be sure that you get enough. You don't want to loosely pack the leaves. You want a full cup of each packed.
  • I recommend using raw unsalted cashews. Roasted nuts have added oil and a slightly different flavor profile. This way you have control over the oil and salt you add.
  • If you don't have a food processor you can try making the pesto in a blender, but a food processor will give you the smoothest consistency.
  • Keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg