Recipe: Vegan Cashew Pesto With Whole Grain Pasta

This is a fun spin on traditional Italian pesto using cashews.

This is a fun spin on traditional Italian pesto using cashews. Feel free to swap out cashews for other nuts you may have on hand, such as walnuts or almonds.


  • 14 ounces whole wheat pasta, such as shells, penne, or spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 4 cups chopped spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside.

Place the cashews, spinach or kale, parsley, olive oil, garlic, balsamic, and salt in a blender along with the reserved pasta water. Blend until a chunky pesto forms. Toss with pasta and serve immediately.

Ayurvedic Add-ins

For Vata: Enjoy the recipe as is!

For Pitta: Swap out cashews for pumpkin seeds.

For Kapha: Swap the cashews for 2 garlic cloves and increase oil by 2 tablespoons.

Serves 4

(Serving 2 1/2 cups) 598 calories, 19 g protein, 87 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugars, 23 g fat (3 g saturated), 50 mg cholesterol, 10 g fiber, 353 mg sodium

Jennifer Iserloh, aka the “Skinny Chef,” is a leader in promoting healthy, vibrant lifestyles though a diet of delicious and nutritious easy-to-prepare meals. A classically trained chef, certified yoga teacher, and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Iserloh is the best-selling author of 50 Shades of Kale and Healthy Cheats, among other books. 


Nutrition Information

  • Calories 0
  • Carbohydrate Content 0 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 0 g
  • Fiber Content 0 g
  • Protein Content 0 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Sodium Content 0 mg
  • Sugar Content 0 g
  • Trans Fat Content 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat Content 0 g