Cashew Arugula Pesto

There isn’t much growing in our garden right now ‘cept for some kale and arugula and a few spidery mustards. But the arugula is coming in like crazy and adds tons of interest to salads, wraps, and sides.

Today I gathered a few handfuls of arugula and made a Cashew Arugula Pesto. Even including the time to wander out to the garden and gather the greens and the time to roast the nuts in the oven, this recipe took me 10 minutes. The great thing about working with cashews is that they offer a naturally rich, buttery texture, making this a great vegan option for friends and family who don’t eat dairy.

142ED07B-E270-4B20-BDF1-16062F0CB530Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2-cup raw unsalted cashews roasted 8-10 mins at 450 degrees F
  • 1-2 cloves garlic depending on preference. I used 2 cloves when I made this for pasta, but 1 clove when I made it as a spread
  • 3 cups fresh arugula, or about 2-1/2 big handfuls, washed and big stems removed
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Here’s how you do it:

Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place about 1/2-cup of raw cashews on a baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes, roasting at additional 1-minute increments until they are golden brown but not scorched.

While the cashews are roasting, gather the rest of your ingredients:


Place garlic, roasted cashews, salt, pepper, and arugula in a food processor:


Add 1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil. Pulse and then purée on high until a smooth paste forms, drizzling in additional olive oil as you go. Add more salt and pepper to taste.  (Remember, you’re not adding Parmesan cheese to this one, unless you want to, so you’ll need to add a bit more salt that you would for a cheese-amended pesto.)


Voila! Add to pasta, sandwiches, and soups–and enjoy the burst of Spring flavor! Or do what I did in the feature photo above and spread it on some hearty toast (here on Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Heritage Whole Grain)….Dollop of tomato marinara and cashew cream optional.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kelly says:

    Yummy! 😋

    1. Melinda says:

      I bet you have some arugula bursting out in your garden!

  2. Great post 😁

    1. Melinda says:

      Thank you!

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