Cashew Pesto Pasta (Gluten-Free & Vegan)


Fresh basil from the garden. Creamy cashews. Garlicky goodness.

It must be time for pesto pasta.

I made this recipe as a summertime treat for a 4th of July party this week, but it is so decadent, it would be perfect for any time of year. Adding a little green to your life is never a bad idea — especially when it’s in the form of pasta.

Cashew Pesto Pasta Recipe

Homegrown basil has the best flavor, but if you don’t grow it — look for it in your local grocery store or farmer’s market.


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight in water
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 zucchinis, diced and steamed
  • 1 box mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I like Bragg’s) + more for topping
  • 2-4 cloves of peeled garlic, depending on taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Dash of Celtic sea salt
  • Sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • 1 box gluten-free pasta (I like Banza chickpea noodles)

Chef’s Note: I use a food processor for making the pesto. If you do not have one, a blender should work as an alternative.


  1. Steam zucchini. Set aside.
  2. Drain cashews in a colander. (They do not need to be dry.)
  3. Place the cashews, basil, spinach, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast, and olive oil into the food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth and creamy. (You might have to add more olive oil or lemon juice if it is too thick for your preference.) Set aside.
  4. Cook noodles.
  5. When noodles are done, drain, then place back in the empty pot.
  6. Add zucchini and raw tomatoes (they will steam from the heat of the noodles), and fold in the pesto mixture.
  7. Serve with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and a sprig of fresh basil on top.

*Pesto pasta will keep refrigerated for a few days.

Chef’s Note: This dish is really rich. I would serve this either as a side dish — or, if serving as a main, with a salad or other fresh vegetable on the side.






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