Sun Dried Tomato Pesto


5 from 4 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

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 Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I add sea salt to nearly everything too – a small amount enhances flavors! (hmm, we DID have this conversation already…). my Grandpa Z salted his French toast! some of the best I have ever tasted…

    I recently made my own parmesan. this is happening soon.

  2. Arman, you literally solved one of my biggest pet peeves about pesto… that it didn’t pack enough heat! This seriously looks like an amazing recipe, and good thing we have enough sun dried tomatoes here to give this the good old college try 🙂

    1. Right? That’s why I had to stop buying store bought! I’m jealous you guys have enough sun dried tomatoes- Those buggers are expensive!

  3. Love pesto, love sundried tomatoes, love spicy…aka this recipe is perfection! Must make a batch this weekend! Plus an excuse to eat bread is always welcomed. 🙂

  4. My perfect vehicle for pesto is any sort of sandwich… I add red pepper flakes to anything that stands still. Or cinnamon!

  5. I add cayenne and red pepper flakes to everything too. Know what else is good? Making regular basil pesto and adding a bit of the juice from sun dried tomatoes. Adds a certain sweet-salty kick.

  6. I love my some pesto so I’m thrilled you tossed sun-dried tomatoes into the mix and cayenne pepper. What a way to jazz it up, and yes I am doing jazz hands over this one.

  7. Did you say sourdough?! 😀

    Love pesto…let alone sundried tomato pesto!

    Sounds so good. And, thanks for linking up to #RECIPEFRIDAY buddy. Have a great weekend 🙂

    1. YES!!! Although this sourdough was probably nothing like your epic creations…they turned into a rock the next day!

  8. Yum Yum Yum! I love pesto! My favorite way of eating pesto is on baguette or flatbread with mozzarella and fresh tomato on top. Grilled until the cheese is melted obviously! I am drooling. I need to stop talking about cheese and bread until I can have it again! And antipasti? Yes please! The more the marrier 😉
    My spices are cinnamon, curry and chili. Every of my meals contains at least one of these three spices!

    1. OMG. I’m not doing whole30 and now I’M craving that right now….oh man that is happening this weekend.

      OH yes…curry. CURRY.

See More Comments