Landscape photo of Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Nut-Free)

This Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto is a great addition to any Mediterranean cooking. It boasts fresh, vibrant flavours of sun-dried tomatoes and lots of basil and comes together in 5 minutes with 8 ingredients.

I do love a good homemade pesto, and even though there are so many good shop-nought ones (my favourite being Sacla’ as you may recall from my Vegan Pesto Eggs), there’s nothing quite like making it yourself. It needn’t take a lot of time or require loads of ingredients, either. Once you’ve made a jar, the possibilities are endless.

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with crackers
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

How delicious is this pesto?

This pesto is a really good one to make, it’s:

  • Made with natural, wholesome ingredients
  • Contains no additives
  • Requires 8 simple ingredients
  • Rich and flavoursome like sun-dried tomatoes
  • Fresh and vibrant like fresh basil
  • Vegan, gluten-free and nut-free
  • Easy to make in 5 minutes in a blender
  • Great for pasta, dips, breads, sauces and more

If you know you are going to love this pesto, then skip ahead to the recipe card. Or, let’s first discuss the recipe in more detail.

A glass jar of Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

What ingredients do I need?

We only need 8 ingredients to make this Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, plus some water, salt and pepper.

  • Sunflower seeds: I love using these seeds, they have a slight nutty taste as you’d expect with pesto but keeps this recipe nut-free. We roast the seeds for 10 minutes to bring out their flavour and then let them cool down before continuing with the recipe. While this step is optional, I really recommend it as it takes the flavours to the next level. If you wanted to use nuts, pine nuts or cashews would be a good replacement here, or you could use pumpkin seeds for a heartier flavour.
  • Garlic: fresh garlic goes a long way and adds a lot of flavour.
  • Nutritional yeast: most pesto recipes contain parmesan making them not vegan and not strictly vegetarian either. So, nutritional yeast is used here to add the lovely “cheesy” flavour that we all love. If you do have vegan parmesan, you could try this instead.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: use the jar or tin of sun-dried tomatoes that come in plenty of oil, then reserve some of the oil for adding into this pesto and you can use the rest as you would regular olive oil to infuse your dish with extra flavour.
  • Tomato puree: this adds a little more tomato taste which works so well.
  • Fresh basil: remove the woody, thick stems but the smaller ones are OK to add into this pesto. The smell as you tear the leaves is amazing, there’s nothing like it.
  • Lemon juice: for a little tang. You could use lime juice if that’s all you have.
  • Oil: as mentioned above, to add more flavour to this dish, I use the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes to create the texture and richness of this pesto. If not, you can use extra virgin olive oil – the richer the olive oil, the better the pesto will taste.
  • Water: to help thin out the pesto. I find adding all oil makes this too heavy and rich, whereas the water balances this out. Add more or less as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  • Salt and pepper: for seasoning.
Someone's hand dipping a cracker into Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

How do I make this Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto?

The method is really simple:

  • Roast the sunflower seeds for 10 minutes: until smelling “nutty” and fragrant. Allow to cool fully before proceeding.
  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor: and process to mix it all together.
  • Start with 1 or 2 tbsp water: and drizzle more in gradually to reach your desired constancy.
  • The pesto is now ready to enjoy: however you like.

How long will this last?

Once made, you can keep this Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto in a sealed jar or container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

How chunky should the pesto be?

The pesto can be as chunky or smooth as you like. I tend to keep mine on the chunkier side but you can keep blending and adding a little more water to reach a thinner pesto.

Close up of a bowl of Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Is this pesto vegan, gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, this recipe is free from dairy, egg, animal products, soya, gluten and nuts.

How can I enjoy this Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto?

There are so many ways to use this pesto, how about:

The top of a jar of Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

I love this pesto, what other easy recipes can I make?

I hope you will love this Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and for more ideas, how about my:

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Nut-Free)

  • Servings: 1 small jar
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto is a great addition to any Mediterranean cooking. It boasts fresh, vibrant flavours of sun-dried tomatoes and lots of basil and comes together in 5 minutes with 8 ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 80g sunflower seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 80g sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 20g fresh basil (small stems are OK)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil from the jar (or olive oil)
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and add the sunflower seeds to a tray. Roast for 10 minutes, till smelling fragrant then allow to cool fully.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor, starting with 1-2 tbsp of water. Blend to a smooth mix, with some small chunks, adding more water as needed.
  3. Transfer to a bowl or jar and keep sealed for 3-5 days in the fridge.
Landscape photo of Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this pesto, I’d love to see so please tag me in your creations, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With sun-dried tomato pesto love x

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