A vegan cashew pesto made with fresh basil and lemon! This dairy-free pesto is thick, creamy, flavor-packed, and perfect for pasta, pizza, wraps, sandwiches, soup, etc.
Summer is here and the basil is flowing, so it is a perfect time for fresh vegan cashew pesto.
I have been playing around with dairy-free pesto recipes and landed on this version.
It is full of flavor plus a little thicker, creamier, and less oily than traditional pesto (with a no-oil option as well.)
Ingredients for Cashew Pesto
For this recipe you will need:
- Raw cashews
- Fresh basil
- Garlic cloves
- Nutritional yeast: This gives it a cheesy, savory taste. You can also substitute vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
- Fresh lemon juice
- Vegetable broth
- Olive oil: Or substitute with more vegetable broth for an oil-free version.
You could also try swapping out the cashews for the more traditional pine nuts or walnuts instead, though I haven't tested that version yet.
Ways to Use Vegan Pesto
This cashew pesto is very versatile, so you can try it:
- On pizza instead of traditional tomato sauce
- In a variety of pasta dishes
- On sandwiches & wraps
- Spread on paninis (like the Roasted Vegetable Panini shown below)
- On quesadillas (like this Spinach & Tomato Quesadilla with Pesto)
- Tossed with veggies for a flavorful side dish
For more inspiration, also browse all sauce and seasoning.
Cashew Basil Pesto
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup fresh basil (or more to taste)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or use more vegetable broth for oil-free)
- Soak the cashews 4 hours or overnight (or quick soak*). Then rinse and drain.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender, and blend until desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Add more lemon juice, broth, or olive oil if you’d like a thinner consistency.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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