Cashew Basil Pesto


Hello! I hope your week is starting off on the right foot! 

Last weekend when my mom was visiting we went to Trader Joe’s and they had little basil plants for $2.99. I put it by the kitchen sink window when we got home and basically forgot about it. When I got back from CT on Wednesday night it was all wilted and sad looking πŸ™ I drowned it in as much water as it could hold and over night it came back to life looking even better than it had when I bought it! Yay πŸ™‚  


The first thing that comes to mind when I think of basil is pesto. But I didn’t have any pine nuts on hand, so I decided to experiment with using raw cashews instead. Experiment successful πŸ™‚ It takes a little more olive oil to get the pesto to the desired consistency because the cashews are not as soft and oily as pine nuts. But the flavor from the cashews is excellent. They give it an extra nutty, slightly sweet flavor that is to die for. Let’s make some! 


Add raw cashews to the bowl of your food processor. Process on high until cashews are chopped so fine they look like dust and a butter is starting to form – about 2 minutes.


Add basil leaves, parmesan cheese and a clove of garlic (if desired). Process on high while slowly adding olive oil until desired consistency is reached. 


Finish it off with sea salt, pepper and lemon juice. 


Sweet, tangy and delicious! It is perfect to toss on pasta, spread on bread or even mix into your favorite salad! 


Cashew Basil Pesto

  • Author: Chocolate Covered Cheetah


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (approximately)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs lemon juice


  1. Add cashews to the bowl of your food processor
  2. Process on high for about 2 minutes until cashews start to form a butter
  3. Add parmesan cheese, basil and garlic
  4. Process on high, slowly adding olive oil until desired consistency is reached
  5. Season with sea salt, black pepper and lemon juice, pulse to combine
  6. Serve as desired, store in the refrigerator in an air tight container up to 5-7 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months

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