Easy Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce

Easy Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce – A 10 minute Vegan Pesto Sauce recipe that has cashews for that lovely buttery texture.

Easy Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce

Easy Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce

The Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce recipe has been on my mind since a very long time and finally, last week I took out some time to churn out some amazing No Cheese Italian fare that I also plan to share on the blog later this week.

Truly happy the way the fingerlicking vegan basil pesto sauce turned out. I only wish you could smell and taste it, Absolutely incredible.

Pesto is quintessentially made with pine nuts but I opt for walnuts instead that are easily available and are pocket friendly too. For this particular recipe, I have used Cashews instead of walnuts. They are the super fresh cashews from Goa which husband bought last week and were lying in the refrigerator, waiting to be used.

I was super glad with the outcome as the cashews lent an incredible creamy texture to the sauce which the parmesan cheese ideally would have. In the absence of the cheese, the buttery texture of the cashew did complete justice to the flavor and the creaminess of the sauce.

Basil Pesto 1.jpg

When it comes to buying ingredients, I absolutely have to pick and choose the best which also takes up a lot of time and umpteen visits to the market for obtaining the right produce. This habit is not recently developed. It has always been the case with me as I learnt cooking at a young age and have always enjoyed scouting for ingredients and buying vegetables too.

Finding Fresh Basil was very challenging for me last week due to Mumbai Rains. When we talk about pesto, one cannot imagine a limp and lifeless looking basil leaf. So after much requests, my veggie vendor finally surprised me with a big bunch of basil leaves and some fresh oregano too as bonus with which I made a delicious tomato sauce for pasta. 

Basil Pesto Sauce 5

The aroma of freshly ground basil pesto paste is intoxicating and all I immediately did after finishing the shooting was tossed some sauce in boiled and cubed potatoes, added a bit of pink salt and pepper and enjoyed myself a little treat. 

Ensure you use a good quality Olive oil, fresh basil leaves to make the most fragrant and delicious pesto sauce at home. All it takes is 10 minutes, a mixer grinder jar and you have a delicious home made, preservative free sauce ready for the family.

Check out the vegan version of the pesto sauce below and I am sure you won’t miss the cheese. Also, don’t miss the recipe notes as I have some amazing ideas to share for putting the lipsmacking sauce to the best possible use.

You may also check another home made sauce from the blog, my personal favourite the Honey Mustard sauce which are great as dips for steamed veggies and / or adding to salads.

Recipe for Easy Vegan Basil Pesto Sauce

Prep and Grind time – 10 minutes total


  1. 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  2. ¼ cup Olive Oil
  3. 20 nos. cashews
  4. 4 cloves of garlic
  5. ¼ tsp Black pepper powder
  6. ¼ tsp lemon juice
  7. Salt as per taste


  1. Wash and pat dry the 1 cup of basil leaves and add it to the mixer grinder jar along with garlic cloves, black pepper powder, salt and cashews.
  2. Grind it and slowly incorporate the olive oil to get a sauce like consistency.
  3. Add lemon juice and give it one last blitz.
  4. Empty the contents of the sauce in a clean and dry glass jar with a lid.
  5. Stays good in the refrigerator for 15 days.

How to use this sauce?

  • In a mood for Italian? Add couple of tablespoons of this sauce over boiled pasta and add some veggies of your choice to make a lovely pasta dish or salad.
  • Spread it on a bread slice and add veggies of your choice, topped with herbs, olive oil and some grated parmesan cheese – Grill it in an oven and you have pesto toasts ready
  • Bruschetta – Spread on a toasted baguette, add some sliced or chopped tomatoes and basil leaves with olive oil.
  • Baked veggies of your choice with a generous helping of this sauce, salt, pepper and some olive oil. Grill the veggies for 15 odd minutes on 180 degrees C and you have a low cal, low oil dinner option for weeknights.
  • Pesto can be added to boiled corn and tossed, served as quick snack option for kids.

Recipe Notes

    • Don’t like cashews – Opt for walnuts or pine nuts which is the original choice for pestos.
    • Don’t prefer the vegan option – Add parmesan cheese as per your taste and preferences.
  • Use a good quality olive oil to make this sauce.

Vidya Narayan

Views: 1344

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. I was searching for pesto recipe and now I have a tried and tested recipe. I don’t like cheese much and it is without cheese. Superb share dear. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. It is entirely my pleasure and thank you for appreciating the efforts behind the recipe. Means a lot. Hope you like the taste, just like I did.

  2. This is my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E <3 Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  3. Wow, impressive.I never thought of adding cashew nuts to pesto. !!! Would love to try this!

      1. Yes, I am sure of it….:-)

  4. You’re making me feel jealous with the words a big bunch of basil…. haven’t seen fresh basil in a while in the markets in Mombasa. I love the aroma of fresh basil and basil pesto is so delicious. I’ve on occasions made pesto using cashew nuts to replace the pine nuts and it makes the pesto so creamy.

    1. Cashews add that creamy texture, I agree with you. Thanks so much and wish you get a big bunch soon so that you can make a nice batch of pesto.

  5. This pesto recipe looks fantastic I like the fact that its vegan as I have a friend who is vegan so I have some thing else I can serve her when she visits.

    1. So great to hear that Nayna. Hope she enjoys it with your delicious food. Thanks a ton!

  6. Basil pesto sauce is my favourite. It has such nice flavours. I like it with walnuts.

    1. Thanks so much and yes, walnuts is my choice too on some days.

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