Smashed Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Potatoes with Caesar Drizzle

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 2 votes

Smashed sun dried tomato pesto potatoes are super flavourful and made even better with a vegan, nut-free, and creamy caesar drizzle on top.

Up close, overhead shot of smashed sun dried tomato pesto potatoes with a creamy vegan Caesar drizzle over the top. The potatoes are also garnished with fresh basil leaves.
An overhead shot of ingredients for smashed potatoes with sunflower seed-based Caesar drizzle. All ingredients are on a light blue-grey background.
An overhead shot of vegan pesto ingredients in a food processor.

Just a quick one for ya today! I thought we’d jump in a time machine and go back to the nineties with this sun dried tomato pesto delight :). There’s a reason this pesto was so popular though–it’s actually good! You get that tangy-savoury-sweet-salty flavour that’s great for pizza, pasta, and–you bet–potatoes!

We do a typical smashed potato setup for those little slightly crispy edges. The potatoes are boiled until tender, flattened on a baking sheet, and thoroughly lacquered in our sun-dried tomato pesto. Then we take the flavour into the stratosphere and drizzle all of those golden nuggets in a sunflower seed-based, totally vegan caesar dressing. It’s a total win!

More Potato Love:

As you can tell, I do not shy away from the carb comfort of potatoes. One of my all-time favourite foods! I hope that everyone is having a great week and an even better start to summer. Go eat some potatoes! :D

A hand is spooning pesto on top of cooked and smashed down mini potatoes.
Overhead shot of smashed sun dried tomato pesto potatoes with a creamy vegan Caesar drizzle over the top. The potatoes are also garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Smashed Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Potatoes with Caesar Drizzle

Smashed sun dried tomato pesto potatoes are super flavourful and made even better with a vegan, nut-free, and super creamy caesar drizzle on top,
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

  • 1 8.5-ounce/251mL jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed (plus extra for serving)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Sunflower Seed Caesar Drizzle (makes extra)

  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup water, plus extra


  • 1 ½ lbs mini potatoes (I like Yukon gold)


  • I think there’s enough oil in the pesto itself to sufficiently coat the potatoes before roasting, but if you’re feeling kinda iffy about it, you can quickly spray your smashed potatoes on the baking sheet with avocado oil spray before applying the pesto.


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  • Make the sun-dried tomato pesto. In a food processor or upright blender, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and all of the oil from the jar, nutritional yeast, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Run the motor until you have a fine paste. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and set aside.
  • Make the sunflower caesar drizzle. In an upright blender, combine the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, tamari, garlic, salt, pepper, and the water. Run the blender’s motor on high until you have a smooth and fluid dressing, adding more water by the tablespoon, if necessary. Check the caesar drizzle for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.
  • Make the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the potatoes to a boil and then simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and arrange them on the baking sheet.
  • Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, gently apply pressure onto each of the potatoes to flatten them slightly. Then, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the sun-dried tomato pesto on top of each potato and spread it around to cover each potato’s surface. Gently flip the potatoes over and spread the remaining pesto on the other side. Slide the baking sheet into the oven.
  • Bake the potatoes until the edges have browned, about 20 minutes, gently flipping the potatoes over at the halfway point. Serve potatoes warm with the caesar drizzle and chopped basil.
03/07/2019 (Last Updated 07/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, nut free, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, sauce, side dish, spring, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Erin

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING!!!!!!

  • Meg

    I loved this pesto so much! The potatoes didn’t smash so nicely, however. They more crumbled into chunks…I’m wondering if you have an idea of why that might be. Should I have boiled them longer?

    • Laura

      Hi Meg,
      They may have needed to boil a bit longer. Sometimes waxy, new potatoes tend to “smash” really unevenly. It’s honestly really hard to overcook a potato, so an extra 5 minutes of boiling time might do it next time.

  • Jas V

    this were sooooo good! i drizzled the onion dip as the dressing for them instead with a salad. boom!

  • Hannah

    Yes, oh my gosh! These were delicious! Definitely my go to for any party or anytime I want a fancier roasted potato. IN LOVE!

  • Lindsey

    I made the pesto and Caesar dressing and then got too impatient to wait for the potatoes. So I threw some sweet potato fries in for a quick bake and put the pesto and dressing on top. So. Good. I actually had to pull back to not eat the tomato pesto straight out of the bowl.

  • Erika Hill

    Made these tonight and they were fantastic. The combination of flavors and textures was addicting. I may have to put that caesar drizzle on everything I eat. Including, possibly, desserts.

  • Syndi

    This sounds delicious! I’m assuming you don’t peel the potatoes-right?

    • Laura

      Nope! No need to. They help form a bit of crispness on the exterior :)

  • Marissa

    Do you think I could boil and smash the potatoes ahead of time, refrigerate, then bake them the day of? Would you add any oven time?

    • Laura

      I think you could. If you just put the potatoes on the counter for about an hour before you bake them, you won’t need to add oven time.

  • Olivia

    These look absolutely delicious, and I can’t wait to try them!! What could I add to make a complete meal?

  • Ali

    These look great! BTW, if you have a dehydrator, tomatoes are easy to dry and totally worth it. Umami bomb central!

    • Sydney

      I have a bag of julienned sundried tomatoes, not the jarred oil-packed kind. Can I swap these out? If so, about how much oil would you add?

      • Laura

        I think you could swap in the dry ones! I’d add a 1/4 cup of olive oil. One thing to note though: the pesto probably won’t have that deep red colour and will probably veer more towards brown.

  • Natalie Galbraith

    This looks amazing! If we can’t do nutritional yeast is there anything you can think of to substitute it? Thanks!

    • Laura

      I would add a tablespoon of whatever kind of miso you like to the pesto (I like chickpea miso) along with a pinch of onion powder and some extra salt. You’re just trying to get that well-rounded, super savoury flavour. For the dressing, I would do the same thing, but just reduce the amount to a teaspoon.

  • mary

    What a wonderful idea to make sun dried pesto! the caesar drizzle is very deliciously extra! Lovely recipe:)

  • Lisa

    What a fantastic idea, will need to try them once the heat outside allows me to use my oven again ;)

    Lisa –