Arugula Pesto – From my bowl

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This arugula pesto is bright, flavorful, and packs a light punch. Ready in 10 minutes with just 5 ingredients, it’s the best way to spice up your favorite recipes. Vegan, gluten free, nut free option.

The Rocket pesto is prepared in 10 minutes with fresh ingredients like leafy greens, premium olive oil, buttery walnuts and garlic. It’s a great way to use up a bag of arugula. Serve over your favorite grain bowl, pasta dishes, pasta salads, burritos, sandwiches, roasted cauliflower, or simply eat by the spoonful. Its bright, zesty flavor will have you coming back for more!

Table of contents
  1. Pesto with a peppery kick
  2. Ingredients for arugula pesto
  3. How to Make Arugula Pesto
  4. serving suggestions
  5. How to store arugula pesto
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. Frequently asked questions about recipes
  8. Arugula pesto recipe
Arugula pesto served in a mug with a dipped spoon

Pesto with a peppery kick

Nothing beats a good, fresh pesto. It’s one of my favorite ways to instantly spice up any dish while adding a serving of leafy greens. It’s light, full of flavor, and has a creamy silkiness that I crave on a regular basis.

This arugula pesto tastes pretty similar to traditional basil pesto but with a peppery bite that’s perfect for spring and summer weather. You’ll never want to buy store-bought pesto again!

Ingredients for arugula pesto

Just like my Homemade Nut-Free Pesto, this Arugula Pesto is just as quick and easy. You only need 5 ingredients (including salt!) which can be found at any grocery store.

Ingredients for arugula pesto laid out on a cutting board
  • Arugula: Classic pesto is made with the traditional fresh basil, but this peppery twist includes tons of fresh arugula. It’s light, slightly tangy, and the flavor eliminates the need for an acid like lemon juice.
  • walnuts: Pine nuts are the obvious choice for making pesto, but I find the pungent, buttery flavor of walnuts pairs best with arugula.
  • Garlic: What’s homemade pesto without fresh garlic? I used two cloves of garlic, but don’t be afraid to spice it up for an extra garlicky pesto.
  • Olive oil: A cold-pressed olive oil is the secret to a smooth, creamy pesto with a rich and buttery “mouthfeel.”
  • nutritional yeast: ​Optional, but the source of a “cheesy” non-dairy flavor.

How to Make Arugula Pesto

Side by side images of arugula pesto being processed in a blender
  1. toast toss the walnuts in a warm skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly golden.
  2. Add to Blend the roasted walnuts with fresh garlic and legumes until finely chopped. Add to Add in the arugula, nutritional yeast, and salt and pulse again until combined.
  3. Pour add to the olive oil and process until emulsified and a vibrant, light green color.
  4. surcharge immediately or save on computer for meal prep.

Caitlin’s cooking tips

  • Use the best olive oil your budget allows. I usually prefer the affordable option, but when it comes to pesto, the quality of the oil is what determines the taste. If there’s ever a time for the good oil, it’s in the making of oil-based sauces and dressings. Check out these 9 pro food and wine tips compiled for buying and using a good olive oil.
  • Store nuts in the fridge or freezer. This is especially helpful if you like to buy in bulk, but nuts and seeds tend to go rancid if stored at room temperature. For optimal freshness, I recommend storing them in tightly sealed jars or freezer-safe bags in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.
Arugula pesto served in a mug with a spoon accommodating one serving

serving suggestions

When it comes to pesto, the question is more what tip I serve pesto. It’s one of the most versatile ingredients to enjoy at any meal of the day. For inspiration, here are a few of my favorite pesto recipes to try:

If you’re looking for more homemade sauce recipes, you’ll also love this Easy Peanut Sauce, Nut-Free Vegan Pesto, and Green Goddess Tahini Dressing!

How to store arugula pesto

This vegan arugula pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When storing, always seal in an airtight container such as a mason jar or Tupperware. Quality olive oil can solidify after refrigeration, but it will become liquid again if left at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Walnut Substitute: The combination of walnuts and arugula goes well together, but if you’re looking for a more traditional-tasting pesto, I’d recommend substituting pine nuts.
  • Nutritional Yeast Substitute: Replace the nutritional yeast with a non-dairy parmesan cheese.
  • Nut Free Option: Replace the walnuts with raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas.
  • Mixer option: If you want a smoother pesto, follow the same recipe steps, but prepare the arugula pesto in a high-speed blender instead of a food processor.

Frequently asked questions about recipes

Why is my rocket pesto bitter?

Bitter pesto is probably due to the olive oil. If olive oil is blended too long or has gone rancid, it can taste bitter. For best results, use a quality oil and slowly add at the end until just blended.

Should I cut the stems off the arugula?

No need! Similar to baby spinach stalks, arugula stalks are edible and nutritious. They’re also fairly tender and flavorful, so they’re not difficult to chew.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and want to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also appreciate if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thanks for the support 😊

  • 1/2 Cup walnuts*
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 4 ounces arugula about 4 cups
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-3-1/2 Cup Extra virgin olive oil*

  • Roast the walnuts (optional): For a deeper flavor, heat a pan over medium heat and add the walnuts. Toast, stirring occasionally, until walnuts are fragrant and lightly golden on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Make the pesto: In a food processor fitted with the S blade attachment, add the walnuts and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. Add arugula, nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse again until finely chopped. Scrape the sides of the food processor with a spatula, then close the bowl and run again. Slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the mixture emulsifies and turns a creamy, bright green color.

  • Surcharge: Use immediately or store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Good quality olive oil can solidify after a day or two in the refrigerator, but will become liquid again if left at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Leftover pesto can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

  • walnuts: The flavor of walnuts pairs well with arugula, but you can also use pine nuts for a more traditional pesto flavor or use pumpkin seeds to make the recipe nut-free.
  • Olive oil: Use only 1/3 cup olive oil if you prefer a thicker pesto or omit the nutritional yeast
  • For a smoother pesto, follow the same steps but make it in a high-speed blender instead of a food processor.

Calories: 1431kcalCarbohydrates: 20GProtein: 20GFat: 148GSaturated Fatty Acids: 19GPolyunsaturated fat: 39GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 84GSodium: 1198mgPotassium: 1002mgFiber: 10GSugar: 4GVitamin A: 2703ieVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 251mgIron: 5mg

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