Trader Joe’s PESTO ROSSO (Red Tomato Pesto)

PESTO ROSSO – “Red, tomato-based pesto sauce, rich umami flavor, including Parmesan and cashew nuts”.

Trader Joe’s PESTO ROSSO, is interesting. Rosso is Italian for “red”. Here one usually thinks of pesto as the green Pesto Genovese made from basil leaves, (pine) nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Pesto Rosso is a red version made from tomatoes, (cashew) nuts, and Parmesan, which is a Sicilian or Southern Italian kind of pesto (paste). I got a jar to check out and made a pasta dish with this. The dish turned out quite tasty. TJ’s Pesto Rosso is pretty good, however just like the other jarred TJ green pesto it will better if you fix it up a little. Some fresh garlic, maybe some chopped up TJ’s Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, and naturally a generous amount of freshly grated cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino, Rosemary Asiago or Canestrato Pepato. Extra Virgin olive oil at the end is a must, as they made this with bland cheap sunflower oil to keep costs down.

USAGE: Cook your pasta two minutes less than al dente, drain it (saving 1/2 cup pasta water – a super secret ingredient*). Add the pasta to a pan with the Pesto Rosso and finish cooking the pasta adding a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water as needed. Cook about another two minutes until the pasta becomes al dente and nicely coated with sauce. I added some fresh garlic. I also added a tablespoon of Tomato Paste (optional) to intensify the tomato and umami flavors even more. When ready, plate it up and drizzle with good EVOO and a nice sprinkle of freshly grated cheese on top. Fresh or dried basil on top would be nice if you have it.

Now one can use the Pesto Rosso in other ways besides pasta. You can spread it on fresh or lightly toasted bread or a baguette for a kind of bruschetta, again with maybe a few additions (a little olive oil, fresh black pepper and some Black Garlic…. or a little on some crackers topped with a slice of Rosemary Asiago cheese. Pizza or French Bread Pizza? Definitely. So get creative.

TJ’s Pesto Rosso is worth checking out, and I love they they have another convenient fast pantry item for those times when “there’s nothing to eat in the house”. The 6.7 oz jar is $2.49. You can get some more ideas about Pesto Rosso from the link below plus even a recipe to make some yourself! BTW The jar indicates it makes about 7 portions so use that as a guide. Don’t use a whole jar to make 2 (or even 4 portions). I’d say 2 heaping tablespoons per portion/person. A few tablespoons of some *reserved pasta water when you finish your pasta in the pan will get this to coat and absorb into the pasta.


Our Pesto Genovese has long been a customer favorite. While this style of pesto comes from Genoa our Trader Joe’s Pesto Rosso brings the tradition of red, Sicilian pesto to our grocery shelves.

Our Italian supplier uses tomatoes as the foundation, with sunflower oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and some basil—though not as much basil as one would find in green pesto. Pine nuts, typical of Genoese pesto, are exchanged for cashews in our Pesto Rosso. Carrot purée pumps up the red-orange color, while also adding some subtle sweetness.

Pesto Rosso has a saucy, spreadable texture that is great for topping a toasted baguette, or a homemade pizza, or even a French bread easy pizza. Use some spoonfuls to enhance the flavor of your minestrone, or vegetable soup. Of course tossing some in with your favorite hot pasta is a must.

INGREDIENTS include: Tomatoes, sunflower oil, tomato powder, Parmesan cheese, carrot, cashews, salt, basil, balsamic vinegar, garlic)


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kelly Stump
    Jan 03, 2022 @ 21:55:36

    Be careful fellow vegans/vegetarians. Even though the label here shows NOTHING that would raise a red flag, there is actually an animal bi-product (rennet) in this. 🙁 What a waste of beautiful mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, pasta, and MY TIME. SHAME ON YOU TJ’s.



  2. Trackback: TJ’s dried TORTELLINI pasta | Trader Joe’s Rants & Raves (mostly raves, a few rants)
  3. Trackback: TJ’s ORGANIC FUSILLI BUCATI PASTA | Trader Joe’s Rants & Raves (mostly raves, a few rants)
  4. gloria
    Mar 03, 2022 @ 20:35:52

    Chunks of glass in this pesto Rosso product reported to Gilbert at Mtn view trader Joe’s, in February 2022
    And he’s not gotten back to Sheela after
    saying he would



  5. Trackback: Trader Joe’s GARLIC SPREAD | Trader Joe’s Rants & Raves (mostly raves, a few rants)

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