Rich, savory, and cheesy, this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (or, red pesto) is a flavorful way to dress up your meals.
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We are making meal prep and dinner time easy with today's new recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (or, red pesto). This pesto is ready in just TWO steps and is perfect for meal prep!
Make a double or triple batch (if you wish!) and save extras for meal prep throughout the week or freeze the leftovers to dress up an easy dinner in the weeks to come. Below I share ideas for how to enjoy this favorite Italian spread!
Green basil pesto is one of my favorites, folks. So amazing that I included my favorite recipe in my recently published quick dinner eBook.
But what do you do when you love a dish so much that just one iteration isn't enough? When you're the kind of person easily edges on food-fanatical, but expresses that fanaticism through diving so deep into the intricacies of said dish?
You start planning out different interpretations of the same idea. Playing around with the ingredients and seasonings to create the next amazing dish that further expands your love for the whole recipe genre.
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
Don't know what I'm talking about? Wondering if I have finally officially lost my mind?
You're most definitely not the only one.
But that doesn't matter. What does matter is that you come try out this sundried tomato red pesto.
With oil-packed sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, walnuts, olive oil, and just the right amount of seasonings, this savory and versatile spread may even convert you to this wonderful world of food fanaticism.
Just one taste and you'll get hooked on the jammy flavor and luscious texture. One time making it and you'll be blown away that such a recipe can be made in only 5 minutes.
One week of having this pesto in your kitchen and your meal prepping will be satisfied with all the different ways you can enjoy this pesto.
It's enough for a food fanatic girl like me to exclaim her love all over the internet.
I hope you love this baby as much as I do. 🍅
Here at Mae's Menu, we have a variety of readers: those who are more experienced in the kitchen and want to zip straight through to the recipe and those who want to learn more about it, potential substitutions, and more.
To skip straight to the recipe, just click "Jump to Recipe" at the top left of this post. To browse the post quickly, just click the headings in the table of contents below.
Table of contents
- This red pesto recipe is...
- Recipe ingredients
- Ingredient substitutions
- Can you use sun-dried tomatoes that aren't packed in oil for this recipe?
- What is the best way to blend pesto?
- Is tomato pesto gluten-free?
- Can you make this recipe vegan?
- How to make this tomato pesto...
- How do you serve this red pesto?
- Can you use this recipe for meal prep?
- Can you double or triple this recipe?
- How long do leftovers last?
- Can you freeze leftover pesto?
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Check out these other tasty Italian recipes!
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This red pesto recipe is...
- Naturally gluten-free
- Ready in under 5 minutes
- Perfect for meal prep
- A family favorite
Dress up anything from pasta and pizza to grilled sandwiches and roasted potatoes with this all-purpose Italian sauce! It's a game changer.
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - we want oil-packed sundried for this recipe
- Extra virgin olive oil - the better the quality of the oil, the better this recipe will taste; though, any extra virgin olive oil will technically do
- Garlic cloves - fresh cloves are the best
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Walnuts halves and/or pieces
Order your groceries through Thrive Market and receive a $22 gift!
Pine nuts can work in place of the walnuts, but otherwise, this recipe works the best with the ingredients listed. Trust me, it's worth it!
Can you use sun-dried tomatoes that aren't packed in oil for this recipe?
For this recipe you will need sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, as the tomatoes are more tender and juicy this way. Dry packed tomatoes, on the other hand, are too dry and will make the pesto sandy and crumbly.
Side note: you can add extra olive oil to the dry tomatoes when blending to reconstitute them, but they still won't be as tender and flavorful as oil-packed tomatoes.
What is the best way to blend pesto?
If using an immersion blender, add all the ingredients to a deep blending cup before immersing.
If using a high-speed blender, add the ingredients to the blender in the order listed before blending on medium speed:
- Olive oil
- Sundried tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese
Is tomato pesto gluten-free?
Yes, this tomato pesto contains no wheat ingredients so it is naturally gluten-free!
If you serve this sauce on bread or pasta, however, you will want to use gluten-free ingredients of those to keep your meal gluten-free, however (I love the chickpea pasta from Thrive Market)!
Can you make this recipe vegan?
You can easily make this recipe vegan! Just substitute vegan parmesan cheese for the dairy parmesan cheese and continue with the recipe as directed for a vegan pesto recipe.
How to make this tomato pesto...
For the complete recipe and specific measurements, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Add all the pesto ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
- Run the processor on high for 45 seconds - 1 ½ minutes, or until the pesto is smooth. Serve as desired!
How do you serve this red pesto?
Red pesto (or, "pesto rosso," as the Italians call it!) is delicious served so many delicious ways. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Roasted potatoes
- Spaghetti squash
- Roasted vegetables
- Grilled chicken or vegetable sandwiches
- Italian grilled cheese (fresh bread, pesto, and fontina cheese)
- Fresh toasted bread
- Chicken or salmon
Just thinking of all the possibilities makes my mouth water!!
Can you use this recipe for meal prep?
Yes, red pesto is perfect for meal prep! Make a big batch (see my notes below on doubling or tripling it!) and enjoy the rest of it throughout the week.
You can toss pasta, potatoes, rice, chicken, etc. with it ahead of time, or just stir some in with your dish before reheating and enjoying.
Can you double or triple this recipe?
This recipe is perfect for doubling and tripling! Just multiply the ingredients by your desired multiple and follow the recipe as directed.
How long do leftovers last?
Leftovers last covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze leftover pesto?
You can definitely freeze leftover pesto. Just freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
Check out these other tasty Italian recipes!
- Instant Pot Beef Ragu
- Baked Italian Sausage Casserole with Ricotta Cheese
- Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Peas
- Sausage Risotto
- Garlic Angel Hair Pasta
- Spaghetti with Beans & Garlicky Greens
- One Pot Orecchiette with Sausage
- Instant Pot Risotto
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Rich, savory, and cheesy, this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (or, red pesto) is a flavorful way to dress up your meals. Top pasta, roasted potatoes, pizza, grilled fish and poultry, and sandwiches with the spread.
This recipe takes only 2 steps and stores and freezes well. So, whip up a double batch and use the remainder for meals throughout the week and in the coming months.
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup walnut pieces or halves
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
- Cover the processor and run on high for 45 seconds - 1 ½ minutes, or until the pesto is smooth. Serve as desired!
1. Leftovers last covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can freeze them in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
2. To make this recipe vegan, use a vegan parmesan cheese substitute.
3. An immersion blender or high-speed blender can also be used to blend this red pesto. If using an immersion blender, add all the ingredients to the blending cup and blend. If using a high-speed blender, add the ingredients in the following order before blending: olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, garlic, walnuts, and salt.
Serving Size1/10 of the Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 139Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 3mgSodium 180mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 2g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.