Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto


This recipe mayyyyy have been the reason I start blogging over a year and half ago (what?!? that sounds so much longer than it feels). Ok, let me explain.

You see, before I became a food blogger, I was an avid food blog reader. I seriously looked forward to my weekly emails from Oh She Glows and How Sweet It Is and Ambitious Kitchen, drooling over their newest creations and excitedly reading their ramblings from the kitchen (and life). So, eventually, spending my free time reading about creative new dishes, tasty recipes, and gawking over beautiful plates of food, got me a little more interested in recipe creation myself.

It started simple. Trying some of their newest recipes, then tweaking them a bit to fit the ingredients in my kitchen and the tools I preferred to use. It got the point where I would start with one their recipes as inspiration and it would turn out completely different, thanks to all my handy alterations.

That, my friends, is how this roasted tomato basil pesto was born.


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //


The first time I made it, I was blown away that something so simple could taste SO good! Rich and creamy, packed with bursts of roasted tomato and pops of basil— I’m hungry just thinking about it. I didn’t even think about buying jarred sauce anymore because this was 10000x better! It became a weekly staple just like that.

And because I loved this recipe so so much, I knew I had to share it was some fellow foodies out there who would gawk over it as much as I did. But how do I reach those fellow foodies?  How do I share this tomato-y goodness?

Well, duhhh, I create a blog like all the ones I enjoy so much everyday.


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //


To be honest, blogging was something that had been on my mind for almost a year before I even looked into starting one, and frankly, I was pretty scared to do it. I guess I thought I was going to be judged by my family or friends, like they might think it was kinda weird or pointless— you know, typical fears about what other people will think. But something just took over me that day in October, not sure what or how, and I decided it was worth the risk!

And thank goodness I did because this blog has become one of my favorite things in the whole wide world! After I took the plunge and pressed publish on this recipe back in fall 2014, I threw my heart and soul into the kitchen. I learned new cooking techniques, I experimented with new and foreign (to me) ingredients, and I attempted different dishes I’d been afraid to try before. I learned how to use a DSLR camera and dove into the wild world of food photography— and learned how much I LOVE taking photos! I’ve connected with so many readers and bloggers who have incredibly similar interests, eating styles, and personalities as me— which is something I honestly never thought I’d find on the internet!

And it’s all thanks to this recipe.


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //


So I actually published this recipe on the blog back in my first month of blogging, but I’m sure you can assume what those pictures looked like (cough cough pretty terrible). I’ve also tweaked the recipe a bit since then to make it EVEN better, so I  decided it was time to give this pesto post a make over.

This time, I also used Ancient Harvest’s Protein Power Lentil & Quinoa Pasta in place of our typical brown rice pasta we use. I absolutely LOVE this pasta, not just because of it’s tender nutty taste, but mostly because of the wholesome ingredients that it’s made with. Nate and I have been trying to up our protein intake a little bit lately, so this pasta total fit the bill for what we were looking for. I definitely recommend!

Topped with this luscious, flavorful sauce… mmmm I could eat it every week (which we kinda already do haha) and never get sick of it. So if you’re looking for a simple, flavorful, comforting pasta for this Monday evening, get on roasting! I promise, you’ll be licking your food processor by the end of the night 😉 Have a wonderful day everyone!


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //


A big thank you to Ancient Harvest for supplying me with their gluten free bean & lentil pasta for this recipe!


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

Serves 3-4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish


  • 8 pearl tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds*
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz pasta of choice**


*I used Trader's Joe's Dry Toasted Sliced Almonds

**I used Ancient Harvest's Lentil Quinoa Penne Pasta


Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice 8 pearl tomatoes in half the long way and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes for 25-30 minutes, until they are bubbly and juicy!
Step 2
Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to directions.
Step 3
In a food processor, grind 1/4 cup of sliced almonds until broken down small pieces. Try to leave them a little bit chunky and not completely ground. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Now, process basil and garlic until leaves are broken down into small pieces.
Step 4
Add the ground almonds and tomatoes back into the food processor. Puree until the ingredients are blended, but still have a chunky texture. Top pasta with roasted tomato basil pesto and stir until coated, then garnish with a little more fresh basil.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto {vegan, gluten free} //


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. These pictures are stunning, Liz! Mark isn’t a big “red sauce” person, but I bet he’d LOVE this homemade version! We’re totally trying this!

    • Definitely try it! Nate goes crazy for it! (and smothers it with sriracha, of course haha)

  2. I was just thinking about how much your pictures have grown since you started the blog, especially since you switched from using your iPhone to a fancy camera and started using this fun & fancy white wood background! I cannot believe it’s been a year and a half already- I’ve been reading your blog for a year and a half and blogging myself for that long too! CRAZY!!
    This pesto and pasta looks wonderful. It’s so simple that I have to try it!

    • It’s CRAZY how the time flies!! And crazy how much this little blog has changed over the past year and a half! It’s amazing all these internet relationship I’ve made through readers like you— that’s something I never knew I’d do through this blog! Thanks so much for your kind words, Ellie <3

  3. Aww I love how this is the recipe that started everything! I am SO glad you started a food blog & that we’ve become friends over this crazy internet world 🙂 Can’t wait to try this pesto, it sounds DIVINE!!!

    • Ohhh me too Lucia!! Totally would have never anticipated any of this (or that my blog even lasted this long!). SO glad you like it 🙂

  4. I love these photos, they are so gorgeous Liz! I haven’t been blogging for quite that long, but I totally get how the time flies and getting over that first hurdle of embarrassment/ being unsure feels so good! Definitely going to try out this recipe (maybe tonight) it looks amazing <3

    • Thanks SO much Maya! Your photos are so gorgeous— I can’t believe you haven’t been blogging for very long! You’ll have to let me know what you think if you give it a try 😉

    • They bring SO much flavor! Definitely give it a try!

  5. It’s such a beautiful looking plate of goodness! And it’s so nice reading about the beginnings of bloggers, it’s so fun to look back isn’t it?! Your blog is quickly turning into one of my regulars 🙂

    • Your comment made my day Erica!! I totally agree— I love reading about how fellow bloggers started out. So glad you like it 🙂

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  7. I’ve always wanted to try making homemade pesto…and I think I’ll start with this recipe 😉 Looks AMAZING!

    • It’s a GREAT recipe to start with! That perfect mix between pesto and tomato sauce. Hope you love it!!

    • Do it!! You’re going to LOVE it! Thanks so much Emma 🙂

    • Roasted tomatoes are the BEST! Hope you like it 🙂

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