Paleo Almond Pesto

Posted on Jan 19 2015 - 8:20am by Marianne

This Almond Pesto is a twist on the classic Pesto that you may be use to. I used a cashew cheese with the recipe to replace the pecorino cheese that it is traditional made with, therefore making it dairy-free but not Whole30 approved because Whole30 does not approve of any foods that are similar to the foods that you are eliminating while on the program e.g. – Pizza Crust made from almond flour/tapioca, frozen Banana and coconut cream blended to make ice cream, cashew cheese to make a paleo-ish version of something we can not consume.

The cashews need to soak for at least 5 hours in water before processing it for cheese, it resembles a ricotta type texture.

I cooked this Almond Pesto Sauce with zoodles. If you would like to know how I prepared the zoodles, take a look at my Chicken Pesto recipe.


Paleo Almond Pesto
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 hr 10 min
Prep Time
5 hr 10 min
Cashew Cheese
  1. This makes a larger quantity then what the pesto needs.
  2. 160g (0.35lbs) raw cashews
  3. 1 tbls lemon juice
  4. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  5. pinch black pepper cracked
  1. 3 tbls cashew cheese
  2. 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes peeled and seeds removed.
  3. couple of mint leaves
  4. 1 sprig of parsley
  5. handful or two of basil leaves
  6. 40g (0.088lbs) flaked almonds
  7. 6-10 green olives pitted
  8. 1 tsp of grated orange zest
  9. 1/2 garlic clove (*optional)
  10. 1/2 avocado (*optional)
  11. 100mls (3.38oz) olive oil light if you prefer ( I used extra virgin olive oil but I thought it was too over powering)
  12. sea salt
  13. pepper
Cashew Cheese
  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and top with 375mls (13oz) of water. Let it soak for 5 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Pulse the cashews in hand blender with the lemon, sea salt, pepper and 60 mL (2.02oz) water together in a hand blender.
  3. Process until a smooth paste forms, slowly add more water and lemon juice if it looks too thick and dry, scrap excess from sides often and pulse.
  4. The cashew cheese can be stored in an airtight container for a week.
  1. To make the pesto add all the pesto ingredients in a hand blender and pulse until you get a smooth paste. Adding more oil if needed.
  2. Taste test if you need more seasoning.
  1. *You could add garlic and avocado if you desire. I think a garlic touch is nice.
Gusto Paleo
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Marianne found success with Paleo eating when she did a Whole 30 challenge with her husband in 2014. She hit her goal weight and improved her health and wellbeing. Marianne started giving Paleo makeovers to many of her families' traditional recipes and decided to share it with everyone on her Gusto Paleo blog.

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  • Why do you say that cashews aren’t Whole30 approved? They are on this list from the Whole30 website.

    • Marianne

      Cashew Cheese is not Whole30 approved as it is trying to copy cheese which is not Whole30 approved. I guess it’s the same as making a Paleo Pizza crust with Almond flour. And Pizza itself is not Whole30 approved. thanks for that ill explain why on my post! 🙂