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+ servings
A finished pesto with parsley and almonds surrounding it.

Arugula Pesto

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: arugula peso, arugula recipes, pesto
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Brenda
This peppery Arugula Pesto deviates from the classic pesto in the substitution of arugula for basil and almonds in place of pine nuts. The result is just as tasty, but bright and peppery. This recipe is also gluten-free, low-carb and keto friendly. With one substitution, this recipe can also be made vegan.
Print Recipe


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup almonds I prefer blanched and toasted.
  • 7 ounces arugula I used one 7 ounce bag of baby arugula.
  • 1 bunch parsley washed, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon zested & juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Kitchen Equipment Needed to Make This


  • In a food processor add garlic, almonds, half of the arugula, and parsley and pulse. Since these items are bulky, scrape down the sides.
  • Add remaining arugula, olive oil, parmesan cheese, vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pulse until it comes a mostly smooth paste.
  • Taste. Season with salt and pepper. If this tastes flat and salt and pepper aren't fixing it, then add more vinegar or lemon juice until you enjoy the brightness of this pesto.



  • Be sure to use the pulse feature of your food processor to control the texture. You'll probably have to stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula to get this mixed as it contains quite a bit of greens.
  • If you are making pasta to serve with this, reserve some of the pasta water to create a creamier sauce.
  • If you are having pasta with this, then consider a "rigate" variety. It means ridge, so it will hold on to a sauce better than a smooth shaped pasta.
  • Mix this in right before serving. This sauce is best enjoyed freshly mixed in.
  • If you have left over pesto, store separately. This will keep the greens fresher tasting.
  • Will last about 3 days in an air tight container in the refrigerator.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1630IU | Vitamin C: 27.5mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 2mg