Kale and Cashew Pesto Pasta


Swap basil for parsley

Try orange zest instead of lemon!

Recipe and images: Tina of Scaling Back - a self-taught cook and photographer living in Portland, Oregon.

We just LOVE Tina's approach to cooking and photography. Be sure to check out her site for more ideas...

Kale and Cashew Pesto pasta

Author: Tina Jeffers
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  10 mins
Total time:  25 mins

Serves: 4 servings


  • ½ bunch of lacinto kale, about ½ pound, stalks removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch of basil, stems removed (about 2 ounces)
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts, divided in half
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • Heaped tablespoon of plain unsweetened Cashewgurt®
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces of your favorite pasta
  • Vegan parm cheese for serving


Add the kale, basil, ¼ cup of the pine nuts, cashews, sherry vinegar, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and juice and salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Stir a few tablespoons of the pesto into the pasta and thin with the reserved pasta cooking liquid until the pesto coats the pasta well. To serve sprinkle with the rest of the pine nuts and a shaving of parmesan cheese.


Use Infused olive oils 

Add heat with a chilli oil or lemon for a zesty finish

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined. If you’re having trouble getting everything to mix, pour 1 tbsp of water through the top of the processor while it’s on and this should help.

Use pesto on top of zucchini noodles, traditional pasta or with veggies--the possibilities are endless!


Serve with white wine



Alex Matthews