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The only thing better than regular sun-dried tomato pesto is homemade sun-dried tomato pesto! It's made with 6 ingredients and is ready in 5 minutes, and all you need is a food processor.
Let's all agree from here on out that pesto makes everything better. As much as I love traditional or even kale pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto is my true love language. If I have to choose between basil or sun-dried tomatoes, the tomatoes will always win.
I wish I could remember the first time I tried sun-dried tomatoes, but alas, I cannot. What I do know is that I was immediately hooked because I have plenty of tomato-based recipes on this site. The best part about pesto is that it makes a lot of servings and can be used in a variety of ways (see the end of this post!).
Why you'll love this sun-dried tomato pesto
- It uses the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, aka sun-dried tomato oil, instead of olive oil for extra flavor
- Cashews are used as a base to help thicken it up
- It uses canned diced tomatoes to create a sun-dried tomato pesto sauce with actual tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes - preferably in a jar. This recipe uses both the sun-dried tomatoes, and the oil that's in the jar. If you can't find them in a jar, use olive oil in place of the sun-dried tomato oil.
Cashews - raw, unsalted
Diced tomatoes - I almost always recommend fire-roasted, but in this recipe, plain canned diced tomatoes are best
How to make pesto
Step 1: Place all ingredients EXCEPT the oil into your food processor, then pulse for 20 seconds.
Step 2: With the processor still running, pour the oil through the top and keep pulsing until the pesto is smooth. Note: You may have to turn the processor off and scrape down the sides 1-2 times. If mixture is still stuck, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
Tips and FAQs
- Use raw cashews: For most recipes, you're going to want to opt for raw cashews instead of salted to eliminate unnecessary salt.
- Use fresh basil: Fresh basil is a must for pesto!
- Regular diced tomatoes are best: This is one of the only times I'll recommend using regular canned diced tomatoes over fire roasted ones. Normally, I'm all about the fire roasted, but they're not necessary for this pesto and may make the pesto spicy, which isn't what we're going for
- Cheese is optional: If you consume cheese, I recommend adding it because I think it gives the pesto a little extra flavor. However, if you want to keep this dairy free, simply omit the cheese.
What can I use this pesto for?
Honestly? Anything and everything, including but not limited to: pasta, pizza, toast, in a salad in place of or in addition to salad dressing, in a grain bowl, as a sandwich spread, with roasted veggies, etc. Seriously, the possibilities are endless!
More sun-dried tomato recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 7 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 12 basil leaves
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato oil from jar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese shredded, optional
- 1 tbsp water optional
- Place sun-dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, cashews, basil, salt, and parmesan (if using it) in your food processor and pulse for 20 seconds.
- With the food processor still running, pour the sun-dried tomato oil (which you get rom the jar of sun-dried tomatoes) through the top and continue pulsing until the mixture is smooth. If you don't have sun-dried tomato oil, use olive oil. If mixture is stuck, add 1 tbsp water and/or stop it and scrape down the sides and try again.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in 2016. It was updated with new text in June 2020.