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Creamy Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta {Gluten-Free}

Hemp Pesto Pasta

Hemp Pesto Pasta It appears that Spring has finally sprung and I’m crossing my fingers that the sun stays out from now until the end of Summer. I’ve got a really exciting road trip planned for this Summer with my boyfriend, and every time the sun comes out, it gets harder and harder to be patient and wait for it! Click the pic below to check out my “Pinspiration” for our trip! 1cfbfe1e8311184cb501d6a964404575 Hemp Seed Pesto Ingredients In the meantime, I’ll try to focus on Spring, and distract myself with cooking. A few days ago I wanted to pump up the protein factor in pesto, so I tried making one with hemp seeds instead of pine nuts. I was really happy with it, especially when I added a dreamy cashew cream to it. I tossed it with some grape tomatoes and tried it with both raw zucchini pasta, and gluten-free brown rice pasta. It was delicious! HempSeedPesto Cashew Cream I left out the parmesan cheese so that this hemp seed pesto is completely vegan. I’ve made several vegan pestos and I don’t miss the cheese at all, but by adding the cashew cream to this pesto, it brings a familiar richness back to it. Check out my pesto pizza for another vegan pesto recipe. Pesto Zucchini Pasta

Creamy Hemp Seed Pesto By Koko, April 22, 2013

A vegan recipe for protein powered pesto, featuring hemp seeds and cashew cream. Makes 1-1.5 cups of creamy pesto.


  • Fresh Basil – 2 cups, packed
  • Hemp Seeds – 1/3 cup
  • Garlic Cloves – 2
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2/3 cup
  • Lemon – Zest of 1
  • Salt and Pepper – Big Pinch
  • Cashew Cream – 1/2 cup

Cashew Cream:

  • Cashews – 1 cup
  • Water – 3/4 cup


  • Zucchini Pasta or Brown Rice Pasta
  • Grape Tomatoes – Halved


For cashew cream, blend cashews and water in a high speed blender. I used a Vita-Mix which will help get it ultra smooth. For pesto: In a food processor, blend basil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and hemp seeds until coarsely blended and then drizzle in olive oil while processing until smooth. Stir in cashew cream. Spiralize a raw zucchini into pasta, or cook brown rice pasta according to package directions. Top with creamy hemp seed pesto and grape tomatoes, and garnish with fresh basil.

  • Absolutely gorgeous! Hemp seed pesto is a brilliant idea and I like how you offer up the choice between GF pasta or zucchini. Your photos are really pretty KoKo. They feel like spring – yay!

    Now where are you kids off to – is it Yosemite and beyond? A trip along the California coast with some in-land stops perhaps? My husband and I did a similar trip before getting married (Yosemite was brilliant! and we have gorgeous pics – what memories…). Enjoy KoKo! :).

  • I love that creamy hemp seed pesto! It would be great to use as the pizza sauce too.

  • Oooh this looks and sounds like a winner! Never thought of adding hemp to a pesto but will definitely give it a try. Love every single inredients so I am sure I would LOVE it. The sun has finally also arrived to Amsterdam and will hopefully be staying all the following months!! Have a Beautiful day

  • Love the pictures with the hands spelling LOVE:) And this recipe sounds absolutely delish!!

  • You’re right Kelly! We are heading down the beautiful coast and then making stops inland including VEGAS and yes, Yosemite! I cannot wait…I’m so stoked!!

    Thanks Angie, that’s a great idea!

    Give it a go, Katrin. Enjoy the sunshine!

    Thess, that’s one of my fav pics, too. Thanks!

  • Koko this looks crazy good! I’m trying it with the Zucchini ribbons for sure! So jealous of your road trip, I wish I was doing the same 🙁 but I am going to Japan at the end of next month so that’s definitely something to look forward to. I hope you’ll be blogging while you’re away 😉

  • i’ve never used hemp seeds. this post looks delicious! where can i get them

  • Japan!? Nat, that’s awesome…it’s definitely a dream of mine to go there. I hope to see some posts and pictures on The Apple Diaries!

    Thanks Scrambled Megs! Hemp seeds are actually really common in Canada right now so I just found them at my local grocery store or health food store. If that doesn’t work, try They ship everywhere and you can use code OKO712 for $5 off your first order!

  • I saw that you had tons of inspirations! I loved this picture of the 2 of you with your shadows creating the word love: so cool too!
    I love your version a lot! So tasty & very healthy too, Koko! Waw!

    The uses are endless!

  • Loving this recipe – seems so fresh and would be perfect with the current heat we are feeling here!