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Gluten Free Sauces & Condiments

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This super simple vegan sun-dried tomato pesto recipe uses walnuts, fresh basil, shallots, loads of garlic, a touch of balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast and more. It’s very flavorful, makes ~¾ cup, and stores in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Is sun-dried tomato pesto vegan? Pesto usually has a hard cheese in it, like parmesan or pecorino. When in doubt, read the label, ask questions or better yet, make your own!

Two things…

  • ・Don’t bother taking the leaves off the fresh basil or parsley. Use the stems and all. They will break down in the blender.
  • ・A little balsamic vinegar goes a long way. Start with ½ tsp. Taste it. If it needs more, add a very small amount at a time.

So, how can you use sun-dried tomato pesto?

  • ・Stirred into pasta, gnocchi, or risotto.
  • ・Add a bit to some almond ricotta and make a tasty filling for vegan tortellini.
  • ・Spread a thin layer over pizza crust or flatbread, and then, add your favorite toppings.
  • ・Spread a thin layer over a baguette, sprinkle some vegan cheese over it, and then, broil it in the oven.

If you enjoy this vegan sun-dried tomato walnut pesto, you may also enjoy this recipe for classic vegan pesto!

Easy, delicious vegan sun-dried tomato pesto with pasta

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

⅓ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil

2 Tbsp of the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes

4 large peeled garlic cloves

1 shallot, finely chopped (OR ~1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot)

¼ cup raw walnut halves and pieces

⅓ cup fresh basil

¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ cup olive oil

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

½ tsp balsamic vinegar

½-1 tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste

  1. 1. In a small skillet, add 2 Tbsp of oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes and the whole garlic cloves.
  2. 2. Over high heat, bring the oil to a sizzle. Move the garlic around for about 30 seconds. Then, remove the skillet from heat and stir in the shallot. Set aside, and allow to cool.

3. In a high speed blender, add the sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, basil, parsley, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Then, add the contents of the small skillet (the garlic, shallots and 2 Tbsp of oil).

4. Pulse until everything has begun to break down. Then, add the olive oil and continue pulsing. I like it with some recognizable bits.

5. Taste the vegan sun-dried tomato walnut pesto, and make any adjustments to the flavor (more balsamic? more salt? more nutritional yeast?). If you prefer it thinner, add more olive oil.

6. It’s ready to use in your favorite recipes (see suggestions in the notes above).

To make vegan sun-dried tomato pesto pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 lb of dry semolina penne pasta and boil for ~9 minutes or until soft enough to enjoy eating. Set aside ⅓ cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta water back into the pot with an entire batch of the sun-dried tomato pesto. Stir together. Then, add the cooked pasta. Coat the pasta in the sauce. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve.

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