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A close up of the Thai Basil Pesto.

Thai Basil Pesto

A delicious Thai Basil Pesto that will add a burst of flavour to so many dishes. It is easy to make and a great way to use fresh Thai basil leaves when they are in season. This recipe uses no cheese or dairy so is also suitable for vegans.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Thailand
Keyword: easy pesto, pesto, thai basil, thai basil pesto, vegan pesto
Calories: 794kcal
Author: Katrina | Katy's Food Finds


  • mini food processor


  • 2 c thai basil leaves, packed washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts roasted and unsalted
  • 2 tbsp peanuts roasted and unsalted
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 60 ml olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or 1 tsp soya sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • lime juice from 1/2 lime, to taste


  • Place the Thai basil leaves into the bowl of a mini food processor followed by all the other ingredients.
  • Blend until the mixture forms a pesto like consistency. Scrape down the sides halfway through blending so everything is combined. Taste for seasoning and acidity - add more lime juice if required.
  • You can blend to a chunky consistency or longer for a smoother pesto.
  • Place into a jar or container and drizzle over extra olive oil so that it covers the pesto and forms a thin layer on top. This prevents air getting in and helps stop your pesto from browning. Seal and store for up to a week in the fridge or freeze in a sealed container for up to 4 months.
    Makes approximately 1 cup.


Nutritional Values are based on the total amount of pesto made.

Ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Thai Basil leaves - fresh picked leaves are used. If you don’t quite have enough leaves, you can top up with some Italian basil leaves.
  • Nuts - roasted and unsalted. I use both cashew nuts and peanuts for this recipe. I like the creaminess of cashews and the flavour of the peanuts, however you can use just one of these nuts if you prefer.
  • Garlic - fresh, crushed garlic.
  • Chilli flakes - the recipe states 1/2 teaspoon for a mild flavour, or add 3/4 teaspoon or more for a spicier pesto.
  • Olive Oil - I use a mild flavoured olive oil but feel free to use any other mild flavoured oils like canola or grapeseed. You can also use sesame oil.
  • Sea Salt - you can substitute with soya sauce or tamari sauce instead.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sugar - I use caster sugar
  • Lime juice - just a squeeze to add some freshness and acidity.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve on toast with avocado and tomato. Also delicious with an egg on top.
  • Add a dollop to your bowl of pumpkin, carrot or sweet potato soup.
  • Add to stir fries, noodles, pasta or rice dishes.
  • Serve as a condiment alongside steak, chicken or fish.
  • Great on crackers too.


Calories: 794kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 53g | Sodium: 1190mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2829IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 4mg
Have you cooked one of my recipes? I’d love you to tag me @katysfoodfinds or #katysfoodfinds!