Green Bean Pasta with Cashew Pesto

Cashews are a smart swap for pine nuts in dairy-free pesto. Beyond building creaminess, the budget-friendlier nuts also add a subtle cheesy flavor, which nutritional yeast plays up in this pretty pasta dish. Cut down on day-of prep time by making the pesto ahead and refrigerating it in an airtight container for up to three days. These other plant-based recipes are easy to prepare and full of flavor and texture!

By Shelli McConnell,


  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 oz. dried whole wheat spaghetti
  • 8 oz. fresh thin green beans, trimmed and halved lengthwise, if desired
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (1½ cups)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)


  • For pesto, place cashews in a bowl. Add boiling water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes; drain. In a blender or food processor combine cashews and the next six ingredients (through lemon juice).
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions, adding green beans the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Return spaghetti to pan. Add pesto and cannellini beans; toss to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking water a little at a time to achieve desired texture, tossing to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with pistachios and, if desired, crushed red pepper.

Comments (48)

(5 from 26 votes)

Recipe Rating

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What is the nutritional info for this meal? Looks so delicious

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Erica, We are currently working on adding nutritional information to all our recipes and anticipate for this feature to be live on the website in coming months. Please stay tuned for updates!

Heather E.

This was delicious! The pesto was so bright and full of flavor! I did use a small amount of Himalayan salt in it. It makes quite a bit of sauce so I used half and froze the rest to use at another time. Curious to see how it holds up.


i used 4 garlics and lots of crused red pepper in the pesto. i sauteed onion, green beans (steamed) and white beans in a separate pan before adding it to the pasta, i also used chicken stock instead of veg. we all ate 2nds, kid approved! ill make it again and may add more green beans and/or white beans

Kimberley Walker

Absolutely loved this and very tasty! I’m a beginner and managed to make this with my mini food processor. Didn’t take long and I had a lot left over for lunches.


What a shame there are no metric measurements. Cups and Oz are gobbledegook outside of the US. Help!


I made it Was bland but I enjoyed .. I even had my guy taste even though he said he’s not a pesto fan He actually took a couple tbsp of it to work with his lunch ..


this pasta is the best pasta I have ever tried and I can't wait to make it again for my family and our French bulldog in our 100-million-dollar mansion in Florida.


Couple of questions... Can I freeze the Pesto to store and use another time? Also, how many servings is this recipe?

Paul , rastaman

Absolutely gorgeous


Made this tonight we loved it! The only thing we did different was sprinkle vegan homemade parmesan cheese on top.


Any suggestions for nut-free substitutes?

Courtney Davison

Hi Joslynn, You might try the recipe for our Spicy Cilantro Pesto, which uses sunflower seeds for richness in place of nuts: Omit the jalapeño if you like less heat. Hope this helps! Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


My family really enjoyed this. We did add a little salt and red pepper flakes. Very good!


Sounds intetesting

christine thomas

Can this pesto be frozen

Courtney Davison

Hi Christine, Yes, you should be able to freeze the pesto for about three months in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


Beautiful recipe …my family loved it ❤️❤️

Tara Crossley

We found it too bland and flavorless. It looks beautiful, but it seems to depend on flavor by using salt and pepper. Maybe it's the green beans are too dominant. A lot of work for no pay off.


Please add carb information.

Jeanne Wood

It was delicious, I added extra fresh garlic. It was my first attempt at a plant based meal. Honestly I didn’t want to make the pesto, so I bought a jar of barillas pesto and used that and i’m not a fan of whole wheat pasta so I used a veggie pasta. Still loved it.


Really enjoyed this. Next time I’ll try with walnuts instead of cashews, which are pretty expensive. The green beans were great in it.

Adi Bosworth

Cashews are rich in fat!

Cheryl K

Wow. So delicious and fancy. I didn’t have spinach on hand so substituted collard greens in the pesto sauce. I will definitely make again. Thank you.


This was hands-down the most delicious pesto recipe I've ever eaten! Even my omnivore husband could not stop raving about it. The pesto itself is divine, I added extra garlic, and loved the crushed red pepper flakes & pistachios as toppings! Definitely adding this to my weekly rotation! Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

Julie G

I’m super impressed with this recipe. Very easy to make. I might add asparagus and mushrooms next time.


Very good. But given the amount of green beans and pasta, I will add more spices next time - onion, cilantro, etc.


This is one of my new favorite recipes!! We have so much basil right now. Can this pesto be frozen? Will it keep in the freezer?

William Sweet

This recipe was not only delicious, but simple to make. Will definitely make it again.

Sally Benjmain

What is a work around for cashews in the pesto due to nut allergies?


I would try sunflower seeds


Sooo yummy! And we topped with fresh green zebra tomato from the garden.

Sydney Hardham

Any seed-sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, sesame etc.


So delicious!!!!

Donna Kim Hopkins

This looks and sounds divine....

Chip Atkison

I guess if one is diagnosed with Celiac Disease (Gluten sensitivity), then the whole wheat spag should be substituted with rice spag?

christine altamuro

Yes, or chick pea pasta.


I love this recipe. I’m thinking about making it tonight with okra instead of green beans! Has anyone tried this substitute?

Georgianne Frank

Can’t wait to try this recipe! Sounds great!


How much cashew butter should I use instead of raw cashews?

sangeeta wahi



Yum! I also added in mushrooms.


Barb- I think spiraled zucchini might be a good swap for green beans


Very good and healthy pesto with a vibrant green colour. The pistachios add a lovely crunch. Thank you!


Looks fantastic But my husband won’t eat green beans. Substitute suggestion?

sangeeta wahi



Any veggie he likes!


Why are you rating 3 stars if you haven’t even tried this recipe?

About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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