Vegan Pesto Pasta

I find the biggest struggle with maintaining a plant-based diet is missing my daily cheese intake. I’ve tried some store bought substitutes (like Daiya) but they just don’t cut it. I amped up some cashew cheese with a ton of basil and it turned out pretty delicious.

Vegan Pesto Pasta

Vegan Pesto Pasta

Prep time: 2 hours (inactive) 15 minutes active
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2.5 hours
Yield: 4-6 servings

Vegan Pesto Pasta


For the Cashew Cheese

  • 1 cup soaked cashews

  • ¼ cup almond milk

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 clove garlic

  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

For the Pesto

  • 3 cups fresh basil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup cashew cheese

For the Pasta

  • 24 oz fusilli pasta

  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes

  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Soak the cashews in warm water for a minimum of two hours, then strain. This step creates a creamy texture for the cheese. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. This will make about 1 ½ cups of cashew cheese. You can store the extra ½ cup in the refrigerator for up to one week and use it as a dip or spread. Keep the other cup in the food processor and add all remaining ingredients for the pesto and blend again.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions on package. Once cooked, toss with pesto sauce and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!