Cilantro Jalapeno Vegan Pesto

The other day, my mom made the most incredible pesto — the typical basil, pine nut, parmesan combination. It was so delicious, I found excuses to eat it (chip, carrot, spoon, you name it). But because everyone KNOWS how to make pesto, I decided to find a more creative (and cost effective) vegan pesto. Instead of pine nuts and parmesan, hellloooo cashews. Instead of basil, welcome cilantro and jalapeno. It is green, healthy, and has just a minor kick to it (next time, I want to add more jalapeno). Enjoy!




* 2 bunches of cilantro

* 2 cloves of garlic

* 2 jalapenos, minus their seeds

* 1 cup cashews

* 1/2 cup olive oil

* salt and pepper to taste




* Pulse the cashews so they are ground up, but not a paste. If you are using a food processor (which I recommend — way easier than a Vitamix, although the Vitamix is my first true love), remove the ground cashews. THIS IS KEY otherwise the vitamix gets really sticky and will not move.


By trial and error, I realized that it is important to TAKE out the cashews at this point. Do not have them at the bottom of the vitamix — this will cause issues and you will not be happy.

The only tedious part of this recipe is removing the leaves from the stems (discard the stems). The first half a minute, I was diligent and removed the leaves nicely. By the end…..the stems were in the vitamix.

Roughly chopped ready to be blended.


* After the nuts are ground, add all the greens and garlic and blend.


In the blender.


* Finally, add oil and blend all together.


Would ya look at this beautiful green color? Don’t you want to eat it just so you have that green in you?


* Store in fridge! And eat with anything and everything! I can’t wait to add it to a sandwich, eat with crudites, and enjoy this non-expensive, super delicious, ultra healthy recipe!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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  1. This sounds like such a fun and yummy take on traditional pesto. I can’t wait to try it.

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