Simple Sauces

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

January 28, 2019 (Last Updated: January 18, 2020) by Chris Collins

This Sun Dried Tomato Pesto is absolutely bursting with flavour. Better still, it couldn’t be easier to make!

This is one of those absolute staples that’s always lurking about in my fridge. From a quick lunch to a delicious dinner, I slather this on just about everything. Let’s take a closer look at what the fuss is all about shall we?

Bowl of Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with spoon poking out surrounded by basil, pinenuts and parmesan

Homemade Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Sure, Basil Pesto is great, but sun dried tomato pesto?! Oh guys. You’re in for a treat. I quite often pair regular pesto with sun dried tomatoes, the flavours compliment each other so nicely. So, sun dried tomato pesto is a no brainer for me.

You can get store-bought sun dried tomato pesto from nearly everywhere, BUT, homemade is truly is so much better. Store bought Pesto is one of those things that varies so much from brand to brand. I like to make my own pesto as you know exactly what’s going in, and you can easily adjust it to your preferred taste.

Plus, homemade pesto is SO easy to make, it would be rude not to. 

First things first, let’s see what you’ll need.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Ingredients

  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan
  • Pine Nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What kind of Sun Dried Tomatoes to use?

I always use ones from a jar because they’re packed with so much oil. You can use actually ‘dried’ sun dried tomatoes, or semi-dried tomatoes, but consider adding an extra drizzle of oil to get things going.

Can I replace the Pine Nuts?

Pine Nuts give pesto a nice bit of texture, but they are rather expensive. To get that crunch without a hit to the wallet, consider almonds, pistachios or walnuts. If you have a nut allergy then you can substitute sunflower seeds.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto in a white bowl surrounded by fresh basil and pine nuts

How to make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

If you have the time and patience you can make sun dried tomato pesto in a pestle and mortar, but in most cases a food processor works just perfectly. The advantage of using a pestle and mortar is you arguable get more flavour, because you’re bursting the cells in the ingredients, as opposed to very finely chopping them. But again, food processor is just fine.

Freshly Grated Parmesan

I strongly recommend using freshly grated parmesan (as opposed to the dusty kind). Any other kind of parmesan will throw off the flavour and texture of the pesto.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ensure you’re using extra virgin, not just regular olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is far more flavoursome and gives you that classic ‘pesto’ flavour.

How to make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto in a Food Processor (quick summary)

  1. Add all of your ingredients in a food processor, apart from your extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Turn on motor, then gradually pour in your oil until desired texture.
  3. Taste test for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

How to make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto - 3 step by step photos in food processor

Is Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Vegetarian?

Depending on how strict of a vegetarian you are, it may not be as parmesan does often contain animal rennet. To make it vegetarian use a vegetarian hard cheese alternative.

How to store Pesto?

The best way to store sun dried tomato pesto is to pop it in an airtight container with a layer of oil over it. This will stop the pesto from oxidising. Each time you use the pesto, pour out the oil and when you return it make sure you add another layer. This will last in the fridge up to a week, any longer is at your own discretion.

How to use Sun Dried Tomato Pesto?

You can use it as a pizza base, as a flavour booster for your next ragu sauce or even with cheese and crackers! My two favourite ways are in a Halloumi and Chorizo Grilled Cheese (pictured below) and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta!

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

Deliciously Different Types of Pesto

Okay, let’s tuck into the full sun dried tomato pesto recipe shall we?!

halloumi grilled cheese sandwich stacked on wooden board surrounded by rocket

How to make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto (Full Recipe & Video)

Bowl of Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with spoon poking out surrounded by basil, pinenuts and parmesan

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

This Sun Dried Tomato Pesto is absolutely bursting with flavour. Better still, it couldn't be easier to make! Makes approx 1.5-2 cups worth. Serving is based on 1/4cup.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch / Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 2 cups
Calories: 180kcal
Cost per serving: ยฃ1 / $1

Equipment:

  • Food Processor
  • Spatula
  • Fine Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1.5 cups / 180g Sun Dried Tomatoes (use jarred ones, more flavour)
  • 1 packed cup / large handful Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup / 40g Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted if desired
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup / 80 - 125ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or as needed
  • 1 small clove of Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste

Instructions:

  • Add all of your ingredients apart from the olive oil and turn on the motor. 
  • Slowly pour in your olive oil until desired texture.
  • Taste test for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 1 week (see notes)

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Sun Dried Tomatoes -ย I always go for jarred ones because they're packed with a little more flavour than vacuum packed or semi-dried tomatoes. You can used 'dry' sun dried tomatoes, you might just need a little more oil than if you were using jarred.
b) Olive Oil - Definitely make sure you're using extra virgin olive oil, not just regular olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil gives you much more of a classic pesto flavour.
c) Freshly Grated - Ensure you're using freshly grated parmesan (not the powdered stuff) otherwise it'll throw the texture off.
d) How to store sun dried tomato pesto - Pop it in an airtight container with a layer of olive oil over. This will last in the fridge for up to 1 week (longer at your discretion). Each time you use it, pop another layer of olive oil over it. This will stop the pesto from oxidising.
e) Calories - based on 1/4 cup of pesto, using 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 146
% Daily Value*
Fat 16.19g25%
Saturated Fat 1.991g10%
Trans Fat 0.006g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.339g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.803g
Sodium 229mg10%
Potassium 512mg15%
Carbohydrates 8.62g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5.29g6%
Protein 2.87g6%
Vitamin A 700IU14%
Vitamin C 5.1mg6%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

If you loved this Homemade Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Sharon
    March 29, 2019 at 12:16 am

    5 stars
    This sun-dried tomato paste looks fantastic! I want a big scoop of this on top of a great sandwich or pasta.

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 29, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Oh yes! SO good in a sandwich!!

  • Reply
    Urvashee
    March 29, 2019 at 12:15 am

    I love sun dried tomatoes! I can’t wait to give this a try. Coincidentally- I just heard you on Elaine’s podcast!

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 29, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Oh that’s awesome! Hope I didn’t bore you with my waffling too much

  • Reply
    Elaine
    March 28, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    5 stars
    I was going to say: I would love this pesto to always sit in my fridge. But I guess I am not the only one ๐Ÿ˜‰ Delicious recipe that can save me so many times – thank you!

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 29, 2019 at 9:36 am

      Haha, my fridge is considered empty if there’s no pesto in there! Thanks Elaine ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Rosa
    March 28, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    5 stars
    Yummm I think Iโ€™m going to try several versions of this, pine nuts, walnuts, oh my. Spunds so good. Thanks so much for this!

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 29, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Rosa, Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Emily
    March 28, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    5 stars
    I see that you can replace the pine nuts with other nuts. I don’t have pine nuts but I do have almonds and walnuts. Which one is better to use?

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 29, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Almonds will give more of a crunch so go with that if you like a more textured pesto ๐Ÿ™‚

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