Pesto Torte Is an Elegant Appetizer

Preserving jar of homemade basil pesto
Westend61 / Getty Images
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 Torte (10 to 12 Servings)

This fabulous pesto torte appetizer can be made without the sun-dried tomatoes. The combination of cream cheese and pesto is mouth-watering. Believe it or not, We reduced the amount of butter used in the original recipe! It is still incredibly creamy and so wonderful. This is one of the best appetizer recipes we have ever made.

You can leave the sun-dried tomatoes out of this recipe if you aren't a fan. Or you could substitute sauteed mushrooms or even caramelized onions for the tomatoes if you'd like.

Serve this spread with small knives for spreading, and offer crackers, red bell pepper strips, baby carrots, and toasted French bread slices.


  • 2 (8-ounce) pkgs. cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup, or 1-1/2 sticks butter, (softened, do NOT use margarine)
  • 1 small jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, (drained and chopped, if desired)
  • 10 oz. container refrigerated pesto
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (3 oz.) jar pine nuts, (toasted)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until well blended using a hand or stand mixer.

  2. Then mix the pesto and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Line two 8 ounce custard cups with plastic wrap.

  3. Divide the cream cheese mixture into four parts. Spoon 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture into each custard cup. Sprinkle each with 1/4 of the chopped tomatoes or other ingredients you choose. Spread 1/4 of the pesto mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the pine nuts. Repeat the layers until all the mixtures are used.

  4. Fold the plastic wrap over each torte, sealing well. Chill the tortes overnight until firm. Unmold the tortes, remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle with more pine nuts, if desired.

  5. Serve with small knives for spreading and crusty French bread slices or sturdy crackers.