Basil Cashew Pesto

Basil Cashew Pesto


Whether it be for a social gathering, office potluck, or a quick appetizer this dish can be prepared in almost no time and does not require the use of an oven.  As long as you have a food processor everything can be done in 10 minutes.  Plus, there really is nothing like the smell of fresh basil in the kitchen.  This is a fresh take on an Italian classic as it uses cashews instead of traditional pine nuts.  The cashews impart a natural sweetness, and are more readily available than pine nuts.


  • 1 cup cashews

  • 1 cup of Freshly Grated Parmigiano Cheese

  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1/2- 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 lemon juiced (optional)

  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor.
  2. Use the “pulse” feature on the food processor to combine the ingredients
  3. Switch the processor to the “on” feature, and slowly drizzle the olive oil in the top feeder of the processor. 
  4. Process to desired consistency.  If consistency is too thick for your preference,  add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin it out further.  

Follow the photo tutorial below for a visual guide of how to make this recipe.


For added depth of flavor roast the cashews for a few minutes in the oven.  Place a single layer of cashews on a baking sheet pan, and bake at 400F for 3-5 minutes.  Watch the cashews in the oven, as they can go from roasted to burned in the matter of 1 minute.  This step is not required, but does add extra flavor if you have the time. 

Let Creativity Rule!

This dish is not limited to an appetizer.  Try adding it to a sandwich, burgers, eggs or toast.  Let your creativity decide new uses for this herbaceous show stopper.    Follow us on Instagram, and Facebook for more DIY inspiration. Cheers from my kitchen to yours! ~ Heather 

Cashew Basil Pesto