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Why I love this red pesto

I guess I’ve been on a bit of a pesto kick lately, but I couldn’t wait to share this sun dried tomato pesto recipe with you. I made this for the first time last week as an experiment and I was amazed by it.

The recipe was inspired by a pasta sauce over at Budget Bytes that used tomato paste and honey to mimic the flavors of sun dried tomatoes. The thing that stood out to me most about the recipe was the spices that were used – lots of savory ones. Spices that you might use to season a turkey or chicken or even stuffing.

Typically pesto sauce uses fresh basil which can get pretty expensive, but the best part of this recipe is that it uses dried spices – cheaper and more convenient.

Since dried spices – especially the rosemary tends to be a bit hard – I soaked the spices some olive oil to soften them up and bring out their flavors. Then I combined them with sun dried tomatoes and other traditional pesto ingredients in a food processor.

The recipe makes enough pesto to toss 1 pound of cooked pasta and coat 4 chicken breasts – about 1 1/2 cups, but of course you can do whatever you want with it.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe

How to make sun dried tomato pesto

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend all the ingredients until they are smooth. Toss with pasta or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

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FAQ’s and tips for making vegan pesto

How long does Sun Dried Tomato Pesto last?

Sun dried tomato pesto will last up to a week in the fridge if you keep it properly stored in an airtight container. Just note that when it gets cold it will solidify so you’ll want to warm it back up into a liquid before using or serving.

What is the difference between red and green pesto?

Green pesto is made using basil and red pesto uses tomatoes, peppers, or pimento. They’re both pretty similar but the differences are what make them unique and delicious on different foods.

How do you eat red pesto?

You can use it as a sauce for meats or pasta, and you can also use it as a garnish on the plate. Adding a splash of red color to your dinner dish will certainly add a level of high-class and fun!

overhead view of pot of sun-dried tomato pesto sauce over pasta

More vegan pesto recipes like this one 

Other pasta recipes you’ll enjoy


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

This simple, sun dried tomato pesto is so delicious and packed with unique, savory flavors. This vegan recipe made with pantry staples like dried herbs, so it’s perfect for when you’re in a pinch, but it’s special enough to impress guests. Serve this red pesto sauce with pasta or gnocchi for a traditional Italian dinner, or pair it with chicken or shrimp for something a little different.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. In a food processor, combine the remaining ingredients with the ingredients and process until smooth.

Last Updated on November 23, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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Recipe rating


  1. So freakin quick and easy. Full of flavour. I may have binged much more than the suggested serving straight from the processor. My face turned inside out and back again from the sheer deliciousness of it. Yum!

    Much appreciated.