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Spoon of sun-dried tomato pesto with a glass jar beneath.

Easy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

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One of my favorite condiments ever, this sun-dried tomato pesto (or paste) is incredibly easy to make, lasts for a week, and can be ready in 15 minutes! Get the pasta going and enjoy a great meal in less than thirty minutes.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups


  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup packed stemmed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or to taste)


  1. Put the sun dried tomatoes in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let soften 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Chop very coarsely.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, or immersion blender, put the chopped tomatoes, parsley, pine nuts, shallots, garlic, some pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  3. Add ¼ cup olive oil and process until a paste starts to form.
  4. With a spatula, clear the sides of the bowl, and taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary and add the vinegar.
  5. With the machine running, add the rest of the olive oil in a thin stream. Clear the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  6. The pesto is done when it's as chunkier or smooth as you want. You might not need the whole amount of oil.
  7. Check a final time for salt, pepper and vinegar. Adjust if needed.


  • Tomatoes: be sure to hydrate them well and chop them before mixing. Or buy the ready ones that come packed in olive oil and have a jar in the fridge at all times.
  • Nuts: use pine nuts or walnuts. Be very careful if you're toasting them, especially pine nuts, as they can burn in seconds. Always keep them in the fridge or the freezer (my choice). They can turn bitter and give you what is called pine nut mouth, a situation you don't want to get into. This is avoidable if you buy fresh nuts from reliable sources and keep them frozen. This goes for all nuts, not only pine nuts.
  • Keeping: it keeps well for a week at least. A glass jar with a tight lid works best. I use old marmalade or mason jars. And make sure it has a thin layer of olive oil in the top (image above). This will prevent it from oxidizing and darkening. If that happens, simply remove that top layer with a spoon; you will see that beneath the pesto is bright red (similar to what happens with guacamole).
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 188
  • Sugar: 2.8 g
  • Sodium: 16.1 mg
  • Fat: 18.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.2 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg