Rating: 4 stars
9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 2
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  • 2 star values: 1
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  • 9 Ratings

Here’s a fresh take on classic pesto—a zucchini-cashew version that might just become your new favorite. After shredding the zucchini, you’ll squeeze extra moisture out of it to ensure the saucy has a silky (not watery) body. Combined with roasted, salted cashews and peppery basil, the result is unique and crave-worthy. Tossed with just enough pasta water to add starch and strands of classic spaghetti, this crowd-friendly vegetarian recipe will win raves at dinnertime. It’s especially good for kids that turn away from vegetables, since the zucchini is mingling under the radar in the sauce. Keep a jar on hand for quick pastas, or for serving with grilled chicken or dolloping onto summer minestrone.

Anna Theoktisto


Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
25 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to release as much water as possible. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Add basil, Parmesan, cashews, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Process until smooth.

  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking water. Toss pasta and zucchini pesto in a large bowl, adding reserved cooking water as needed until creamy.

  • Serve topped with ricotta, basil, Parmesan, and a drizzle of oil.

Nutrition Facts

677 calories; fat 25g; cholesterol 17mg; fiber 5g; protein 21g; carbohydrates 91g; sodium 973mg; sugars 6g.