5 Minute Pesto Rosso Recipe

Pesto rosso, or sun-dried tomato pesto, is a delicious and versatile Italian sauce for pasta, pizza, grilled meats, and more. It’s easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and a great way to add flavor to your meals.

Pesto rosso in a wooden bowl.

Favorite Comment

So fresh and delicious every time!!
That was the last of my basil from the garden….


What you’ll love about Pesto Rosso:

  • Fast and easy recipe: Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend. That’s it!
  • Quick weeknight dinner: Cook pasta, pesto, and vegetables in under 20 minutes. My favorite pasta pesto recipe is Mediterranean Pesto Orzo!
  • Versatile and adaptable condiment: Enjoy with pasta, bruschetta, vegetables, or as a sandwich spread.
Pasta tossed in pesto rosso on a plate.

What Type of Sun-Dried Tomatoes to Use?

Sun-dried tomatoes are sold in different forms. All forms are useable; you must determine which type is best for you.

  • Dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes have been dried in the sun or a dehydrator until completely dry. They have a long shelf life but require additional cooking time to rehydrate.
  • Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are fully dried and then packed in oil, giving them a softer texture and a richer, more intense flavor. They are also ready to use, so there is no need to rehydrate them.
  • Seasoned sun-dried tomatoes are flavored with herbs, garlic, or other seasonings before being dried. They can have a strong flavor, so I recommend using them sparingly.

If you are in a pinch, you can always air-fry tomatoes. I recommend cooking them for longer than the time listed in this recipe to remove moisture.

Pesto Rosso Ingredients

  • Sun-dried Tomatoes – The star of the show and main ingredient
  • Basil – Balances out the richness of the tomato
  • Garlic – Adds a must-have zip to the flavor.
  • Nuts – Provides warmth and thickness
  • Parmesan Cheese/Vegan Parmesan – Adds a rich flavor.
  • Olive Oil – Blends and binds the ingredients.


This recipe is so quick and straightforward that you must place the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency. If the pesto is too dry, add additional olive oil.

It is that easy!

Recipe ingredients in a food processor.
Recipe ingredients in a food processor that have been blended.

Tip: Freeze Extra Pesto

Freeze any extra pesto in ice cube trays for one hour, then transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe bag. When the time is ready, you will have individual servings that can be microwaved in 20 seconds!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pesto Rosso Vegan? 

The traditional recipe is not vegan. The sauce uses garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and oil. However, you can easily remove dairy and use non-dairy cheese or nutritional yeast to make it vegan.

How do I store sun-dried tomato pesto?

Refrigerator storage instructions – Yes, place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. When chilled, the oils in the sauce will solidify. Bring it to room temperature before serving; it will be delicious and spreadable again.

Freezer storage instructions: Place in a small container or use an ice cube tray to freeze individual portions. Once frozen, place the cubes in a Ziploc bag or other airtight container. Before using it, let it defrost in the fridge for a day.

Hand holding a bowl of orzo.

Did you make this? Leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out. You can also take a picture and tag me on Facebook.

Pesto rosso in a wooden bowl.

Pesto Rosso (SunDried Tomato Pesto)

Pesto rosso is a delicious Italian condiment with sun-dried tomatoes as the main ingredient. It is vibrantly colored and has a deep flavor of garlic, herbs, and olive oil. 
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: All Day
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes



  • 8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, preferably packed in oil
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup grated parmesan chees or vegan cheese alternative
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Place the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic into a food processor. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing until you reach the desired consistency. (Genrerlly pulse 3 – 5 times.)


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 6mg
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  1. 5 stars
    I love this so much especially in the winter time! So great on toasted baguette.
    Trader Joe’s has a pretty great parmesan cheese alternative that is vegan, I just add at the very end so it doesn’t completely dissolve and fall apart in the food processor.

    1. Thank you! I am so happy you liked it! I use the Follow your Heart Brand I get at Kroger, Next time I am at Trader’s I will pick up their parmesan and give it a try.

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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