Nancy Macklin, RDN
Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.see more from this author
Can you use dried basil instead of fresh to make pesto?
Was really nice but next time I will use smaller pieces of garlic
Can you freeze this?
Hi Sandra! Yes you can freeze this recipe. It should stay good for up to three months in an air-tight container. Enjoy!
Try Vegan pesto sauce
Traditional pesto is made with pine nut, are cashews better? Can pine nuts still be used instead in this recipe
Cashews make it a nice and creamy pesto. Occasionally I’ll use almonds or walnuts in this recipe. Each results in a slightly different flavor. Cashew is probably my favorite because of the creaminess.
I just made it with half cashews and half pine nuts – it was delicious! I haven’t made it with only cashews, so I don’t know how that compares.
I’d like to know too!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Creamy consistency. The cashews and nooch are the parmesan replacement that plant-based pestos need.
Amazing! So delicious! I followed the recipe as-is except I used water instead of plant milk. This is the best pesto I have ever eaten. Before switching to a whole food plant based diet I made pesto with olive oil. This tastes so much better than pesto made with oil.
Delicious, just as written! My omnivore hubby added extra salt and pepper and the enjoyed it as well.
Not tried it yet, but will give it a go.
Traditional pesto is basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil. My Italian friend never added the parmesan until serving so as not to loose the cheese sticking to a hot saucepan.
To replace the parmesan there are a few homemade or shop bought vegan replacements or just add nutrional yeast stirred into or sprinkled over the hot pasta
Your recipes are great but you do not take into consideration People who have chronic kidney disease and have to limit their potassium…..so I would omit the nuts, but what to replace it with…..hmmm….
I always replace with white beans when the recipe calls for beans.
I have to limit my potassium and my sodium. I wish there would be a collection of very good recipes for people in my position. If you have heart failure you are possibly taking potassium sparing drugs as I am where you have to limit the amount of potassium you take in. Plus like almost all Heart patients I have to limit sodium.
Maureen, I have substituted silken tofu instead of cashews.
Maureen, have you read the success stories from people who had CKD? It might be worth reaching out to them and getting their tips.
Has anyone made this without soaking the cashews? I made traditional pesto (with olive oil) and use many different types of nuts without soaking them. Only almonds were challenging because they are harder than most other nuts & don’t chop up as well. Just wondering why you would need to soak for this vegan version of the pesto?
If you have a high speed vita mix you won’t have to but this small amount of nuts in a food processor may not process as smoothly without soaking.
what can I substitute for the cashews without sacrificing the taste?
Most vegan recipes for cheese sauces etc I’ve seen can substitute chopped boiled potatoes or white beans for the cashews for a fat free, nut free version.
Easy and delicious
Just used water not plant milk, and a little miso paste instead of salt, was delicious! Am going to try making a tomato version with oven dried tomatoes
Looks good! What would be a good replacement for the nutritional yeast?
A little white miso makes a really good substitute for the nutritional yeast/cheese.
I would omit the nutritional yeast, have been making pesto for years without cheese, it doesn’t need it.
Can you freeze this?
I make regular pesto and freeze it for a year or more. It’s wonderful! Just seal well to keep it from getting freezer burned.
Yes, it should freeze well for about a month. You can dollop it into ice cube trays or onto wax paper or parchment paper, let it freeze for several hours, then transfer it to a freezer-safe storage bag or airtight container.