Whip up a batch of Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and take your pastas, burgers, soups, and sandwiches to the next level! Made with just a handful of simple ingredients in under 10 minutes, this delicious sauce will elevate any meal!
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The robust flavors of this bold sun dried tomato pesto sauce make for a winning dinner any night of the week. We like to add this to our favorite pasta and serve it with a protein like grilled chicken, pork chops, or pan seared salmon for a quick and easy meal with no fuss.
Like our basil pesto recipe, this simple red pesto with sun dried tomatoes comes together in just a few minutes with a handful of ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry. There are many basil pesto recipes with pine nuts but I opted to make this sun dried tomato pesto with walnuts for something a little different.
We love making sun dried tomato pesto pasta with this sauce, but it's actually super versatile and can be used in many ways.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions for this easy pesto recipe.
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - These are different from the dried ones in a bag. You'll need both the sun-dried tomatoes and the oil they are stored in.
- Walnuts - This is a walnut pesto although you can replace them with pine nuts if you prefer.
- Fresh basil - You need about 2 cups of lightly packed basil leaves torn from the stems to make this pesto recipe.
- Parmesan cheese - Adds a wonderful savory, nutty, salty flavor to the pesto.
- Fresh garlic cloves - No need to mince first. Just peel the papery skin off the cloves and throw them into the food processor to chop.
- Olive oil - We recommend using a good quality extra virgin olive oil for best results.
- Salt & pepper
How to Make Pesto
- Add all of the ingredients except for the olive oil to a food processor or blender. Pulse until the ingredients start to break down and look chunky. You might need to pause the food process or blender to push some of the ingredients down into the blades to make sure everything is evenly chopped up.
- Continue to blend or process the pesto while adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until a thick sauce forms. It will be slightly more paste-like and thicker than traditional basil pesto unless you choose to thin it out with additional olive oil.
- Transfer to a bowl or jar and use immediately, refrigerate, or freeze until ready to use.
I used an 8.5-ounce jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil when testing this recipe, but at some stores you might only be able to find 7-ounce jars. If that is the case, you can simply use the 7-ounce jar with a little extra oil to help thin it out (it will still have plenty of that wonderful sun dried tomato flavor) or you can buy two jars and only use part of one jar, saving the rest for another dish like Marry Me Chicken.
This is a personal preference and you get to the be the judge to make the pesto just the way you like it! You can add more oil if you would like a thinner pesto sauce. If you are serving it with pasta as shown here, we like to add some of the pasta water to help thin it out the pesto and coat the pasta rather than add extra oil.
A batch of freshly made pesto will last about 1-2 weeks in the fridge and about 2-3 months in the freezer. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
Yes! Like basil pesto, this sun dried tomato pesto freezes beautifully for about 6 months. Our favorite way to freeze it is to pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze, then pop them out and store in an airtight container for longer term storage. This way I can pull out as many cubes as I need and throw them frozen into pastas and soups for an added burst of flavor.
Uses for pesto
There are so many ways to use this versatile, delicious sauce/condiment/topping! Here are just a few ideas to get you going. Let me know in the comments if you have others you love.
- With your morning eggs for breakfast! Scramble a tablespoon or two of this pesto in with your eggs or dollop it on top of a fried egg for a wonderful savory breakfast.
- As a sandwich spread. Level up your lunch by spreading sun dried tomato pesto on some crusty ciabatta bread or rolls and top with Italian deli meats, provolone cheese, and spicy arugula.
- In soups. Adding ¼ cup of pesto to your favorite soups like minestrone or my lasagna soup is a total flavor enhancer that makes something already amazing even more incredible.
- On your favorite protein. This red pesto sauce goes well with steak, chicken, salmon, shrimp, pork chops, and pretty much almost any protein you can think of. Dollop it on top when finishing a dish in a pan, on the grill, or in the oven to let it heat for a few minutes to bring out the flavors even more.
- In pasta. You really can't go wrong with a pasta shape and this pesto sauce. Stir it into some al dente penne, farfalle, linguine, gnocchi, or ravioli and a splash of your pasta water to loosen things up and you have a gourmet meal in no time.
- On burgers. Forget the ketchup and mayo and level up your burger game with my burger grilling tips and a generous dollop of this sun dried tomato pesto between your bun.
- Stir it into mashed potatoes. Maybe you have had pesto potatoes as a side dish at a fancy restaurant, so why not add this sun dried tomato pesto instead?
More Pasta Recipes
- Easy Lemon Pasta (Pasta al Limone)
- TikTok Baked Feta Pasta
- Traditional Bolognese Sauce with Mushrooms
- Cajun Pasta with Sausage and Peppers
- TikTok Beet Pasta
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- ½ cup walnuts or pine nuts
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Place the sun-dried tomatoes along with the oil from the jar, basil leaves, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper into a large food processor or blender.
- Blend or process the ingredients until roughly chopped. You may need to stop and push some of the ingredients down to make sure everything is evenly chopped.
- Slowly stream the oil into the blender or food processor while it is running on medium-low speed. Continue to blend until the pesto is smooth or the consistency you like.
- Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups of pesto. The nutritional information was calculated using an online nutrition calculator based on a serving size of about 2 tablespoons per serving. For the most accurate results, you may want to do your own calculations.