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Cashew-Lemon Basil Pesto ~ Gluten-free & plant-based

If you like to try new recipes Cashew-Lemon Basil Pesto would be my first suggestion. It’s a super easy recipe, and who doesn’t like easy dinner ideas right?
 I started eating pesto a couple of years ago and I am not stopping any time soon. There is just something about the basil flavor that makes pesto unique. I always make a double batch so I have leftovers.
 This might surprise some folks, but pesto freezes well, which is awesome.  So I fill small containers of pesto to freeze and use later on sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, and even meats like chicken and salmon.

You’re going to love the fact that pesto mixes up in a snap…it is almost too easy!

This pesto recipe is downright amazing on pizza too! We almost like it better than regular pizza sauce.  Lately, my husband has been adding his tomato-based pizza sauce right over the layer of pesto.

easy cashew-lemon pesto

We eat pesto often, and Cashew-Lemon Basil Pesto is one of our favorite recipes. This recipe is from Dreena Burton, www.dreenaburton.com.

easy cashew-lemon basil pesto

I changed the order of ingredients a little because I like to add the cashews first and then the liquids and spices on top. I also decided to soak the cashews because I prefer to work with a softer nut for pestos and sauces.

To Make Cashew-Lemon Basil Pesto You Will Need These Ingredients:

  • Raw cashews
  • Lemons or lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Dry mustard
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Water
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Pasta of your choice ~ gluten-free/corn-free if needed

Here Are Some Optional Add-in Ideas:

  •  Turkey or chicken breast, roasted and sliced into bite-size pieces.
  • Cauliflower gnocchi – trust me it is a good add-in. I cooked the gnocchi in an air fryer so it was just slightly crispy.


Cashew-Lemon Basil Pesto

Quick & easy dinner idea loaded with healthy ingredients and lots of flavors.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: cashew-lemon basil pesto
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 243kcal


  • 1 1/8 cup raw cashews soaked 2-3 hours
  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 LG garlic clove minced
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3 Tbsp water
  • 2 3/4 cups packed fresh basil leaves I really pack mine well
  • Pasta of choice we’ve used both fettuccine and penne. I use gluten-free for myself


  • Place soaked and drained cashews in a food processor along with lemon juice, garlic, dry mustard, salt, pepper, basil leaves and 1 Tbsp of water. Puree until desired smoothness, some texture is okay.
  • Add additional water 1 Tbsp at a time as needed or if you prefer a thinner pesto.
  • Toss pesto with cooked and drained pasta. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a dairy-free Parmesan. I like to use Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan.
  • Add in cooked sliced turkey, chicken breast, or cauliflower gnocchi if desired.


Add in ideas are optional:
~turkey or chicken breast, roasted and sliced in bite-size pieces.
~cauliflower gnocchi – trust me it really is a good add-in. I cooked the gnocchi in an air fryer so it was just slightly crispy.
Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 3mg

You might also like to try this Fresh Pesto recipe with less fat.

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