Homemade Basil Pesto

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If you are wondering what to do with leftover basil, or you want to make a basil pesto recipe without pine nuts, then you’ll LOVE this tangy, flavorsome Homemade Basil Pesto! It’s a pine nut-free pesto that also happens to be paleo and vegan, too! Drizzle it on pasta, vegetables, or a sandwich! The options are endless! {Vegan + Paleo}


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 23 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 16 ounces fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped


  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender in the order listed and then blend on a LOW setting until the ingredients are roughly mixed. For a thicker, bulkier pesto, blend on a LOW to MEDIUM speed for a short period. For a smoother, creamier pesto, blend on a HIGH speed until the ingredients are completely emulsified.
  2. Refrigerate the pesto in a glass jar for about 2-3 days. Enjoy it with vegetables, mixed in with pasta, or layered on a sandwich. This pesto will thicken as it stands.


  • Variations:
    • Strong favor: more basil, lemon juice, and/or garlic cloves 
    • Chunky consistency:  low pulse setting for a short amount of time, an extra handful of cashews 
    • Thin consistency: more olive oil (plan to add an extra splash of lemon juice and/or an extra garlic clove to keep the flavor from becoming too mild)
  • Yield given is an approximation. Actual yields may vary, depending on how you prepare your pesto.