Home RecipesAppetizers Rocket and Cashew Pesto

Rocket and Cashew Pesto

by Adrianne

Rocket and Cashew Pesto is a twist on the classic rocket pesto where we use cashew nuts instead of pine nuts.This easy pesto recipe is versatile and can be used for Rocket Pesto Pasta.. Use as a dip, on fish or flat breads! Rocket and Cashew Peso in a glass jar with spoon to the left

Dips and spreads are handy recipes that have many uses. Olive Tapenade recipes are good for entertaining as you can use them as a simple topping for bruschetta and crackers. Our Easy Crostini calls for toppings galore! 

Pesto is an easy recipe made in the food processor.

Our Artichoke Olive Tapenade, Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade and Easy Green Olive Tapenade are ideas where you can make the recipes to serve or use them to stir through pasta or serve on fish or chicken.  For a quick snack pair with homemade pita chips!

Flat breads, pasta sauce, sandwich spreads are perfect ways to use pesto! 

Use this pesto as an alternative to the Basil and Cashew Pesto in our Pesto Penne with walnut crumb. 


Appetizer recipes  Popular recipes Quick and Easy recipes

How do you make pesto from scratch?

Making pesto from scratch is very easy. We combine all of the ingredients in our food processor, blitz to chop and combine, then add lemon juice to taste.  

As the rocket leaves have a peppery, somewhat bitter taste, the pesto needs to be tasted after blitzing so we can add enough lemon juice to balance the flavours. 

Pesto recipe with pine nuts

The most popular and well known version of pesto is basil pesto. 

Basil Pesto is made using fresh basil, pine nuts (which can be toasted or untoasted), garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese. 

It is a unique tasting recipe and a great way to use up basil leaves!

Pesto recipe without pine nuts

Pine nuts don’t always have to be used in making pestos, another type of nut can be used to create a different pesto recipe from the standard. 

As we have done with this recipe, cashews are the substitute for pine-nuts, you can also use walnuts if you like! 

For vegan aruguia pesto, use a substitue for the parmesan cheese. 

Pesto Uses

There are many ways to serve pesto and here are a few of them:

  • stirred through pasta
  • as a pizza sauce
  • spread on cooked meats and fish
  • on flatbreads
  • as a dip
  • spread for toast 
  • dressing for a salad

Substitute it for the cream pasta sauce in the Smoked Salmon Spaghetti for an easy weeknight dinner!

Add a little bacon and whip up the Bacon Pesto Pasta for something different. 

Once you make it and store it in the fridge, you will find you want to spread it on EVERYTHING! 

Rocket and Cashew ingredients

We use simple, easy to find ingredients for this recipe. The photo below shows you what you need:

Rocket and cashew ingredients on a marble background with text over lay

As you can see, we have:

  • rocket leaves
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • cashews
  • lemon juice 

The lemon juice doesn’t go into the pesto until the very end where we taste the pesto and adjust the flavour! 

How to make Rocket Pesto

The photos below are step by step showing you how to make this pesto in the food processor:

Process shots for rocket pesto 1 to 4 with text over lay

  1. Add rocket leaves to food processor bowl (Photo 1)
  2. Add parmesan cheese (Photo 2)
  3. Garlic (Photo 3)
  4. Cashews (Photo 4)

You can toast the cashews for 3-4 mins in a pan on the stove for an extra depth of flavour! 

Process shots for rocket pesto with text over lay

  • Add olive oil (shown in photo 5)
  • all ingredients ready to blitz (shown in photo 6)
  • blitz for approx 10 seconds to combine (shown in photo 7)
  • taste, add lemon juice, blitz again, repeat tasting and continue until pesto is fresh and balanced (shown in photo 8)

 You will achieve the perfect flavour through the process of adding the lemon juice at the very end to neutralise any bitterness. 

You guys know that I love my before and after shots to show you the cooking process. The photos below show you the pesto ingredients in the food processor ready to be blitzed and after the food processor has blitzed and combined (10 seconds)
Before and after shot of rocket pesto in food processor

Rocket and Cashew pesto recipe quick info:

About the recipe:

  • we only need 6 ingredients for this recipe! 
  • bottled lemon juice is fine! 
  • you can toast the cashews or leave them as it (faster)
  • I use roasted unsalted cashews

FAQs about Cashew Rocket Pesto

  1. this is a vegetarian recipe
  2. blitz for less than 10 seconds
  3. you make make the pesto ahead of time
  4. the pesto will last for 1 week in the fridge
  5. the recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto

Your quick questions answered:

  1. This is a quick and easy recipe
  2. Store in the fridge in a sealed jar
  3. This is a FREEZER FRIENDLY recipe
  4. This is an EASY recipe

Looking into a jar of rocket pesto that is laying on its side

Expert tips:

These tips are to help you master this recipe from the 1st time you make it:

  • add all of your ingredients to the food processor and blitz at the one time
  • keep the blitz time short, it will take less than 10 seconds.
  • once the ingredients are blitzed, taste the pesto, then add lemon and combine to get the flavour spot on and not bitter! 
  • freeze this receipe ahead of timie and defrosted as needed 

Rocket and Cashew pesto in a glass jar with spoon to the left

Use the pesto in place of a traditional tomato based pizza sauce!

