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!

Find us on Facebook right here! 

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 24 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!

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:46 am

I am so glad to hear you like it Alison, cheers for your feedback.

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.

Sandhya H August 26, 2020 - 9:44 am

5 stars
I am always up for a Pesto recipe!! Love that you are using cashew nuts in this – its such a fab alternative to pinenuts.

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:47 am

Thanks Sandhya! Yes I love the taste of cashews and in pesto they really compliment the other flavours. Cheers for your feedback.

Chris Collins August 26, 2020 - 10:03 am

5 stars
I’m always looking for new pesto variations so this is right up my street! I also love cashews and rocket so much 🙂

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:48 am

Thanks Chris. That is great to hear. Yes, it is great to try new variations isn’t it, I love doing that also, cheers for your feedback.

Cristie August 26, 2020 - 12:21 pm

5 stars
I love the idea of adding rocket. I bet the pepperiness adds a wonderful flavour. Can’t wait to try it now.

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:55 am

Thanks Cristie! Absolutely it does indeed. It has such a unique great tasting flavour. Thanks

Shelley August 26, 2020 - 12:31 pm

5 stars
What a creative and delicious twist on traditional pesto, leveraging that peppery bite of rocket, combined with the warm, nutty, almost-sweet notes of cashews! So quick and simple, and I loved that you offered lots of suggestions for ways to use it ! Oh – and extra-awesome that it can be frozen, so I can make a big batch whenever I can find some rocket, and then have it on hand anytime!

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:55 am

Thanks Shelley for your feedback, it is great to hear and much appreciated. Yes, so easy to freeze and I love making a huge batch of it also. Appreciate your comments. Cheers

Sue August 26, 2020 - 12:43 pm

5 stars
It’s been really hard to find pine nuts lately at my grocery store, so I love the use of cashews. I’m really looking forward to trying this different take on pesto!

Adrianne August 26, 2020 - 7:43 pm

That is interesting to hear Sue, yes, its tricky to get all of your usual ingredients isn’t it!! Thanks for your feedback, appreciate it.

Katie August 26, 2020 - 8:00 pm

5 stars
This looks like something that my family would be all over. Can’t wait to try it!

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:56 am

Thanks Katie! I hope you give it a go and that your home family is able to enjoy it together.

Rebecca August 26, 2020 - 8:55 pm

5 stars
Rocket/Arugula pesto is so good! But I haven’t made it with cashews before. definitely need to now! thanks for sharing!

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:58 am

Cheers Rebecca, I hope you give it a go and enjoy the recipe!

Pris August 26, 2020 - 9:06 pm

5 stars
Rocket pesto??? I’ve never thought… Thank you for the idea, I have to try it! I am CRAZY about good homemade pesto, I just eat it of the spoon, but it’s so hard to get fresh basil where I live 🙁

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 6:59 am

Sounds like this recipe is perfect for you Pris! Pity about the basil but if you can find rocket leaves, definitely give this a go, I am confident you will enjoy the flavours.

Dionne August 26, 2020 - 9:46 pm

5 stars
One of the best pesto recipes I’ve seen! Absolutely phenomenal color and the instructions seem incredibly easy to follow!

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 7:00 am

Thank-you for your feedback Dionna, I loved reading it. Glad to hear that the instructions and photos appeal to you. Happy cooking!

Suzy August 26, 2020 - 10:30 pm

5 stars
I love finding out that rocket and arugula are the same thing! This is amazing and so tasty!

Adrianne August 27, 2020 - 7:01 am

Cheers Suzy! Happy to hear that you learnt something new. Thanks for your comments.

Jacqueline Meldrum August 28, 2020 - 9:07 am

5 stars
I prefer cashews in homemade pesto and I make a similar one to this so I know how good it tastes. Looks lush!

Adrianne August 29, 2020 - 1:26 am

Thanks Jacqueline!! Cashews are great in pesto aren’t they! A nice change from pine nuts, especially if you can’t get easily. Thanks for your feedback.

Dannii August 28, 2020 - 9:22 am

5 stars
What a great twist on pesto. I love anything with cashews.

Adrianne August 29, 2020 - 1:26 am

Thanks Dannii, it is great to have your feedback!!

Mahy August 28, 2020 - 9:46 am

5 stars
I just can never get tired of pesto. It is something I almost always have on the side and enjoy eating with my favorite meals. Your recipe looks super easy, too, which is great!

Adrianne August 29, 2020 - 1:27 am

Thanks Mahy! I loved reading your feedback. Yes, it is a super easy recipe, cheers for commenting.

kim August 28, 2020 - 11:12 am

5 stars
This recipe was absolutely delicious with the best flavor! Will definitely be making again and again!

Adrianne August 29, 2020 - 1:28 am

Thanks Kim! So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, appreciate your feedback. Cheers

Dannii September 24, 2020 - 7:27 am

5 stars
We love pesto as a quick and easy meal and I love the twist on this.

Anjali September 24, 2020 - 7:46 am

5 stars
This pesto recipe was amazing!! It was a nice twist on the traditional basil pesto I typically make – and my whole family loved it!

Sandhya's Kitchen September 24, 2020 - 9:40 am

5 stars
We love Pesto made with cashewnuts, specially as Pinenuts are so expensive! This recipe is a great twist to the classic basil pesto.

Shashi September 24, 2020 - 9:49 am

5 stars
I love your use of cashews instead of pine nuts – pine nuts are pricey and sometimes hard to find – but cashews are plentiful in my neck f the woods – looking forward to trying this spin on pesto – looks absolutely delish!

Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry September 24, 2020 - 10:02 am

5 stars
This is such a delicious pesto recipe, we love it and it is a real family favourite!

Adrianne September 26, 2020 - 9:53 pm

That is great to hear Bintu! Thanks so much for your feedback.


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