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Raw “cheese” sun dried tomato & pesto spread

Pesto "cheese" spread - vegan appetizer for Thanksgiving

Move over cheese balls, there’s a new appetizer at the Thanksgiving table. This nutritious appetizer doesn’t actually have any cheese in it, but you’ll never miss it.

Raw "Cheese" Sun Dried Tomato & Pesto Spread

Yield 10 -12


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours (don’t soak overnight), drained
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ⅔ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves (stems removed) + extra for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup raw walnuts
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + drizzle for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ⅔ cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in oil or boiled; drained


  1. Line a 6 inch baking dish or springform pan. Line the pan with plastic wrap and set aside (greasing will not work here).
  2. In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the first cheese ingredients until smooth. Place ½ of the mixture evenly your 6” pan.
  3. Blend the pesto ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Add 1- 2 tablespoons of water if needed for thinning. Add the pesto layer on top of the cheese mixture, distributing evenly. Top with sun-dried tomatoes. Layer with remaining cheese.
  4. Cover with wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight, or you can freeze it if making further ahead.
  5. Remove from pan by placing upside down and tapping if needed. Carefully remove plastic and drizzle with a touch of olive oil and herbs for garnish.
  6. Pairs well with rice crackers, veggies or your toast.

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