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Toast pita chips in the oven till brown and use the pesto as a spread for a light lunch. 

Easy pesto recipe spread on pita chips on a white plate

Dip and spread recipes 

For fuss free entertaining try these recipes:

  1. Chicken Liver Pate
  2. Easy Green Olive Tapenade
  3. Grazing Platter (to feed a crowd)
  4. Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
  5. Olive Tapenade

Or for the easiest vegetarian spaghetti try the Arugula Pesto Pasta! Rocket Pesto Spread on toasted pita chips on a white plate

PIN and save this recipe for later! 

Rocket and Cashew Pesto in a jar with a spoon to the left

Rocket and Cashew Pesto

Rocket and Cashew Pesto is a twist on the classic rocket pesto using cashew nuts instead of pine nuts.This easy pesto recipe is versatile.  
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: easy pesto recipe, homemade pesto, rocket pesto
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 192kcal
Author: Adrianne


  • Food processor


Rocket and Cashew Pesto

  • 2 cups rocket leaves Note 1
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese Note 2
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts Note 3
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, end cut
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice Note 4


Rocket and Cashew Pesto

  • Add rocket leaves, parmesan cheese, garlic, cashews and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Place the lid on and blitz for less then 10 seconds till chopped and combined.
  • Remove lid and taste pesto. Add lemon juice according to taste to balance any bitterness. Blitz for 2-4 seconds again till combined. Repeat till desired taste achieved.
  • Store in a sealed jar for up to 1 week in the fridge. Recipe makes 1 cup of rocket and cashew pesto.



  • Note 1 Rocket and arugula are both names for the same thing. Often called rocket in Australia/New Zealand and argula in America and Canada. 
  • Note 2 I have used both shredded or grated parmesan cheese in homemade pestos. Either work fine. These are the cheese that is in the cold section of the supermarket with the other cheeses, not the pasta variety on the shelf. 
  • Note 3 I use roasted unsalted cashews
  • Note 4 Bottled lemon juice is totally fine to use (and more likley you will have this than a fresh lemon). See the notes where I indicate that we add this at the end to counter any bitter taste from the rocket, taste as you go. 


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Share on Instagram!It makes my day when you make my recipes! Tag @sweetcaramelsunday

Healthy Pesto recipe

Let me tell you, you will be using this pesto for EVERYTHING! 

Yes, store bought is fine, but there is a time and a place. And your kitchen and your crackers are not the time and place for store bought. Try it and you will LOVE the versatility and great flavour. 

I’ve got your pesto needs sorted and your flatbread is covered (haha but true, OMG so good!) 

Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below. 

Adrianne xx


Artichoke Olive Tapenade Chicken Liver Pate Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade

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Cathy May 10, 2020 - 7:59 am

5 stars
This sauce looks amazing! I love all the uses! Cannot wait to make this recipe! So easy too!

Adrianne May 10, 2020 - 8:54 am

Thanks Cathy! Hope you love it. Cheers

Amanda Wren-Grimwood May 10, 2020 - 8:08 am

5 stars
Pine nuts are so expensive so I love the idea of using a different nut in pesto and the rocket adds a new dimension too.

Adrianne May 10, 2020 - 8:54 am

That is great feedback, thanks Amanda!

Alice | SkinnySpatula May 10, 2020 - 8:58 am

5 stars
OMG, this pesto looks seriously amazing. Never thought of using rocket salad in pesto, but seeing your pics, I think it totally works!

Adrianne May 10, 2020 - 9:28 am

Thanks Alice!! Love your feedback, cheers.

Alison May 10, 2020 - 12:34 pm

5 stars
I’m used to basil pesto but this pesto has a unique flavor with the rocket leaves. Delish!

Sophie May 10, 2020 - 2:00 pm

5 stars
Wow, a classic twist to the traditional pesto. Love this and on my list to make these.

Adrianne May 10, 2020 - 4:42 pm

Thanks Sophie! That is great to hear, hope you try it and enjoy.


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