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 (Red Pesto) is kind of an interesting new product. “Pesto” as we usually think of it is the green Pesto Genovese version made from basil, Parmesan cheese, (pine) nuts and olive oil. Pesto Rosso is a tomato based version made from tomatoes, (cashew) nuts, and Parmesan.

I got a jar to check out and made a pasta dish with it and the dish turned out quite tasty actually. TJ’s Pesto Rosso is pretty good, but like most products it will better fixed up with a few things you add like: fresh garlic, maybe some chopped up TJ’s Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, and naturally a generous amount of freshly grated cheese when you plate it (Parmesan, Pecorino, Rosemary Asiago or Canestrato Pepato if you can find it. A must is good Extra Virgin olive oil at the end, as they used (bland) sunflower oil in the ingredients to save costs of course.

USAGE: Cook your pasta two minutes less than al dente, drain and add it to pan with the Pesto Rosso. Finish cooking the pasta adding a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to coat the pasta and give some more sauce. Cook about another two minutes until the pasta is al dente and nicely coated with the sauce. Now I also added a tablespoon of Tomato Paste (optional) to intensify the tomato and umami flavor even more, plus some fresh chopped garlic. Plate and drizzle with EVOO and a nice sprinkle of freshly grated cheese. Fresh or dried basil on top would be nice if you have it.

One can use the Pesto Rosso in other ways besides pasta. You can spread it on fresh (or lightly toasted) Italian 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 then topped with a slice of Asiago cheese. Pizza? Might be good. So get creative. It’s worth checking out, and yet another convenient fast pantry item to have on hand in the cupboard 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 here, and even a recipe to make some :


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)