Shishito Pepper Pesto

I had so much beautiful basil and shishito peppers growing in my garden! I wanted to find something fresh and new to do with them.  So I decided to change up my family-favorite pesto and do a Shishito Pepper Pesto.  It’s yummy and fresh.  Perfect for the summer!

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  • 6.5 – 7.0 ounces of seeded shishito peppers.
  • 1 cup of basil (23 grams +/-)
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese



  1. Cut your shishito peppers and remove the seeds and ribs inside the pepper.  Shishito peppers are sweet and mild; however occasionally you can get a spicy shishito pepper so be careful and don’t touch your eyes!
  2. Steam the peppers for 6-7 minutes. I used my Instant Pot however you can also use a pot with a steaming basket on the stove.
  3. Allow the peppers to cool.
  4. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic.
  5. Then add the steamed peppers and process until fully chopped.
  6. Add the basil and salt and process until fully chopped and mixed.
  7. Stream in the olive oil slowly while the processor is on low
  8. Add the cheese and mix until just incorporated..
  9. Taste and then season with more salt or cheese to your preference.
  10. Cook your preferred pasta. My favorite it thick spaghetti, buccatini or bowtie pasta!
  11. Reserve some of the pasta water.  
  12. Heat the pesto in a pan on low.  Slowly and gradually add in some starchy pasta water and mix until blended. This will help heat up the pesto and also help the sauce fully coat the pasta. Mix the sauce and pasta together and serve!