Raw Vegan Recipes / Vegan Condiments and Sauces

A Simple Vegan Kale and Cashew Pesto

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Last updated on January 22nd, 2020 at 08:47 pm

Ready in 10 minutes flat, this simple vegan kale and cashew pesto is a lovely twist on the traditional basil variety. Made with raws cashews and a bucket of kale, it’s simple, healthy and so addictive.

an overhead image of a jar of kale and cashew pesto with a spoon sitting on a marbled light surface.

This post is going to be super brief because it is part one of a two-parter. I am putting the finishing touches on a post for my new food crush, my zucchini and mozzarella pizza with kale pesto. Including a much tried and tested pizza dough recipe, this pizza is super green and packed with flavour. But for now, we’ll get on to the vegan kale and cashew pesto which will store in the fridge until you’re ready to dive in to the pizza prep.

I am not a big fan of basil pesto. Maybe my tastebuds are a little immature but I find basil pesto bitter. Needless to say I was pretty chuffed to find Toby Puttock’s kale pesto in his new cookbook Super Natural.

Close up flat lay image of green curly kale for vegan kale pesto

While Toby’s recipe is vegan, as is the entire Super Natural cookbook, I have made a few tweaks. I can’t help it – I have never met a recipe I haven’t felt the need to tweak. Perhaps it’s the control freak in me. Don’t judge.

With Toby’s original recipe firmly in mind, I have kept true to the kale and cashew ratios however here, I deviate. I prefer a little less oil in my pesto than the original recipes calls for so I have reduced it down, I also added nutritional yeast and lemon zest to boost the already lemon freshness. 

flat lay image of two rustic spoons filled with vegan kale pesto on a marbled tabletop

The result is a vibrant, fresh and slightly citrus pesto with no basil bitterness but a tonne of kale goodness. The beauty of pesto is that you can adjust the seasonings to suit your taste buds. I added lemon zest but you could omit it. Add as much salt as you need and it’s awesome with a good crack of black pepper. If you prefer more umami add another half spoon of the nutritional yeast. Simples.

Perfect atop a green pizza or tossed through roast vegetables – like I had for dinner last night – this vegan kale pesto is wonderfully versatile. Ready in no time, it’s a trusty back-pocket recipe for unexpected guests or something for your next party. Did someone say party? I have 35 Vegan Party Food Recipes you’re going to love.  But I digress -you can make this pesto ahead and it will store for up to a week in the fridge.  Enjoy, x.

Need more kale in your life? Try crispy kale chips in my Game Changing Chickpea Green Tofu Bowl

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flat lay image of a rustic spoon filled with vegan kale pesto offset to the bottom corner of the image

An overhead image of a jar of green kale pesto with a spoon

Simple Vegan Kale and Cashew Pesto

Ready in minutes, this simple Kale and Cashew Pesto is a perfect condiment for when friends drop by. Fantastic with raw vegetables, breads or tossed through roast vegetables or pasta.
4.17 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment | Sides and Condiments
Cuisine: Italian | Raw Vegan | Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 73kcal
Author: Amanda Logan


  • 3 cups fresh kale, washed and roughly torn packed cups
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves or more to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil up to 1 1/2 cups
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • sea salt to taste


  • Place the kale, cashews and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast and a good pinch of salt and pulse again until combined. 
  • Taste and add more lemon or salt to your taste.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week. 


Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 156mg | Vitamin A: 2010IU | Vitamin C: 24.3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Tried this recipe?Please rate it & leave your feedback in the comments section below. Or you can tag @mygoodnesskitchen or hashtag #mygoodnesskitchen on Instagram. Thank you!


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an overhead image of a jar of kale and cashew pesto with a spoon sitting on a marbled light surface. Title text overlay.

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About Author

Amanda Logan is a published cookbook author, recipe developer and food photographer based in Australia. She is a contributor to Nourish Australia magazine and has appeared in Thrive Magazine, Vegan Food and Living, The Zoe Report and The Australian Vegan Magazine.

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Perveen Usmani
Perveen Usmani
November 2, 2019 6:06 pm

5 stars
Hi Amanda, I love this pesto. I put some extra garlic but it was too garlicy so I adjusted the other things accordingly, like you said. Thanks you1

April 20, 2019 3:05 am

5 stars
Hmm so tasty

Renae Beck
Renae Beck
April 8, 2019 8:42 pm

2 stars
Not a great pesto flavor. I much prefer a basil. Which I added and made it taste better to me

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