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Easy Vegan Basil Pesto

When you have a limitless basil plant sitting on the porch, you may as well make pesto every week! However, a daily dose of cheesey dairy does nothing for me. I love my goat cheese, Gouda cheese, caprese salad… BUT for me, I’d rather focus on plant based foods for fuel with hints of animal sources along the way.

I browsed various vegan pesto recipes on Pinterest, but wasn’t satisfied. I had requirements of cashews and nutritional yeast yet couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I got creative and decided to come up with my own go-to plant based pesto with all the goods in my kitchen!


Vegan Basil Pesto

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 big garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

What the heck is a soaked cashew? Well? We aren’t making cashew butter! Add 1/2 cup cashews to a jar or bowl and cover with water. Leave tightly sealed at room temperature for 4-8 hours. Then drain the water out and rinse cashews thoroughly. The cashews will be soft and ready for easier blending!

Add all ingredients, including cashews, to food processor. Keep processing until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. I always add a splash of water to thin out the pesto and get it to a creamier consistency – juuust a splash!


Taste test, duh. And keep in the fridge. The pesto is delicious as a sandwich spread, over noodles, mixed in sautéed veggies… Anything you can think of! Keep in the fridge for 5 days. Mine is always gone well before that 🙂

CHEERS to fresh summer herbs!

  • What’s your favorite herb to cook with in the summer? Comment below!