Easy Cheesy Vegan Pesto

Updated: May 8

Vegan pesto that is cheesy? How can it be? I know it sounds impossible but this pesto has a creamy cheesy flavor.

Last week we got our first CSA box of the season. If you don't know what a CSA is read this post on how to join a CSA to get in on the action. In my share was a lovely bunch of carrots with long leafy green tops.

It seemed a waste to just discard the tops so I took the leaves off the stems and whipped them up into a bright zesty cheesy pesto. However, if you don't have carrot tops this recipe works just as well with basil. Easy cheesy vegan pesto is made with minimal real food ingredients and is paleo, keto, and whole 30 friendly.

Easy Cheesy Vegan Pesto is made with

  • Cashews: contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support healthy blood and immune system function. Cashews help to promote vibrate hair and skin.

  • Carrot tops: detoxify and strengthen kidneys, high in vitamin K and potassium

  • Basil: supports liver and detoxifies the body, good for digestion, and anti-inflammatory

  • Nutritional Yeast: supports weight loss, muscle repair, and neurological health, as well as a good source of vitamin B

  • Olive oil: lowers cholesterol, promotes heart health, reduces inflammation

Easy Cheesy Vegan Pesto


  • 1 cup basil or the greens from carrot tops

  • 1/2 heaping cup of raw cashews soaked for 6+ hours or overnight in water

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • juice squeezed from 1/2 of a lemon (I love this lemon juicer)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh or minced garlic

  • salt and pepper to taste

*optional broth, water, or additional oil to thin if needed


1. Soak raw cashews in water for 6+ hours or overnight.

2. Drain cashews. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse till smooth and creamy.

3. Taste and adjust garlic, salt, and pepper to your preference. You can add in broth, water, or additional oil if you want a thinner pesto sauce.

4. Pesto can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days. I like to freeze my extra in an ice cube tray or muffin tins so I can have it in a single serving size for later.

This flavorful pesto is great on pasta, pizza, veggies, salads, and on top of grilled fish or chicken.

Vegan pesto on chicken? Yes, I do not follow a specific diet or way of eating. I consider myself to eat mostly plant-based, but I do eat chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. I feel my best when I eat animal protein alongside lots of plants.

I believe there is no diet that is one size fits all. Everyone is bio-individual, and one person's perfect diet is another person's poison. I like to experiment with different ways of eating to see what makes me feel my best. I have noticed what makes me feel bright and shiny can change after a few years, change depending on my current needs, and even change with the seasons. So you do you and add this healthy cheesy vegan pesto to the foods that make you feel your best!

Be sure to leave a comment or tag me @lauralivewell if you try it out!


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