Sun Dried Tomato Pesto


5 from 4 votes
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Learn how to make sun dried tomato pesto at home using just 5 ingredients! Ready in minutes, it is so versatile and delicious!

sun dried tomato pesto.

When it comes to condiments and sauces, we use them liberally here.

We use them in anything and everything. Some of our favorites include ketchup, bbq sauce, and even mayonnaise.

Oh, let’s not forget our daily guacamole and salsa habit. 

There are times, though, where we want something a little more fancy. Instead of our usual dips and sandwich spreads, I love to whip up a sun dried tomato pesto. 

What is sun dried tomato pesto? 

Often referred to as pesto Rosso, this sun-dried condiment originated in Italy. It has a vibrant red color and a lovely rich and robust flavor. 

This differs from traditional pesto because of the addition of the tomatoes, but is just as delicious.  

Why this sun dried tomato pesto recipe will be a staple-

  • It has an intense flavor. Tomatoes get a lot of flavor after sun drying, which adds a deep flavor to the recipe.
  • Super versatile. Use it as a dip, spread, or sauce; it can be served in multiple ways.
  • Ready in 2 minutes. Seriously, you add all the ingredients in a food processor and it does all the work for you. 
  • Just 5 ingredients. Count them yourself; you only need one hand to do it.

The texture of this pesto is incredible: the perfect combination of thickness and chunkiness. You’ll seriously be adding it to anything and everything, even your morning toast (seriously). 

Ingredients needed 

This is a very simple recipe that uses just 5 ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store. Try to choose the best options possible for the best flavor. Here is what you’ll need: 

  • Sun dried tomatoes. The key ingredient! Choose sun dried tomatoes packed in oil not in water. The added oil gives the pesto a richer flavor. 
  • Pine nuts. The foundation of any good pesto.
  • Garlic. Cloves of fresh garlic, not the powdered kind. 
  • Parmesan cheese. always freshly grate your parmesan cheese- This is not the recipe to use the shelf stable kind!
  • Olive oil. To thin out the pesto. While other oils work, nothing compares to the olive kind. 

How to make sun dried tomato pesto

Simple is an understatement for this recipe. You follow a simple 3-step process and it literally takes minutes.

Step 1- make the pesto base

Start by adding pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and garlic to a food processor and pulse until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, use a high speed blender

Step 2- add oil to the mixture 

Next, slowly add oil to the mixture in the processor. Keep the motor running until everything combines. Keep an eye on the texture and once it is completely smooth, stop the blending. 

Step 3- Let the pesto set

Now, transfer the pesto into a container and let it sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to melt. Once the time is up, serve it immediately or store it away until later. 

sun-dried tomato pesto.

Tips to make the best recipe 

  • Ensure your food processor or blender has ice blending capabilities. Pine nuts can sometimes be a little difficult to blend well, so this is important! 
  • If you are a fan of chunky and textured pesto, reduce the amount of oil you add.
  • Let the pesto rest for at least 30 minutes after blending to really allow the flavors to meld. 

Dietary swaps and substitutions 

When you want to alter your pesto recipe, here are some of the best variations that you can try:

  • Make it vegan friendly. Swap out the parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese. 
  • Change the nuts. Instead of pine nuts, use blanched or marcona almonds. 
  • Add some greens. Still missing the green in your pesto? Add some baby spinach or arugula. 
  • Turn up the heat. Looking for a spicy kick? Add some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or fresh chili.  

Storage info 

Wondering what is the best way to store leftovers? Here are best practices for pesto storage: 

  • To store – Leftover pesto can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to four weeks. 
  • To freeze – Place the pesto in a sterilized jar and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
sundried tomato pesto.

Ways to use this pesto 

Homemade pesto is so versatile and can be used in a plethora of ways! Here are some ideas: 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sun dried tomato paste the same as pesto? 

No, these are two different things. The paste is similar to a passata, and has no nuts or oil in it.

Is pesto gluten free?

Yes, pesto is naturally gluten free.

How long can you store sun dried tomatoes? 

Once the pack is opened, you can use the sun dried tomatoes for 3-5 days before they go bad.

sun dried tomato pesto recipe.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | Just 5 Ingredients

5 from 4 votes
Learn how to make sun dried tomato pesto at home using just 5 ingredients! Ready in minutes, it is so versatile and delicious!
Servings: 24 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes


  • 3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • In a high speed blender or food processor, add the sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Blend until combined.
  • Slowly drizzle the olive oil in, blending regularly. Continue blending until thick and smooth.
  • Transfer the pesto into a bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.


