Gluten-Free Tomato-Mint Pesto

Tomato Pesto
Roderick Chen
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: About 2 cups (16 servings)

Believe it or not, there IS a pesto NOT made from greens and garlic. Crazy, I know. 

Traditional basil pesto is a popular Italian sauce typically made with basil, hard salty cheeses, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts. This green basil-based pesto many of us know and love, Pesto alla Genovese, originates from the Liguria region of coastal northwestern Italy. Pesto alla Siciliana, the inspiration of this gluten-free summer pesto, hails from southern Italy and consists of tomatoes and mint instead of basil.  

Seeded Roma tomatoes (no one wants a watery, soupy pesto!), fresh mint, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and Pecorino Romano cheese form the base of this thick summery sauce. All you do is pile the ingredients into a bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until combined and smooth. So quick, so easy, so simple, but so full of robust flavors. 

You can customize this fresh, tomato-mint pesto to your liking. Instead of walnuts, you can use pine nuts, almond, or even go nut-free. Instead of Pecorino Romano, you can use Parmesan or even go dairy-free. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your desired heat preference. 

This tomato-mint pesto is incredibly versatile. Pour over a drained pot of gluten-free linguine and toss with cooked shrimp for a healthy, delicious pasta dish. Add spoonfuls of this pesto over top salads. Serve as a hearty dip for sliced veggies or pieces of gluten-free bread. Instead of mayo or hummus, slather this pesto over a gluten-free sandwich for an ultimate summertime lunch. The options are really endless, but the bowl is not. Double batch…at least!

What You'll Need

  • 5 large Roma tomatoes (seeded)
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves (packed)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (crushed)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra-virgin)
  • 3 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until ingredients come together and a sauce-like consistency forms. (Alternatively, you can use a blender).
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. Use immediately over fresh gluten-free pasta, grilled veggies, or atop grilled fish - or chill in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. 

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten.Always read product labels - not all brands are created equal.

Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 71
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 1 mg
Sodium 30 mg
Carbohydrates 6 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)