This creamy arugula cashew vegan pesto is going to be your new favorite sauce to put on everything! Zoodles, sandwiches, chicken, fish or tofu, this creamy dairy free vegan pesto is a way to brighten any meal! It’s paleo, Whole30 approved, gluten free, grain free, dairy free and low carb! It’s also packed full of nutrition!

creamy arugula cashew vegan pesto piled high in a bowl

What to serve arugula pesto with?

During the summer I make pesto every single week. There is nothing better than that bright flavor from the basil on top of zoodles with 7 minutes salmon or grilled shrimp for a quick, healthy meal!

In the winter I love to have pesto on gluten free high protein pasta to bring brightness into the cold winter! This pesto is also great in vegan minestrone soup!

creamy arugula cashew vegan pesto piled high in a bowl

Sometimes it’s nice to have those summer flavors even in the middle of fall and winter! And this arugula cashew vegan pesto is perfect for that! It’s easy to make, is simple enough for meal prep and it holds up well in the refrigerator for a few days. Did I mention it’s packed with veggies and perfect to dip your roasted cauliflower in!

creamy arugula cashew vegan pesto piled high in a bowl

This dairy free vegan pesto is perfect to stir into soups, have on cauliflower rice, or used to make pesto avocado tuna wraps or in paleo artichoke pesto hummus for a perfect paleo lunch any time of the year, so make sure to always have a jar of it on hand, no matter what time of year it is!

What do you need to make pesto at home

To make this pesto, all you need is a food processor or a high powered blender! I use raw unsalted cashews in this recipe, but you could also use hemp hearts, walnuts or pine nuts to achieve a similar texture! I used Roasted Garlic Oil in this recipe to give it flavor, instead of raw garlic. The roasted garlic oil is a bit more mellow and goes well with the peppery flavor from the arugula! If you don’t have the roasted garlic olive oil, you can use 1 clove fresh garlic and 1 tbs. olive oil or avocado oil.

creamy arugula cashew vegan pesto piled high in a bowl

Everything you need to make this recipe:

creamy arugula cashew vegan pesto piled high in a bowl

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  • In a large food processor, combine basil, 1 ½ cups arugula, lemon, olive oil, cashews and ½ tsp. of salt, garlic powder with 3 tbsp. of water and process until smooth (you may need to stop this once to scrape down the sides).

  • Add the remaining arugula and process until smooth. If you find that you need more liquid, add the additional tbsp. of water. Once you have the consistency you desire, taste for salt. Add up to an additional ½ tsp. of salt depending on your preference. Be sure to blend well.

  • Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.


  • Arugula: You can also use baby spinach or baby kale. 
  • Cashews: You can use any nut or seed in place of cashews. You can use almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds would all be great here. 
  • Garlic powder: I prefer garlic powder over fresh garlic in pesto so that the flavor is not overwhelmed by garlic. You can also use 1-2 cloves fresh garlic (grated or minced). 


  • Fridge: Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 1 week. 
  • Freezer: Freeze pesto in ice cube trays in individual servings. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.

See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Amount per Serving

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.

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