Antipasti and Light Bites/ Dips and Pestos

The Easiest Red Pesto Recipe (Sun-dried Tomato)

February 12, 2020 (Last Updated: February 16, 2020) by Emily

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This is the easiest Red Pesto recipe made with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and lemon. This sun-dried tomato pesto is whipped up using a blender in less than 5 minutes giving you an umami, rich and intensely flavoured spread that can be used in so many ways, absolutely delicious! 

An overhead shot of red pesto in a serving bowl topped with basil

Sun-dried tomatoes are so rich and intense in flavour I absolutely love them and often add them to meals like our Sun Dried Tomato Pasta With Roasted Red Pepper or Roasted Red Pepper Soup for an extra punch of flavour!

This red pesto is made almost entirely from jarred sun-dried tomatoes so you know the flavour is going to be insane!

It truly is as simple as recipes get, I mean it literally takes 2 minutes and it’s done!

Spread this pesto on some chargrilled crostini and top with dollops of fresh ricotta and torn basil leaves for a quick and delicious appetizer or snack.

Omg, so delicious, it’s one of my favourite ways to serve it!

I also love sharing platters or antipasti boards with lots of different little delicious bites to eat. Serve this pesto alongside some marinated olives, cured meats, cheese and you are set!

Well, don’t forget the cocktails!

Ingredients – What You Need to Make it

  • Sun-dried tomatoes – I use jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil they are usually marinated in herbs and have more than enough seasoning so there is no need to add any salt to this pesto what so ever!
  • Lemon – freshly squeezed lemon juice adds freshness and adds so much flavour!
  • garlic – fresh garlic only

To Serve (optional)

  • Ricotta & Basil – The pesto is so rich and intense in flavour that the ricotta helps to mellow the flavours whilst adding freshness, so delicious!
  • Crostini – chargrilled

How to Make Red Pesto – Step by Step

Spoon the sun dried tomatoes out the jar and add to a bowl with garlic and  lemon juice.

Step by step photos for making red pesto

Blitz it into a smooth paste using a handheld blender adding a tablespoon of reserved oil from the sun-dried tomato jar as needed.

More Serving Suggestions and How to Use it

You can store this pesto in the fridge and add a spoonful to tomato pasta sauces it’s a super easy way to add a punch of flavour.

You can also use it to stuff chicken, add a spoonful with a little mozzarella and serve with your favourite sides, YUM!

If you love the idea of serving this red pesto as part of a sharing or antipasti platter then here is what I’d serve it with;

  • Marinated olives  – this is a quick 5 min recipe and so much cheaper than store-bought gourmet olives
  • Cured meats and cheeses – choose a selection of your favourites personally I love Prosciutto Crudo, Finnochiona (fennel salami) and Pecorino (a semi-hard variety).
  • Artichoke Dip – Parmesan, Lemon and Garlic this is super quick and fresh tasting (not the creamy spinach type)
  • Chargrilled Crostini – ciabatta bread drizzle with olive oil and grilled on a griddle pan then sprinkled with salt

Drinks that Would go Well

If you’re looking for some drinks to go with your nibbles then here are some DELICIOUS cocktails that you don’t want to miss out on;

An overhead shot of red pesto spread on crostini with ricotta

Top Tips for Making Red Pesto

  • Make sure to use sun-dried tomatoes that are jarred in oil and scoop them out before blending. I like to keep the jarred oil just in case the pesto is too thick and needs a little help to become smoother. Just add a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
  • DO NOT season the pesto with salt until you have tasted it, high chances are that is doesn’t need any at all because sun-dried tomatoes are already well seasoned.
  • You can also add in some pine nuts for a nutty flavour just make sure to keep some oil as you’ll need it to blend the pesto.
  • If you’re not using the pesto the same day then store it in a jar and cover it with oil. It’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • You can also freeze this pesto and thaw as needed.

If you’ve tried this Red Pesto Recipe or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
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5 from 6 votes

Red Pesto (sun-dried tomato)

This is the easiest Red Pesto recipe made with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and lemon. This sun-dried tomato pesto is whipped up using a blender in less than 5 minutes giving you an umami, rich and intensely flavoured spread that can be used in so many ways, absolutely delicious! 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 141kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sun dried tomatoes in oil (300g)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp reserved oil from jar

Instructions

  • Spoon the sun dried tomatoes into a bowl, do not add all the oil just as much as comes out when transferring them into a bowl.
  • Add the garlic, and squeeze of lemon to the bowl. Blitz it all together to a thick paste using a handheld blender.

Notes

  • Make sure to use sun-dried tomatoes that are jarred in oil and scoop them out before blending. I like to keep the jarred oil just in case the pesto is too thick and needs a little help to become smoother. Just add a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
  • DO NOT season the pesto with salt until you have tasted it, high chances are that is doesn't need any at all because sun-dried tomatoes are already well seasoned.
  • You can also add in some pine nuts for a nutty flavour just make sure to keep some oil as you'll need it to blend the pesto.
  • If you're not using the pesto the same day then store it in a jar and cover it with oil. It'll keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • You can also freeze this pesto and thaw as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 574mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 472IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Andrea Metlika
    February 16, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I had no idea this was this easy to make. It’s perfect for appetizers or to add to pasta. Can’t wait to make this.5 stars

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Debono
    February 16, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    I love sun-dried tomato pesto. It really is so so flavourful and you are right, great with ricotta!5 stars

  • Reply
    Bry
    February 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve never added lemon to my red pesto, but it makes so much sense! I’ll definitely be tryig your recipe next time I need a red pesto xx5 stars

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    February 16, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Homemade is the best. Love the color and the best option for my table set up. Delicious…5 stars

  • Reply
    Erica Schwarz
    February 16, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    I always buys this stuff and never thought to make it on my own. This looks amazing and so easy!5 stars

  • Reply
    Lorraine
    August 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    This is one of my favourite snack, so delicious!5 stars

  • Reply
    julieryan7
    September 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    This looks amazing!

  • Leave a Reply

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