Cilantro Cashew Pesto


I don’t think I could ever get sick of pesto.

In fact, making pesto has become our Sunday night routine actually. For the longest time, we were obsessed with this Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto and we ate it every. single. week. Sunday night would roll around and I’d throw a huge tray of tomatoes into the oven to roast for an hour until they were bubbly and juicy. I’d blend it together with lots of fresh basil, garlic, and sliced almonds, and pour it over a huge pot of pasta. We’d literally be licking our bowls by the end of the meal.

And then we tried this recipe…



Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to begin with, but something magical happens to it once you mix it together with some fresh basil and cashews. I typically use almonds or pine nuts in my pesto, but the use of cashews in this recipe creates this ridiculously creamy texture.

Cashews are usually used to add a creamy element to soups and dressings, so it only makes sense that it would do the same to pesto. As soon as we tried this pesto, it instantly became our new Sunday night favorite.



Who knows, maybe I’ll find an even better pesto recipe next month! But for now, I’ll stick to these two delicious standbys. What is your favorite kind of pesto?


Cilantro Cashew Pesto

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish


  • 10 oz brown rice pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil (or more, if needed)
  • squeeze of half a lime
  • ¼ tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ½ tsp pepper (or more to taste)


adapted from vegan family recipe's cilantro basil pesto pasta


Step 1
Boil a large pot of water, add pasta, and cook for 10-12 minutes (or until al dente).
Step 2
Meanwhile, blend cashews in your high speed blender or food processor for 1 minute, or until chopped into tiny pieces. Add in cilantro and basil leaves and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, scrapping the bowl midway through to make sure all the leaves are being chopped. Add in the garlic, salt, and pepper and blend again for 1 minute.
Step 3
Last, add in the olive oil and lime juice and blend until pesto has reached you desired consistency. If you like your pesto a little thinner, add another tablespoon or two of olive oil. I like mine a little chunkier, so I added just 5 tablespoons.
Step 4
Drain the pasta and add it back into the pot. Pour the pesto over the pasta and stir to combine. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste, then dig in!


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. I love pesto too 🙂 I use it a lot, mainly on raw crackers or zucchini pasta. I will for sure try this recipe as I love cilantro!! To answer your question: I love all pesto’s, but I think I might have to go with the traditional basil pesto 🙂 Although I made this pesto a couple months ago that was such a refreshing switch to the usual! Check it out, maybe you will like it?

  2. This sounds like perfection!! I just picked up a bundle of cilantro yesterday, so I am definitely giving it a go.

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