Skip to content
Basil and cashew pesto pasta recipe

Basil and cashew pesto pasta recipe

135 ratings

Homemade pesto is the focal point of this simple pasta recipe. Using cashews in place of pine nuts is what gives the vegan-friendly pesto its delicious, creamy texture. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 7 mins to prepare and 13 mins to cook
  • 468 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free


  • 200g fresh greens, tough stems removed
  • 320g penne
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 30g pack fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 40g cashew nuts
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested 
If you haven't got penne, try using fusilli or another short pasta

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    19g 27%
  • Saturates

    3g 14%
  • Sugars

    4g 4%
  • Salt

    0.1g 1%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 64.8g Protein 12.9g Fibre 2.1g


  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the fresh greens in it for 7 mins, then remove with tongs (leaving the water in the pan) and rinse under cold water until cool. Squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Cook the penne in the same pan for 10 mins, then drain, reserving 100ml of the pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, put the greens, garlic, most of the basil, 30g cashews, the oil and most of the lemon zest in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
  4. Tip the drained pasta back into the pan and add the pesto along with the reserved pasta water. Stir well to coat the pasta, then divide between 4 bowls. Top with the remaining basil, lemon zest and cashews to serve.

See more Pasta recipes.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze the pesto only. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 2 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

You may also like

Be the first to comment

Before you comment please read our community guidelines.