Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

You can purchase sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil at most grocery stores and online. It’s fairly inexpensive and I usually stock up on a few jars at a time.

Although you don’t have to toast the nuts for this recipe, it’s encouraged. You’ll get a lot more flavor out of them.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups


  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or other nut)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 to 2 roasted red pepper quarters, from a jar (about 1/4 cup, optional)
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil

Special equipment:


1 Toast the walnuts: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the nuts on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast for 6 to 8 minutes or until fragrant and lightly colored. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Homemade Pesto with Tomato recipe toast the walnuts

2 Start processing the ingredients: Place the half of the sun-dried tomatoes along with all the walnuts, cheeses, garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes and preserved roasted red pepper (if using) into a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until chopped well.

How to Make Pesto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes add all ingredients to the food processor

3 Add the rest of the tomatoes and the oil: Next, add the rest of the sun-dried tomatoes and the oil they’re packed in. (Splitting up the tomatoes will add some variance in texture.)

With the motor running, steam in the olive oil, pausing to scrape down the sides once or twice, until the pesto has a uniform, but not-quite-pureed, consistency. (You want to ensure there’s still a bit of chunkiness to get a nice, toothsome texture.)

Use right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months for when needed.

Tomato Pesto Recipe process the pesto Pesto with Tomatoes add the olive oil Pesto with Walnuts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes finish the pesto