Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto is a wonderfully diverse recipe component that is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. A delicious and easy sauce that you can add to hot pasta, use as a dip or spread on sandwiches.

A jar of sun-dried tomato pesto with a bowl of pasta and fresh tomatoes and basil

Have you ever looked at sun-dried tomatoes in the store and wondered what you could use them for? They’re delicious in salads, but I going to show you how to turn them into an EASY (yes, that easy) sauce that is perfect for many different diet requirements. This is an old recipe (from 2015) with updated pictures and video.

All you need is a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with herbs, fresh basil and garlic. One of my favorite uses of this fresh and hearty pesto is in Grilled Vegetable Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta (< click text for link, pictured below). See below for more uses.

Colorful grilled vegetables in a wood bowl of pasta mixed with sun-dried tomato pesto


I like to ‘toast’ the garlic because raw garlic in pesto is too intense for me. This involves frying the cloves in a little oil which makes the garlic slightly browned, milder and sweeter. If you want to add the raw garlic cloves, just skip this step.

Sun-Dried Tomato Options

Buy the sun-dried tomatoes in oil because the oil has taken on the flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes. I also sometimes use the sun-dried tomatoes in oil with herbs for extra flavor.

More serving options: Delicious served with a selection of grilled or roasted vegetables.

A closeup of grilled vegetables showing the grill marks

If you’ve tried this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

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Yield: 4

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto

Sun-dried tomato pesto in a glass jar

Sun-dried tomato pesto is a great sauce that you can add to hot pasta or use as a dip and it's so easy to make.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 18 ounces (512 grams) sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 ½ cups (a large handful) fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. To a small saucepan, add the oil over medium-low heat. When the oil starts to ripple, add the garlic cloves and gently fry, turning often until they start to brown. Remove and keep the oil.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor, including the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Pulse until well mixed, but still fairly chunky. If you want it more saucy add more olive oil from frying the garlic. 

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 254Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 0mgSodium 293mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 7gSugar 15gProtein 5g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.


Kalamata olives with green olives served with charcuterie