Easy Thai Basil Pesto – A Thai inspired pesto filled classic Thai flavors including Thai basil, ginger, garlic, peppers, and cashews. Quick to make and freezer-friendly.If you love the classic flavors found in Thai food such as Thai basil, hot peppers, garlic, and ginger, you will LOVE this easy pesto. This Thai Basil Pesto is a Thai inspired fresh pesto that can be used on pasta, in Thai inspired dishes and more. Ditch the pine nuts and grab the cashews with this cheaper version pesto–which is kind of perfect as cashew nuts are produced in Thailand and used in their modern cuisine.
My family and I love Thai food. We usually have a few meals a month that is Thai inspired.
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE:
- Honey Coconut Rice and Fresh Mango
- Baked Basil Pesto Chicken Bites
- 5-Minute Blender Basil Pesto
- Easy Wok Chicken and Broccoli
- 45-Minute Basil Pesto Rolls
WHY I LOVE MAKING THAI BASIL PESTO:
I decided to make a Thai Basil Pesto recipe last summer for a few reasons. One, I had a lot of Thai basil in my garden that needed to be used or processed before the fall weather set in. Two, we enjoy Thai flavors and a Thai Basil Pesto would offer those flavors easily. Three, Pesto (like this easy Classic Basil Pesto) can be frozen and used when desired. No need to make it fresh every time I want to have some and no need to cut up all the basil, garlic, peppers, ginger, etc every time I wanted to add a little freshness to an Asian inspired dish.
A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY!
This Thai Basil Pesto isn’t for the weak… I mean, it’s pesto and it’s full of very strong flavors. It isn’t meant to be eaten alone. The flavors in the pesto are strong as with most pesto. That means it’s a great addition to dishes like coconut curry, wok food like this broccoli and chicken dish and a-mazing in a savory recipe like Thai basil chicken. With that said, a little goes a long way.
SPICY OR NOT… THAT IS THE QUESTION. HOT PEPPERS?
Making recipes from-scratch is a great way to tailor spiciness levels to your preference or whomever you’re cooking for. This recipe has a bite but isn’t melt-your-face-off hot by any means–although peppers can vary greatly from pepper to pepper. If you don’t like spicy food, you can omit the pepper. If you like spicy food, add 1-2 peppers depending on how hot you’d like it. I like a little heat without making my mouth numb or tingly for that matter. I also seeded the pepper I used. If you want a spicier pesto, feel free to leave the seeds in. That’s sure to pump up the heat level.
MAKING PESTO IS EASY!
This Thai Basil Pesto is quick and easy to make. The hardest part is plucking all the basil leaves off the plant, really. Once all the ingredients are peeled and prepped, use a blender (I absolutely love my Blendtec Bender for this) or food processor to finely chop and puree. It’s seriously that easy. After it’s pureed, place in glass jars or freezer-safe containers and freeze.
PRO TIP 1: When peeling ginger, use the edge of a spoon to scrape the skin free. This is the easiest and most effective way to peel ginger without cutting away half the ginger root.
PRO TIP 2: Smash garlic cloves will break the skin and loosen garlic. You can do this by taking a large knife (like a chef’s knife) laying it flat on top of the garlic clove. Holding the knife so it doesn’t move, with the palm of your hand, hit the flat edge of the knife to crush the unpeeled garlic clove. This makes peeling the garlic much easier if you don’t have a garlic sleeve.
PRO TIP 3: Save time by chopping garlic, ginger, peppers in a blender or food processor. You can spend a lot of time prepping ingredients. Because this recipe will be lightly pureed the chop on the ingredients listed don’t have to look “pretty.” Using a blender or food processor to chop can speed up your prep time.
HOW LONG DOES PESTO KEEP?
Do to the variety of pesto out there this question is loaded. To make the answer quick and easy… THIS Thai Basil Pesto will keep for 1-3 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container or bag. It may start browning so I’d recommend using it sooner rather than later.
This pesto is also great to freeze and use at a later date. It will store in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 4 months, maybe a little longer. When you’re ready to use, pull out a jar, pesto “ice” cube or bag and thaw what you need. Do not thaw and refreeze.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THAI INSPIRED DISH?
Here’s the full printable recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
- 6-8 Tbs garlic, chopped, about a blub
- 6-8 Tbs ginger, chopped
- 1 hot pepper, chopped, I used a red pepper seeded, for spicier pesto add seeds or up to 2 peppers if you want it REALLY spicy
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 cups Thai Basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 cup olive oil, up to 1 cup
- Using a blender or food processor, add basil leaves, ginger, garlic, peppers, salt & pepper, cashews, sesame oil, and lemon juice. Pulse a few times.
- While blender or food processor is on low speed, slowly add olive oil until pesto is smooth and reaches desired consistency.
- Immediately use as desired or pour in freezer-safe containers or jars and freeze for a later date.
- Pesto will keep in the fridge for 1-3 days. Pesto will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.
- Freeze pesto in ice cube tray for small quantity and easy use when ready. Once frozen. pop pesto cubes out of ice cube trays and store in a freezer bag in the freezer.
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