Learn how to make sun dried tomato pesto at home using just 5 ingredients! Ready in minutes, it is so versatile and delicious!
When it comes to condiments and sauces, we use them liberally here.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
Ways to use this pesto
Homemade pesto is so versatile and can be used in a plethora of ways! Here are some ideas:
- As a dip. Add it to a charcuterie board or with crudites, crackers, and chips.
- Over simply cooked protein. Jazz up some chicken breast, chicken thighs, or even pork chops.
- As a sandwich spread. A nice filling idea for bagels, tortillas, or even toasted bread!
- Through pasta. The most simple and delicious sauce, toss some through pasta or gnocchi.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, these are two different things. The paste is similar to a passata, and has no nuts or oil in it.
Yes, pesto is naturally gluten free.
Once the pack is opened, you can use the sun dried tomatoes for 3-5 days before they go bad.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | Just 5 Ingredients
- 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.