When your summer garden is abundant with basil, try this easy creamy Cashew Pesto! With just a handful of kitchen staples, you can make this classic Italian sauce that tastes great on everything from pasta to sandwiches.
In the classic version, pesto is typically made with pine nuts. But pine nuts can be hard to find and also quite expensive. While you can make basil pesto with just about any nut, cashews make a great substitute due to their similar texture.
Cashew Pesto really tastes great on anything! Slather it on bread slices for an updated grilled cheese, or add it to your favorite pasta topped with extra Parmesan.
Ingredients for Cashew Pesto
- Raw Cashews
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Kosher Salt
How to make Cashew Pesto
- In a small dry skillet, toast cashews over medium high heat until golden brown.
- In a food processor, pulse together cashews, cheese, oil, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and salt until smooth.
- Serve with prepared pasta and topped with additional parmesan cheese.
Uses for Pesto
Pesto can be used on so many things! It's always a classic easy dinner served with pasta. But here are some other great ways to use this delicious Italian sauce:
- Spread on bread for paninis
- Stir in a soup for a flavor bomb
- Toss with roasted veggies for an easy side dish
- Mix into sour cream for an appetizer
- Add to a simple cheese omelet
Storing Cashew Pesto
Pesto should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The best way to freeze pesto? Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for several hours. Pop out frozen cubes and store them in a ziplock bag.
Note: Fresh basil will start to darken over time from the bright green vibrate color it started. So it's best to eat pesto as soon as possible!
More Pesto Recipes
I take all of the photography for Fresh Coast Eats unless noted otherwise. These images were taken by my talented friend, Galia exclusively for Fresh Coast Eats. Thank you, Galia!
Cashew Basil Pesto
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 cups fresh basil loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a small dry skillet, toast the cashews over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- In a food processor or blender combine the cashews, cheese, oil, peeled garlic, basil, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse in 5-second intervals until smooth.
- Adjust consistency by adding more oil, if desired.
- Fresh ingredients: Pesto will taste the best when fresh ingredients including basil, lemon juice, and garlic are used rather than any shortcuts.
- Use immediately: While you can store pesto, it has the best color and flavor when used right away.
- Freeze in Ice Trays: This gives you a greater ability to thaw out exactly what you need to use so you have less waste.
- Cashews: Use raw, freshly toasted cashews for the best flavor.