Your whole food, plant-based life.

Sun Dried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto

When we eat a raw food diet, it is important to pay attention to the nutrients we are getting. Honestly, when we eat any type of food we should be paying attention to the nutrients we get. The funny thing is that when I was eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) I never had anyone question the nutritional value of my food. It was horrible! Seriously, I could eat cake and cookies all day.



Now that I am eating a high raw diet, I pay more attention to what I am putting into my body. As you know, green drinks are a staple for me as are many other wonderful vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds. I also incorporate grains with my flat breads, in their whole, natural state, sprouted to be at their nutritional best. I also incorporate foods that I know pack a nutritional punch. Pumpkin seeds are one of these foods.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of Magnesium, which is the fourth most plentiful mineral in your body. Your bones are where you will find 50% of it. The rest of it can be found in your organs and tissues, with 1% in your blood. Magnesium is involved in over 300 of your bodily functions! Not only does magnesium help keep your bones strong, it supports your immune system. It regulates your blood sugar, helps make sure that your blood pressure is normal, supports your nervous system and your metabolism. On top of all of that, Magnesium helps protect against diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

With pumpkin seeds you get all that Magnesium and they are a great source of B vitamins and protein (19 grams in a handful). It makes sense to include them in your diet. This Sun dried tomato pumpkin seed pesto is a tasty, easy way to make sure you are eating these little beauties. It is also another recipe that can be used more than one way. Today I will show you how to turn it into a great appetizer. Tomorrow, a main dish with zucchini noodles!

Sun Dried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto Appetizer

Sun Dried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  1. With food processor running, drop in cloves of garlic. Let process until garlic is chopped. Scrap down sides of the processor.
  2. Add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Process until very well combined and you have a pesto consistency.
  3. Add chopped basil. Process until well combined.
  4. Add Sun Dried Tomatoes and process until combined.

Pine Nut Parmesan

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • pinch salt
  1. Process pine nuts in food processor until a coarse meal is achieved. Be careful to not over process or you will have pine nut butter!

Honey Balsamic

  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (or agave)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Whisk together honey (or agave) and balsamic vinegar.

Appetizer Assembly

  1. Place 1 slice of tomato on plate. Top with pesto.
  2. Sprinkle Pine Nut Parmesan on top.
  3. Sprinkle with Honey Balsamic Vinegar.
  4. Place basil leaf and sun dried tomato for garnish.
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  1. Sonja wrote on June 4, 2012

    Susan you are truly a genius — this is yet another of your recipes I have made that came out absolutely AMAZING!! I have your cookbooks as well, and it’s always fun to try and make my food at least look like yours (mine is never quite as pretty but close!) I have never made one change in any recipe for these incredible foods, there’s no need to — if people just follow exactly as you outlined they will NOT be sorry!

    Quick question — I was searching for how to turn this into a main dish on zucchini noodles and cannot find it… just wondering how to thin it out to a paste, I really want to give that a try! Thanks so much for all you do for all of us!

  2. Ursula wrote on May 28, 2012


  3. Ann wrote on March 23, 2012

    I made these for an appetizer potluck at work and everone loved them and asked for the recipe! My kids loved this too. I used Roma tomatoes for the “perfect” appetizer size and firm texture to hold the pesto! A total hit!!!!!!

  4. Victoria wrote on March 12, 2012

    Wow-I just made this appetizer today and it was delish! I was unsure how the sweet and sour mix of the Raw Honey and Balsamic Vinegar would taste-but to my surprise I liked the punch it gives to the dish. I love all of the flavors. :)

  5. Sara wrote on August 18, 2011

    this was our very first recipe to try and WOW WOW WOW!!! :) this pesto is UNBELIEVABLE!!! :) i used what i had on hand, which was sprouted pumpkin seeds and fresh basil, and also added a few dashes of dried oregano and black pepper to the called for ingredients… OMYGOODNESS, we just can’t get over how tasty and wonderful this is, and so many uses for it! thank you so much for sharing this and all your other rawmazing adventures! we can’t wait to try the next one :) xoxo

  6. Ginny wrote on February 25, 2011

    What a yummy looking recipe! I’m always looking for soft cheese-like spreads to put on my raw crackers. Then I top them with sprouts and a drizzle of EVOO. That’s my favorite breakfast! My body is well-fed and happily-contented for several hours. Makes the best accompaniment to a cup of green tea. Thanks for the great recipes.

  7. Laura-Jane wrote on December 17, 2010

    Woowooww I cannot wait to make this!! I don’t have any basil right now, so I shall have to bookmark/print and make it in future. Absolutely love your site, Susan!!

  8. Yanna wrote on September 16, 2010

    I just made it for lunch today. I loved it! Very easy and quick to make. Since you need to process only 1/2c of pine nuts for pine nut parmessan, i did it in a coffee bean grounder. Honey Balsamic was a bit too overpowering to me so Im gonna use less or none of it next time.

    • Susan wrote on September 16, 2010

      I actually love the honey balsamic but yes, a little goes a long way.

  9. Susan wrote on August 10, 2010

    It will last a few days. You can freeze it. But it will change a bit. You could try parsley for the basil. It will taste very different.

  10. Rossana wrote on August 10, 2010

    Hello!I was wondering how long does this last in the fridge?I want to make a bigger batch.And another question: can I substitute basil with anything?Thank you.Love your recipes.


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