Wondering what to serve for a quick and easy dinner? Our Cashew Pesto with Pasta is the perfect solution! Filled with nutrients, packed with flavor, and taking less than 15 minutes to prepare, this recipe is the quintessential on-the-go staple for busy nights. We love that cashews are the main ingredient in this recipe, as cashews are rich in nutrients such as protein, monounsaturaed fatty acids, copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. They also provide 220 calories in a 1/4 cup serving. While cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, they contain primarily unsaturated fatty acids, 75% of which is oleic acid (the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil), which promotes good cardiovascular health. Studies have even shown that monounsaturated fats reduce high triglyceride levels which are associated with increased risk for heart disease (1)! So go ahead and enjoy cashews in this tasty, healthy recipe–we promise you won’t regret it!
Vegan Cashew Pesto with Pasta
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 20 minutes until tender
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup basil, washed
- 1.5 ounces lemon (approximately 1 lemon juiced)
- ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
- In a food processor add garlic, cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, sea salt and water and process until smooth.
- Add basil, lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil and process until smooth.
- Mix 2½ tablespoons of olive oil into the cashew pesto until it is creamy. Set aside.
- Prepare pasta as directed on package. Once pasta is cooked add ½ tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta.
- Add pasta to cashew pesto, mix well, and serve.
Instead of nutritional yeast you could use Parmesan cheese.
You can serve this cashew pesto over zucchini noodles instead of pasta as a vegetable side dish and a low carbohydrate alternative.
Calories: 380 calories, Fat: 34 grams, Saturated fat: 5 grams, Carbohydrates: 13 grams, Sugar: 3 grams, Sodium: 100 milligrams, Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 8 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
(1) The Nutritional Health Facts of Cashews. Odi Cashew. http://www.odicashew.com/pdf/nutritional_health_facts_of_cashew.pdf