Recipe: Cashew Pesto with Zucchini Noodles

Dinner Recipes, Pizza + Pasta Recipes, Vegetable Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

This cashew pesto served on a bed of zucchini noodles is as creamy and delicious as traditional pesto, but BETTER! I used raw cashews in this recipe and they create a very decadent sauce. The fresh basil and lemon really pair well with the cooked zucchini noodles, and this is a great vegetarian dish to serve or bring to a party. This recipe is easy as pie if you have a food processor or blender that will chop nuts well. Raw nuts are a great source of good heart healthy fats and protein.

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 serving(s)


  • 4 zucchini peeled
  • 2 red peppers whole
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees and place 2 red peppers on a cookie sheet, roast for approx 40 minutes until skin is blackened and peeling off, then let peppers cool before peeling and seeding.
  2. While peppers are roasting prep all other ingredients and spiralize your zucchini. I use blade 1 my shredder blade.
  3. In a mixer or blender add 1/2 cup water(reserving 1/2), cashews, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, and rosemary. Blend until the mixture is creamy smooth. Add more water if needed.
  4. Once peppers have cooked and cooled enough so you can touch them, peel the skin off, remove core & seeds. Then slice into large strips and set aside. (you can keep these roasted peppers in olive oil in the fridge for up to 2 weeks)
  5. Then heat a large skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil, add zucchini, and the other 1/2 cup water with salt and pepper and cook for approx 5-7 minutes until zucchini is cooked yet still firm.
  6. Plate zucchini noodles and top with cashew pesto sauce then top with roasted red peppers.
  7. Garnish with extra basil or Parmesan if you like.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving Size: 2

358 calories, 17 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein, 44 carbs, 13 grams fiber

*I use the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer!

From the kitchen of:

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on Reply

vegan alternative to parmesan cheese? Most people who spiralise are vegan. thanks

    on Reply

    Hi - feel free to skip the parmesan if you're vegan! We like to add it since our team isn't strictly vegan but love to spiralize!

on Reply

I made this tonight and thought it was very good! I love pasta and am trying to not eat the kind of carbs that aren't so good for me. This is the first "pasta" made with zucchini that I loved and would definitely make again. The only thing I did different is to salt the zucchini (2 tsp) rinsed it after 15 minutes and just added the water that was drained. I didn't add extra salt. I did add parmesan at the end to give a little salt taste. The red pepper gives it a good kick and the cashews make a creamy sauce without oil! I am a convert. Great recipe! I am glad I found it.

    on Reply

    Terrific! We are so happy you enjoyed this recipe! We love it too!

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