Thai Red Curry Cashew Pesto

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a bowl of Thai red curry cashew pesto

When I pruned my basil plants last week, I asked on my Instagram what I should do with the basil. A few people made a suggestion and I went with the basic (*reads homemade pesto*) because I’m basic like that.

Nah, actually I had quite a big harvest and I thought it’d be good to have half my dinner sorted for the day.

a bowl of Thai red curry cashew pesto

As you might already know, pesto is a sauce that’s very quick and easy to make. It’s great with pasta, spread on toast and even in soups. Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts. But since I live in Thailand where you have to make a bit of an effort to find them, I usually swap them for cashews. I’ve made pesto with cashews a few  times already and it has always turned out beautiful. You can’t really taste the difference because the basil and garlic have a much stronger flavor than the cashews.

a bowl of Thai red curry cashew pesto

In terms of method, many have said that it’s best to make pesto in a mortar with a pestle because the basil will release more fragrance that way. However, I tried and found that it takes too long and that you’d have to be “in” for a good arm workout! So normally I just use my blender or food processor.

a spoon of Thai red curry paste

A THAI-INSPIRED HOMEMADE PESTO

While I said earlier that I went basic with my basil, this pesto recipe is actually not that basic because I Thai-ified it a little bit!

On top of the usual ingredients, I added some Thai red curry paste which gave this pesto an extra kick I actually really enjoyed and hope you would too. I could taste the herbs and spices that go into the Thai red curry paste, but it wasn’t overpowering at all. Its flavor blended really well with basil. Also, the amount suggested in this recipe is just enough for you to taste it without making the pesto too hot. If you’re unsure about the heat, start with a smaller amount and slowly increase until you’ve reached your preferred level of heat.

a bowl of Thai red curry cashew pesto

PESTO STORING AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

If you’re going to make this pesto ahead of time or you have some leftovers, you can store it in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Alternatively, you can also freeze them in an ice tray, which I highly recommend. This way you can thaw small portions at a time and will always have a Thai-inspired homemade pesto ready to go on your lazy days!

OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

Healthy Savory Purple Sweet Potato Spread/Hummus

Easy Beetroot Hummus

Three-Step Thai Hot & Sour Salad Dressing

Tofu Salad with Refreshing Honey Yuzu Dressing

SHOP THAI RED CURRY CASHEW PESTO

 
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Thai Red Curry Cashew Pesto Recipe

a bowl of Thai red curry cashew pesto

This Thai inspired pesto made with cashew and Thai red curry paste is full of flavor and so easy to make! If you love a good homemade pasta sauce, be sure to give this exciting pesto recipe a try! I guarantee you’ll love it!

  • Author: Cooking with Nart
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: About 1½ cups 1x
  • Category: Condiments
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon + ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2½ cups basil leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan over medium-low heat and stir-fry the curry paste until fragrant.
  2. Add the cashews and cook with the curry paste for about 45 seconds. The cashews burn very easily so be careful not to burn them!
  3. Blend the cashews, basil, garlic and parmesan in a blender or food processor. Slowly pour in ½ cup of oil while still blending.
  4. Scrape down the sides, then add lemon juice and blend until smooth.

Notes

You can store any leftover pesto in a tightly sealed jar and refrigerate for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray to make it easier to thaw small portions for up to 3 months.

Keywords: pesto, Thai red curry, Thai inspired pesto, sweet basil, homemade pesto, cashew pesto, basil

All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Jazzy's Mama
    August 30, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    This sounds so interesting and the pic looks like it would be great to dip some pita chips in.

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Erika
    August 30, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    This pesto sauce sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:40 am

      You’re welcome!

  • Reply
    Felicia
    August 31, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Haha I love that word Thai I fied lol cute! Also I can’t wait to make a lot of these and freeze them! I’m always looking for freezer recipes. It’s one of my favorite things to do freezer meal plan! Thank u so much for this it sounds like it’s packed full of yummy flavor

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Awesome, hope you like it!

  • Reply
    Beth
    August 31, 2019 at 8:53 am

    This is such an interesting combination of flavors! I never would have thought of mixing Thai curry paste into pesto but since I love both I’m going to give it a try. It’s funny, though, that we can’t eat cashews at our house so of course pine nuts are what I will be using!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Hope you enjoy it Beth!

  • Reply
    Ai | Ai made it for you
    August 31, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Oooo this looks delicious! I’ve never thought to pair red curry with pesto!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Thank you! It’s so good. 🙂

  • Reply
    Beth
    September 1, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Haha, I like the term Thai-ified. Keep the Thai twists coming I say. And the red Thai curry paste addition is such genius. Amazing. So look forward to trying this once my basil gets bigger.

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Thanks Beth!

  • Reply
    Julia Osgood
    September 4, 2019 at 2:44 am

    This looks so interesting. Adding curry to the other pesto ingredients – what a great idea! BTW, I’ve made pesto with walnuts before and that turns out good too, but I don’t know how easy those are to find in Thailand. But I love cashews so I might just try it with those.

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:44 am

      I love walnuts! They are rare here too but if I ever get my hands on (lots of) them again, I’ll try a walnut pesto. Thanks for sharing Julia!

  • Reply
    Erika
    September 4, 2019 at 4:04 am

    I love the simplicity of these ingredients. I need to give this a try.

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:44 am

      Thanks Erika! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Shari Eckstrom
    September 4, 2019 at 7:12 am

    I am a big fan of Thai food and never would have thought to use Thai Curry with Pesto. Your Thai Pesto goes well with my Keto lifestyle. Looking forward to giving this a try.

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 11:45 am

      That’s awesome that it goes well with your keto lifestyle Shari! If you get to try it, let me know what you think hehe.

  • Reply
    Patrice
    September 4, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I’ve never made cashew pesto before. Will have to give this a try. Love both cashews and curry.

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      It’s awesome, please do give it a try. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ai | Ai made it for you
    September 4, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    This looks SO delicious! I like that you used cashews instead of pine nuts, since they’re so expensive!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you! Yes, expensive and hard to find here. 🙂

  • Reply
    Simone
    September 4, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Wow… your Thai version of pesto looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you Simone!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Debono
    September 4, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    I often use cashews instead of pine nuts too. Although pine nuts are easily available here in Italy they can be pricey! Love that you added Thai red curry to this pesto! Sounds delicious!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Anindya Sundar Basu
    September 5, 2019 at 8:08 am

    I am hearing this for the first time. Will try this at home for sure

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Beth
    September 5, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Although I would not be able to serve this to my family because one person is allergic to cashews, I can only imagine how wonderfully creamy this sauce is, not to mention the homegrown basil. Wow! And adding the red curry paste is just the next delicious step in creativity!

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you so much Beth!

  • Reply
    Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef
    September 5, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Curry is my kryptonite! Absolutely one of my favorite flavors ever, love this pesto creation! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Nart
      September 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      You’re very welcome!

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