Spicy Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta Recipe

Spicy, sweet and slightly tart — this sundried tomato pesto is a breath of fresh air coating your favorite pasta! Your sauce is ready in 5 minutes in the food processor while your pasta boils, and creamy mozzarella rounds out this recipe.

Pesto is a total classic as far as sauces go — but switching up the OG ingredients can really spice things up.

Traditional pesto ingredients include basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. Want to feel adventurous? It’s as easy as swapping out one of the standards for something new, or adding a new flavor to the mix!

In our case we are adding in chewy, tart & sweet sundried tomatoes to our standard line up, and we’re swapping out pine nuts for one of the tastiest nuts on earth: macadamias! Macadamia nuts are creamy, buttery and slightly sweet, making them a perfect compliment to our slightly spicy sauce. Lastly our mozzarella balls also add a yummy creaminess to our pasta that balances any spiciness from our pesto.

Green pesto is delish but you are going to fall in love with this spicy, sweet, nutty red chili pesto!

Here’s what you’ll need for Spicy Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta:

  • Your favorite pasta
  • Fresh basil
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Garlic
  • Red chili
  • Sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
  • Pasta water

I think you’ll love this flavor-packed pasta! Let me know if you make this by tagging me on Instagram @thesavvyspoon 🙂

Looking for other Pasta recipes? Check these out:

Brown Butter Broccoli Pasta

One Pot Bolognese Pasta

Sundried Tomato + Walnut Pesto Pasta

One Pot Taco Pasta

Goat Cheese Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

Skinny Hamburger Helper Pasta

One Pot Greek Orzo Pasta

Peas, Pesto & Brussels Sprouts Pasta

Red Pepper Pasta

Thank you for being an amazing reader of The Savvy Spoon! If you loved this post, I would so appreciate you rating it below and/or leaving a comment! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more recipes, twin mom and healthy lifestyle content!

Spicy Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Spicy, sweet and slightly tart — this sundried tomato pesto is ready in 5 minutes in the food processor while your pasta boils. Creamy mozzarella rounds out this recipe.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 lb. your favorite pasta
  • 8 oz. fresh ciliegine mozzarella balls in water
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • kosher salt & black pepper

spicy sundried tomato pesto

  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes drained from oil
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 red chili deseeded
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon


  • Start by bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 tbsp. kosher salt before adding in your pasta. Cook according to package directions, reserving pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, add all spicy sundried tomato pesto ingredients except for the olive oil into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine until paste forms, stopping to use a spatula to push down ingredients often. Begin to drizzle in olive oil to create sauce. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.
  • In your serving bowl, place sundried tomato pesto. Use a slotted spoon to add hot pasta to serving bowl over sauce. Toss together and add reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce as needed. Top with mozzarella balls and more parmesan, if desired!
Keyword italian,, pasta, pesto, spicy, sundried tomato
Tried this recipe?Share with others how it was!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating