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Quick Pea Pesto with Frozen Peas

A gloriously quick pea pesto made with frozen peas and cashew nuts. A quick pasta sauce that's cheap to make and tastes delicious.

pasta coated in pea pesto in a bowl

Pea Pesto

Pea pesto is a quick pasta sauce that can be whipped up super quickly while your pasta cooks.

It's a twist on a traditional pesto, with peas added for extra flavour and nutrition.

We love it and I hope you will enjoy it too.

Why is pea pesto so good?

Well at least I think so and I hop you try it too.
  • It tastes great
  • It's healthy
  • It's cheap to make
  • It's quick to make
  • There's not chopping
  • There's no fancy ingredients
  • It's a glorious green
  • It's vegan (or vegetarian depending on which cream cheese you use)

frozen peas

Frozen peas

The star of the show in this pesto is the humble pea and frozen peas at that.

Frozen peas are perfect for this sauce, but you can also use petit pois which are slightly sweeter.

The peas make the pesto more substantial and add a lot of flavour.

Super cheap to make and a quick midweek dinner.

cashew nuts

Cashew nuts

Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, but other nuts can be used.

I like to use cashew nuts in pesto, which give it a certain creaminess and I usually have a bag sitting about for nibbling on, so I can quickly throw together this sauce.

You could use pine nuts instead, or why not try walnuts? 

You could even use salted peanuts.

Basically just add whichever nuts you have in the house.

a grid of ingredients for pea pesto

What you need to make pea pesto

Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this delicious homemade green pea pesto.

  1. Frozen peas
  2. Fresh basil
  3. Grated vegan (or vegetarian, depending on your diet) parmesan alternative - you can skip this and it's still really good
  4. Cashew nuts (I use salted)
  5. Vegan cream cheese
  6. Olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper

How long will pea pesto keep?

Once it's made, pea pesto can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

If you are storing it in the fridge, it's a good idea to drizzle over a little extra oil. to keep it moist.

Can you freeze pea pesto?

Pea pesto freezes really well.

You can freeze it in freezer soup bags or in freezer tubs for 3-4 months.

To defrost it just pop it in the fridge overnight before you need it.

Why not make a bigger batch and freeze it in portions?

Then take them out as you need them.

a tub of pea pesto topped with a sprig of fresh basil


  1. PASTA - It's great on pasta and a good way of getting extra veg into kids and big kids. Call it Shrek pasta and it will go down a treat.
  2. PASTA SALAD - It's good on cold pasta too, with corn and cherry tomatoes.
  3. BRUSCHETTA - Toast some sourdough, bloomer's bread or baguette, rub it with a clove of garlic, then top with a spoonful of pea pesto and a few sprigs of cress or watercress.
  4. OATCAKES - Pea pesto is good on oatcakes or crackers for a light lunch or snack.
  5. DIP - Serve as a dip for crunchy veg.
  6. SOUP - Add a dollop to soup before serving for colour and flavour.
  7. MASHED POTATOES - Stir some pea pesto into mashed potato along with some cooked peas for a really tasty side dish.
  8. WRAPS - Spread on a wrap and top with salad and falafel.
  9. SALAD DRESSING - Add extra olive oil to make a tasty salad dressing.
  10. POTATO SALAD - Use pea pesto instead of mayo to make a green potato salad. For extra texture add cooked peas and finely sliced onion.


Here are a few more vegan recipes for you to try using frozen peas.

pesto, pea pesto, creamy pesto, vegan pesto, dairy-free pesto, pasta sauce, frozen peas recipe, quick pasta sauce
Italian, vegan
Yield: 4-6
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Pea Pesto

Pea Pesto

A gloriously green pesto made with peas and cashew nuts. A quick and tasty pasta sauce.
Prep time: 2 MinTotal time: 2 Min


  • 225 g (8 oz) frozen peas
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan, grated (optional, you can add more nuts)
  • 1 tablespoon cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender (see notes for making by hand) and whizz until smooth.
  2. Taste to check the seasoning.
  3. Toss through freshly cooked pasta.
  4. Enjoy!


  • If you don't have a food processor or blender you can pummel the nuts, peas and basil with a pestle and mortar, then in a bowl mix all the ingredients.
  • You can swap the cashew nuts for pine nuts, walnuts or peanuts, salted or un-salted.
  • Once it's made, pea pesto can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. If you are storing it in the fridge, it's a good idea to drizzle over a little extra oil.
  • Pea pesto freezes really well. You can freeze it for 3-4 months and defrost it in the fridge overnight before you need it.

Nutrition Facts





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  1. I love cashews and peas - great idea - would love to try this one sometime!

  2. Now that really sounds interesting! Did the cashews make it too sweet? Do you think toasted almonds might go or pine nuts?

  3. Wow, that looks really good... and easy too! Gonna give it a try sometime! :)

  4. Hi Johanna, I don't always like peas in dishes, but I decided to take the bull by the horns and realised it is only badly cooked dishes with peas that I don't like!

    Hi Winedeb, The cashews worked well and the pesto wasn't too sweet. I used some salted cashews I had in the house, instead of buying, unsalted nuts. Very unhealthy, but such a small quantity, I told yself it was ok!

    Hi Patricia, It was very delicious!

    Hi Veggie Cookster, I hope you do try it, such a simple sauce to make, but, bags of flavour!

  5. Cruel maybe to the peas ;-) but definitely perfect for us!

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Check back for the roundup soon.

  6. Haha, strange but it actually does feel cruel to me... but then it also looks really good! I'm not a fan of peas but I may give this one a try.

  7. It's pretty--and with those ingredients, it would taste delicious! I love cashews and think they make everything taste wonderful!

  8. Ruth, Thanks for adding me to the line-up. I look forward to reading the roundup every Friday!

    Honest Maya, it is really sweet and tasty!

    Hi Sher, Mmmm, cashews are tasty! And salted cashews are just sinful!

  9. nice picture .. very soft to the eyes :) I like pea soup .. i think it's called Split Pea soup .. they used to serve at a restaurant close to my work place, long time ago.

  10. Next to mushrooms, peas are one of my favorites. Nice, as always. Thanks Holler.

  11. Hi Nabeel, Nice to meet you, I like split pea soup too, but without the ham!

    Hi Lisa, although I enjoyed this dish, (I made it again tonight!), mushrooms are still my favourite!

  12. Hi Jacqueline,
    I have just made a version of your pea pesto. I do hope you approve.

  13. I am off to see if you have blogged it Mangocheeks :)


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x