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This delicious sun dried tomato pesto is the perfect topping for pasta, pizza, sandwiches or even served as a dip! It comes together quickly and is ready in under 10 minutes!

sun dried tomato pesto in a mason jar
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Pesto season is upon us! As our basil explodes in our garden I turn into a pesto making machine, stocking up for the summer, fall and winter months. But sometimes I get a little bored of my basic pesto recipe and want to change it up.

Enter: Sun dried tomato pesto! It’s a delicious variation on traditional pesto using sun dried tomatoes. It will quickly become a favorite around your house – just like it is around mine!

What is Pesto Rosso?

Pesto Rosso translated directly to “Red Pesto” and it gets its name from the red coloring the sun dried tomatoes add to pesto. It originated from Sicily in Southern Italy.

Whereas basil Pesto is a traditional pesto made from basil leaves, Pesto Rosso aka Sun Dried Tomato Pesto is a variation where you add sun dried tomato to your traditional pesto for added flavor.

Rather than a 1:1 swap of basil for sun dried tomatoes, you actually use both (though slightly less basil) and the taste is both a little sweet and tangy.

sun dried tomato pesto in a mason jar

Ingredients:

  • Sun Dried Tomatoes – you’ll want to grab the kind packed in oil as the air dried sun dried tomatoes may not break up nicely for your pesto.
  • Basil – be sure to use fresh basil leaves and remove any thick stems.
  • Garlic Cloves – to try use fresh garlic cloves rather than the jarred kind.
  • Parmesan Cheese – either pre-grated or freshly grated. If vegan you can use nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese.
  • Pine nuts – if you can’t find pine nuts or they’re out of your budget you can always use walnuts.
  • Lemon – Use a freshly squeezed lemon.
  • Olive oil – Try to use extra virgin olive oil if you have it. You can add more if you prefer a thinner consistency.
  • Salt and pepper – feel free to decrease salt if watching sodium levels.

Note: You’ll need a food processor for this recipe. You could also use a high speed blender but be careful not to over-blend.

How to Make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

STEP 1: PROCESS SUN DRIED TOMATOES

Remove sun dried tomatoes from jar and add to a food processor. Pulse several times to break them up.

pulsed sun dried tomatoes in a food processor

STEP 2: PROCESS W/ ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS

Add basil, garlic cloves, parmesan, pine nuts (or walnuts), lemon juice, salt and pepper to food processor and pulse several more times to break up into pea-sized bits.

ingredients for sun dried tomato pesto pulsed in a food processor

STEP 3: ADD OLIVE OIL

Run the food processor and slowly add olive oil until everything comes together into a thick, but slightly chunky paste. For a thinner pesto add more olive oil.

sun dried tomato pesto in a food processor.

STEP 4: SERVE!

sun dried tomato pesto on penne pasta in white bowl.

How to Use This Sun Dried Tomato Pesto:

  • Pasta – My favorite way to eat this pesto! Simply add as a sauce to your favorites noodles.
  • Pizza – Use in place of tomato sauce for homemade pizza. Might I suggest this tortilla pizza?
  • Sandwich – Spread onto bread with your favorite sandwich toppings. I love this pesto with smoked turkey, spinach and swiss cheese.
  • Chicken Breast – as a marinade or stuffed in chicken
  • Dip – enjoy this pesto as a simple dip and eat with veggies or crackers.

Storage Instructions

In Fridge: Store your sun dried tomato pesto in the refrigerator in an airtight container or glass jar for up to 1 week.

In Freezer: Either store in a jar and freeze for up to 3 months or divide pesto into a silicone ice tray and freeze for 4 hours. Remove from tray and place in a ziplock bag to freeze for up to 3 months. Remove pesto to thaw overnight in fridge or on the counter in jar or in a bowl for several hours.

Can You Make it Vegan?

Absolutely! If you’re vegan or dairy-free, feel free to replace the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast for a vegan pesto.

More Pesto Recipes:

Print

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

This delicious sun dried tomato pesto is the perfect topping for pasta, pizza, sandwiches or even served as a dip! It comes together quickly and is ready in under 15 minutes!

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 8 oz jar of Sun Dried Tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • juice, 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Remove sun dried tomatoes from jar and add to a food processor. Pulse several times to break them up.
  2. Add basil, garlic cloves, parmesan, pine nuts (or walnuts), lemon juice, salt and pepper to food processor and pulse several more times to break up into pea-sized bits.
  3. Run the food processor and slowly add olive oil until everything comes together into a thick, but slightly chunky paste. For a thinner pesto add more olive oil.
  4. Add to pasta, pizza, sandwiches, or desired dish.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Keywords: sun dried tomato pesto, pesto rosso, sun-dried tomato pesto, tomato pesto

penne pasta with pesto rosso

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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