If your pesto is too thick, add more olive oil. 
TO STORE: Leftover pesto can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to four weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place the pesto in a sterilized jar and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSodium: 26mgPotassium: 131mgFiber: 0.5gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.5mgNET CARBS: 2g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. I love pesto on a burger or grilled chicken sandwich… Yum! But nothing really beats dunking fresh bread into an amazing pesto! I also add red pepper and cayenne pepper to most dishes. I love spicy food!

  2. Hey you don’t have to defend yourself buying a loaf of bread. I totally support your bread decisions. 🙂 And you know how I feel about pesto…so. freaking. good!! Love it!

  3. I’m daydreaming about this right now. And probably the rest of the day. THANKS.

  4. Pesto is so delicious! A spicy almond version intrigues me… Pesto potatos or salmon is the bomb diggity!

    1. OH YES. I love dipping pesto into potatoes and have a recipe I’m working on for a cold potato salad doused in…..pesto. I’ll make it upon your arrival.

  5. Errr forget the original pesto- I want me some of this variety…YUM! I could eat sun dried tomatoes by the bucket..well any kind of antipasti really! Do you guys have the chilli sauce Encona available over there? Please look out for it next time you’re in the supermarket- as a fan of chilli flakes, this will take your meals (and spice threshold) to another level!!

    1. I’ve never heard of it, but I will be on the look out- I am a huge fan of chilli oil (the one from Dumpling shops…oh man!)

  6. We’ll hello my new pesto! Well, that’s if the sundried tomatoes make the blitzer, oh I love those things, straight from the jar – any antipasto really! Only just been introduced to grilled artichoke antipasto – yum!

    Pesto and eggs – match made in heaven! Also spread on a cauliflower crust pizza!

    And I love spice! Real spice, when it is there for flavour as well as heat!

  7. Do you need a reason for sour dough bread? That’s my absolute favorite, so I don’t need a reason. Sundried tomatoes are one of my favorite so I know I’d love this!

  8. This looks amazing! I love pesto and sun dried tomatoes. I’m actually making shrimp marinated in pesto on the BBQ tonight.

    Fresh bakery bread is definitely one of the best vehicles for pesto. Either that or pasta!

    1. Shrimp + pesto = match made in heaven. This pesto is so good, you could eat it off stale bread (just lick off the pesto.) Why am I so smart?

  9. again, there you go with flavor combos that the kiwi is obsessed with! and he loves pesto. Are you guys related?

  10. Every savoury dish needs cayenne pepper and salt. Every dish – sweet or savoury – needs salt. No surprise I’m constantly running low on cayenne – I’ve actually been adding to my morning oat bran, too, lately. Mexican hot chocolate oats or: fuelling the pepper addiction.
    Sundried tomatoes are the best. I wish I’d taken one million bags back home with me when I was on vacation in Greece years ago.

  11. The perfect vehicle for pesto for me is linguini but I’ve tried to branch out a bit recently. I put salt on everything but my favorite spice is usually cinnamon or garlic powder 🙂

    1. Garlic salt….my favourite. I can’t believe I forgot that! Try pesto mixed in a bagel….I have a pesto scone recipe coming up!

  12. Pesto made with almonds?! I need to try this! I usually avoid pesto because of my allergies to nuts, but almonds I can do. Cayenne, though, I canNOT do — this girl doesn’t handle spicy well. Cinnamon on ALL the things!

  13. Yum! This looks terrific. I am a big fan of spice. Most of my meals involve red pepper flakes. Cinnamon also makes frequent appearances. I almost always add it to milk, cereal, and yogurt. Fresh homemade pasta is, hands down, the perfect vehicle for traditional basil pesto but your version looks like an ideal candidate for bread or as a sandwich spread. I bet a dollop would be tasty in an omelette or frittata as well. I finally got a mini food processor so now I can actually make this! 🙂

    1. OH YAY! A mini food processor! It is delicious with eggs….just don’t salt them or you’ll be guzzling water like crazy.

  14. Umm pesto is definitely best on spoons… or fingers, fingers are good!! Very rarely does mine last long enough to actually cook with, but when it does I end up piling it on pizza 🙂