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This homemade vegan cashew pesto is oil free, quick, and so easy to make! In addition, this vegan pesto is dairy free, gluten free, perfect for pesto pasta, sandwiches, or pizza!
I love creating healthy sauces because they really give so much flavor to plant based dishes. Store-bought sauces can be expensive and when you make it at home, you can control the ingredients.
Instead of using pine nuts and olive oil, we'll be using raw cashews because they taste great. If you like cashew sauces, you can also try my vegan chipotle sauce, vegan cheese sauce, ranch dressing, vegan white sauce, vegan hollandaise sauce, cashew garlic sauce, and caesar dressing.
Before we jump into the recipe, let's learn some tips on how to make this delicious sauce.
How to make vegan cashew pesto
We will be using raw cashews for the base because they work great in this recipe. I don't recommend using roasted cashews because it will change the flavor.
For the liquid, we are keeping it simple and using just water. If you want this pesto to be thinner, you can always add a little more water.
Fresh Basil and Baby Spinach
Fresh basil is a must when it comes to pestos so we will be adding a lot of basil. I also like adding a little bit of baby spinach to sneak in some leafy greens.
Nutritional yeast, Lemon Juice, Garlic and Mustard
While freshly squeezed lemon juice gives a tangy flavor, nutritional yeast provides a cheesy flavor. We will also add some garlic and a little bit of dijon or brown mustard.
How to make it
- All you have to do is to add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until you achieve a smooth texture, scrape the sides as needed. Start with less water and gradually add more until you reach the desired consistency.
- I don't recommend using a blender because it will make it too creamy for pesto unless that's the texture you are looking for.
- You can use it immediately or store it in the fridge for 30 minutes for the flavors to fully develop before serving.
How to use it
- Make vegan pesto pasta with it
- You can use it as a salad dressing
- Also, add it to sandwiches, pizza or wraps
Tips & Variations
- I recommend using a food processor instead of a blender for the pesto texture.
- If the vegan cashew pesto is too thick, you can also add more water slowly.
- Always adjust to taste and add more salt as needed!
How to store it
You can store this vegan cashew pesto in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 to 5 days. You may need to add a little bit of water if the consistency got very thick so keep that in mind.
If you want to freeze it, you can do so by placing it in a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before using.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don't recommend it because it will change the taste but you can try.
Nutritional yeast give that cheesy flavor so if you don't use it, it won't have as much flavor.
Yes, you can add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, this will give a nice taste and will improve the texture.
This homemade vegan pesto comes together so quickly and it is very easy. It is also:
- Gluten free and dairy free
- Has so many uses
- Oil free
- Also so delicious!
More plant based sauces & dips to try
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This homemade vegan cashew pesto is oil free, quick, & easy to make! It's dairy free, gluten free, perfect for pesto pasta!
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 2 cups fresh basil (loosely packed)
- ½ cup baby spinach (loosely packed)
- ¼ to ½ cup water (start with ¼ cup and adjust as needed)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard or dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until you achieve a smooth texture, scrape the sides as needed. Start with less water and gradually add more until you reach the desired consistency.
- Use it immediately or store it in the fridge for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop before serving.
I recommend using a food processor instead of a blender for the pesto texture.
If the vegan cashew pesto is too thick, you can add more water slowly.
Always adjust to taste and add more salt as needed!
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 112
- Sugar: 1g
- Sodium: 224.2mg
- Fat: 8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 7.2g
- Fiber: 1.1g
- Protein: 4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan spinach pesto, cashew pesto, dairy free cashew pesto, homemade vegan pesto