Spinach Cashew Pesto

Published on: 05/18/2023
healthy spinach pesto pasta

This spinach cashew pesto is perfect for dinner on a weeknight. It’s quick to make and uses ingredients you likely already have on hand (like that wilted box of spinach you’re not sure what to do with).

Traditional pesto uses basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. This spinach cashew pesto uses spinach, cashews and nutritional yeast (you can garnish with parmesan if you’d like). It’s a plant-based, more nutritious and less expensive (pine nuts are wickedly pricey) version. One serving provides 17g protein, 9g fibre is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.

If you make this recipe, tag me @harvesttablenutrition on IG or Tik Tok. I always love to see your creations!

While this pesto has lots of veggies in it already, it would pair well with a salad. Want to learn how to create delicious salads without fail? Then check out my salad dressing guide – a simple formula to creating salad dressings.

healthy spinach and cashew pesto pasta

Spinach Cashew Pesto

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people
Calories 340 kcal


  • blender
  • Large pot
  • frying pan


  • ½ cup cashews, raw, unsalted
  • 2 cups spinach, fresh
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup green peas, frozen
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • pasta


  • Add cashews to a small bowl, cover with water and let for for at least one hour. If you don't have enough time, you can cover in boiling water for 10-20 minutes.
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. Blanche spinach for approximately 30 seconds, or until it's bright green.
  • Remove all spinach with a slotted spoon (don't drain the water, you're going to use it to cook your pasta). Run under cold water and squeeze to remove any excess water. Add to blender.
  • Add oil to a hot frying pan. Cook garlic (no need to mince, add the whole clove), peas and chili flakes for 3-5 minutes or until quite fragrant. Transfer to the blender.
  • Add nutritional yeast to the blender and blend until smooth. It will be very thick but it will thin out when we add the pasta water. If it's too think to even blend, you can add a splash of plant-milk.
  • Return the pesto to the frying pan and set low to keep warm.
  • Return your spinachy water to a boil. Make sure to salt it.
  • Cook your deserved amount of pasta according to directions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before straining your pasta.
  • Add 1/4 cup pasta water to the pesto and stir to combine. Add more if you want it thinner.
  • Add strained pasta to the pesto and toss until pasta is well coated.
  • Transfer to bowls and garnish with more chili flakes (optional) and parmesan cheese (or other cheese of choice).
  • Enjoy!
Keyword dinner, pasta, pesto, spinach, spring

If you’re looking for salad and salad dressing recipes I have just the thing. My Summer Salads Recipe Book includes 21 super simple salad recipes that are perfect for summer. They all take 30 minutes or less to make, and are perfect for meal prepping during the week or bringing to a backyard BBQ. It’s completely free and you can grab your copy right here.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Hi there! I’m Bailey!
Jacqui portrait

I’m a Plant-based Culinary Dietitian helping people transition to a plant-based diet, and showing the most delicious side of plant-based eating. Happy eating!

More about me

grab a recipe book
Jacqui portrait

Fall Recipe Book: a 7-day meal plan featuring seasonal fall plant-based recipes

Grab Your Copy


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This