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Small white bowl of vegan pesto with cashews, basil, and lemon

Cashew Basil Pesto

A vegan pesto made with cashews, fresh basil, and lemon. It is thick, creamy, and flavor-packed. A great plant-based alternative to classic pesto!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:5 mins
Soaking Time:4 hrs
Total Time:5 mins
CourseSauce
CuisineGluten-Free, Oil-Free Option, Vegan
Servings6

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*Quick-soak method: I soak my cashews in very hot water for about 10-15 minutes.
We find this pesto keeps for about 3 days covered in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 181 kcal | Carbohydrates: 6 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 16 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g | Potassium: 173 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 232 IU | Vitamin C: 2 mg | Calcium: 14 mg | Iron: 1 mg