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Cashew and tomato pesto or dip

Cashew tomato pesto pasta and dip in a bowl.

If you could make one thing and use it two ways, wouldn’t that be fabulous? Sure would! Enter my cashew tomato pesto or dip. Use it as a dip or on pasta (duh) and enjoy the time you’ve saved making a nice cup of tea (or pouring a glass of wine, whatever the occasion calls for).

Quick and easy recipe

Did you get home late and everyone is super hungry? Do you have unexpected guests coming? This recipe might come in handy.

You can pull this cashew tomato pesto or dip together really quickly and easily, as you will likely already have most of the ingredients already in your fridge and pantry.

Then all you need to do is measure them out and blitz in a food processor or mixer. Done and dusted!

Cashew tomato pesto pasta and dip in a bowl.

What is in this cashew tomato pesto?

  • cashews packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B-6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium;
  • basil, a source of vitamin K, as well as beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other health properties;
  • tomatoes, a major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K;
  • olive oil which contains beneficial fatty acids, modest amounts of vitamins E and K and powerful antioxidants which may reduce your risk of chronic diseases;
  • garlic, rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese and its consumption is known to boost the function of the immune system and reduce the blood pressure; and
  • parmesan, rich in both calcium and phosphorus and as such, can be beneficial for bone health and osteoporosis prevention. It is also very low in lactose.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Yep, thought so.

This cashew tomato pesto is milder than the usual green pesto and so suitable for kids or adults who don’t think they like pesto. It doesn’t contain as much basil and the tomatoes further dilute the herby taste a little. I think this is a great introduction for little ones to the wonders of regular pesto, just in a much milder and gentler form.

Equipment required

You will need to have a mixer or a food processor to make this recipe. I use this KitchenAid mini chopper.

Recipe notes

This recipe makes enough cashew tomato pesto to use up with pasta for 2 to 4 people (depending on how hungry you are) as well as a small bowl of dip. Please adjust the amount of the ingredients as necessary.

Cashew tomato pesto pasta and dip in a bowl.
Cashew tomato pesto pasta and dip in a bowl.
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5 from 8 votes

Cashew and tomato pesto or dip

Author Katerina | Once a Foodie


  • scant 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews (unroasted, unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large tomato, cut into quarters
  • 5 cherry tomatoes (off the vine)


  • Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blitz until processed but the cashews still have small chunks in them (you don't want cashew butter).
  • Use as a dip with raw veggie sticks or crackers.
  • If using with pasta, cook pasta first, drain the cooking water from it, then add 3-4 tbsp of the pesto to the pot with the freshly cooked pasta. Let warm through, add some extra shredded cheese, if desired, and serve.


This recipe makes enough pesto to use up with pasta for 2 to 4 people (depending on how hungry you are) as well as a small bowl of dip. Please adjust the amount of the ingredients as necessary.
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Love dips?

You may also enjoy this sweet pepper feta dip.

Sweet pepper feta dip flatlay.

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