Tomato Almond Pesto

tomato almond pesto

Years ago I made a tomato almond pesto for a Maltese friend. She was skeptical but after the first bite decided it was better than regular pesto – I know. It’s a big call!

I meant to write about it but somehow the idea got lost.

Then recently I saw a recipe in Gourmet Traveller (my favourite food mag) for ‘Pesto alla Trapanese’ using sun dried tomato and almond. I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and rekindle my tomato pesto love.

While the sun dried tomato was good, it’s not an ingredient I have on hand all the time, which gave me the idea to use tomato paste. A definite pantry staple.

Like green pesto, this works so well with everything. On eggs, veggies, meat, burgers, you name it. Like and adult ketchup.

Definitely one to add to your repertoire – especially in Winter when basil is out of season.

tomato almond pesto
5 from 1 vote

Tomato Almond Pesto

Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, roast almonds, tomato paste
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 200 g roast almonds
  • 100 g tomato paste
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley (50g / 2oz)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (200g / 7oz)


  1. Roughly chop parsley leaves and stems. Place almonds, tomato paste, parsley, garlic and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of your food processor.

  2. Process for 1-2 minutes or until everything is very finely chopped and coming together as a thick paste. Scrape down the sides then puree for another few seconds.
  3. Add oil and stir in manually (or pulse with the food processor) - I find the flavour better when I stir.
  4. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

Recipe Video

NET CARBS: 3g / serve (approx 3 tablespoons)

Variations & Substitutions Tomato Almond Pesto

nightshade-free – replace tomato paste with finely grated parmesan – both are excellent sources of umami (savoury) flavours. Be prepared to add a little more oil if it’s dry and a squeeze of lemon to add the acid that the tomato brings.

nut-free – you’ll need to change the name but replace nuts with equal parts grated parmesan and soft bread crumbs.

Low FODMAP – go with a traditional pesto.

different nuts – walnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, cashews – or a combo of any of these. You can also use unroasted almonds – they flavour will just be milder.

different herbs – basil, coriander (cilantro) or oregano would also work.

different tomato – semi or dun dried tomato will work equally well. Or try cherry tomatoes for a fresher, less intense version.

different vegetables – the thought just occurred that roast eggplant, bell peppers (capsicum) or zucchini would all make lovely pestos like this.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

roast almonds / tomato paste / extra virgin olive oil – keep them in the pantry.

flat leaf parsley – tends to be the most long lasting of the leafy herbs. Should keep for a few weeks in the fridge if wrapped in a plastic bag. For longer periods pop it in the freezer – it will wilt but will still be useable in this dish.

garlic – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

Problem Solving Guide

bland – more salt! a splash of wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon can help.

too dry – add more oil or even pulse in some water.

no food processor – finely chop everything (or use almond meal / almond flour) and stir together with a spoon. The texture will be coarser but not necessarily bad.

too oily – pulse in the food processor to emulsify more.

Prepare Ahead Tomato Almond Pesto

Yes – the texture changes over time to be softer and without the almond crunch but it’s still delicious. Just make as per the recipe. Leftovers will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. I often stir in a little lemon juice to freshen it up before serving.

tomato almond pesto

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Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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  • Hello! I was looking at your recent recipes and discovered that some of the newer ones seem to have a bug. When I click the titles to go to the recipes, all of the ones newer than this one land on an error page that states ‘There has been a critical error on this website. Learn more about debugging in WordPress.’ Same problem with Broccoli Cheese a little farther back on the list. (The articles without recipes seem to be working fine.) Just wanted to let you know! Thanks :)

    • Thanks for letting me know Christine – my tech guy is aware of the problem and will fix it soon.

      Really appreciate you letting me know :)

  • 5 stars
    I tried this recipe and it turned out really good. What else can I add to the recipe? Thanks for the recipe.  

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