Appetizers & Snacks/ Italian Recipes/ Sauces

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Red Pesto)

3 February 2022 | Last Updated: 25 June 2022 By Aleksandra

Sun-dried tomato pesto is a delicious alternative to the traditional basil pesto. This aromatic red pesto sauce is made with sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, and basil. It makes a great pasta sauce or a sandwich spread!

Sun-dried tomato pesto in a brown bowl. Basil leaves, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts in the background.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make sun-dried tomato pesto:

Labeled ingredients for sun-dried tomato pesto.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – use oil-packed for far better flavor. We’re also using the oil from the jar which is super aromatic and far better for this recipe than olive oil.
  • Olive oil (because in the tomato jar there is not enough tomato oil for this recipe).
  • Walnuts – you can also use peeled almonds, which are more traditional. I think walnut adds a pleasant bitterness and contrast better sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Parmesan cheese – or grana padano.
  • Basil – or 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary.
  • Garlic – must be fresh.
  • Lemon zest – adds a touch of citrusy flavor. It’s optional.
  • Chili flakes – adds a small kick to the sauce, but they’re also optional.

How to make it

Ingredients for sun-dried tomato pesto in a food processor bowl.

Add all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor bowl.

Mix over high speed until very finely chopped (it should be a little bit chunky and not completely smooth).

Sun-dried tomato pesto in a food processor bowl.

Add the olive oil and mix over low speed (or pulse) until well-combined.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Red pesto uses

  • it’s amazing as pasta sauce (you can use it in this recipe: Shrimp Pesto Pasta)
  • it’s great with chicken or fish
  • use it as a component of a cheese board
  • as a dip for veggies, crackers, or pita chips
  • spread it on toast, bruschetta, focaccia, sandwich, flatbread or panini
  • use it as a topping for pizza (after it has been baked)

Storage

This sun-dried tomato pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 2-3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Pesto freezes very well. Put it in a tightly closed container or plastic bag and freeze for up to 4 months.

More pesto recipes

Red pesto in a brown bowl. Basil leaves, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts in the background.

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Red Pesto)

Sun-dried tomato pesto is a delicious alternative to the traditional basil pesto. This aromatic red pesto sauce is made with sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, and basil. It makes a great pasta sauce or a sandwich spread!
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Sun-dried tomato pesto in a brown bowl.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1.5 cups
Calories 1557kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained, 185g
  • 1/3 cup walnuts 35g, or peeled almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 70g
  • 1/4 cup oil from the tomato jar 55g
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili flakes optional
  • zest grated from 1/2 lemon optional
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 55g
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor bowl.
  • Mix over high speed until very finely chopped (it should be a little bit chunky and not completely smooth).
  • Add the olive oil and mix over low speed or pulse until well-combined.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: This sun-dried tomato pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 2-3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Pesto freezes very well. Put it in a tightly closed container or plastic bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
  • Calories = whole recipe (this is only an estimate!).
Course sauce
Cuisine Italian
Diet Vegetarian
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