Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce Recipe

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Vegan Sun Dried Tomato pesto sauce recipe or “Pesto Rosso: – the classic Italian condiment from Sicily made with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, almonds or pine nuts and smooth extra virgin olive oil. Easy to make, fragrant, sweet and savory, garlicky and super delicious.
Ahhh, the magic of a sauce coating some good noodles, a thick spread on a sandwich, pizza or drizzled over your favorite things. Irresistible!

What is Sun Dried Tomato Pesto? 

Aka “Pesto Rosso” or a red pesto of Sicilian origin different from the Genoese pesto by the main ingredient: sun dried tomatoes versus basil. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to Italian cuisine however, and some cooks (like yours truly) prefer to add basil to a red pesto as well but not as the main ingredient. You’ll also find variations containing olives because Sicily has olive trees all over the place to that naturally makes sense.
Dinner doesn’t get much simpler than whipping up a pesto sauce to toss with some pasta, right?! If you have a small food processor and know how to boil water, you are legit!

What to serve with


Things packed in oil store well for quite some time. Keep the jar refrigerated until needed and remember to bring to room temperature before using it so the oil emulsifies and it’s easy to use.


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Variations

  • Different Nuts – Swap out the pine nuts for almond, walnuts even pistachios.
  • Balsamic – Go over the top by adding some balsamic vinegar reduction into the mix.
  • Make it WFPB – Make sure to start with plain sun dried tomatoes, (organic if possible) that are Not packed in oil. You’ll find them in a little pouch usually or in the bulk section at the market. Rehydrate those with hot water that you’ll save to use in place of the oil. You’ll get lots of flavor that way, however the final color won’t be quite as bright red as the classic version with oil.

P.S. If you make this recipe make sure to come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram, it always makes my day ~ Florentina Xo’s

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5 from 1 vote

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

Vegan Sun dried tomato pesto sauce recipe or “ Pesto Rosso “ - the classic Italian condiment made with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and smooth extra virgin olive oil. Instructions for the WFPB version included.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Soaking:20 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes



  • Drain the tomatoes very well and add them to the bowl of a food processor together with the pine nuts, vegan parmesan, basil leaves, oregano, garlic and olive oil. Process until smooth to your liking. Add a splash of water or more olive oil if you need to stretch out the sauce a little. Season to taste with sea salt and store in a jar in the refrigerator. 

WFPB Version:

  • To make this pesto 100% WFPB diet appropriate you’ll need to start with plain sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil). Add them to a small bowl and cover with one cup of hot water. Soak for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are rehydrated. Strain and reserve the water. 
  • Add the tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor (No Oil). Pour in some of the reserved water and process until smooth to your liking. Season to taste with sea salt and serve. 


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 1145mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 12.6mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 4.1mg
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. I’m not a big fan of sun dried tomatoes but somehow they do the trick for me in this pesto. It’s a very rich luscious sauce that holds its own on the dinner table. I tossed it with seashell pasta and served next to a fresh arugula salad, perfect combo!

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