Arugula Pesto

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Arugula pesto is one of my go-to pasta sauces, especially in summer! It’s rich, savory, amazingly flavorful and perfect for a quick yet incredible pasta dish.

The recipe requires just a few ingredients and takes 5 minutes to make.

Top view of a glass jar full of arugula pesto over a white background.

I have always loved homemade pesto and have experimented with many ingredients and flavors. From spinach to sun dried tomatoes, from mint to parsley, but this version with arugula is always a huge hit in my household.

It’s the same pesto I use in my arugula pasta and can also be used in place of the basil pesto in these creamy pesto pasta, pizza or penne with pesto.

I can never get enough of this versatile condiment. It’s not only great with pasta, but I spoon it over eggs, sandwiches, grain salads and more. The options are endless!

Throw fresh peppery arugula, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan, and nuts into a food processor then drizzle in olive oil until you have a sauce.

The soft and sweet sun dried tomatoes mellow the slightly spicy arugula. Cashews add richness, garlic a little kick, parmesan umami flavor, and good extra virgin olive oil rounds it all out.

The combination of ingredients is UNREAL! It’s tangy, rich, a little crunchy and so flavorful.

Just promise me you are going to make this arugula pesto in the next few days.

List of the ingredients

  • Arugula
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Cashews
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
Top view of the ingredients to make this arugula pesto.

How to make arugula pesto

(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Place arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, garlic, cashews, salt and pepper in a food processor.
  • Whizz for a few seconds, just until you get a coarse pesto-like texture.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil and give a final quick whizz. You’re welcome to add 1-2 tablespoons of water to loosen the sauce a bit more.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste if needed. Ready!
Top view of a food processor containing the ingredients to make arugula pesto.

Recipe notes

Arugula: I use pre-washed baby arugula (aka rocket) for convenience. The more peppery wild arugula works too.

Extra virgin olive oil: it’s definitely the best for flavor and nutrition, definitely a must for your pesto recipes!

Parmesan cheese: it makes everything better with its rich, nutty flavor. If you prefer a diary-free/vegan version, swap the cheese for 1/2 avocado instead.

Cashews: cheaper than pine nuts, cashews add texture.

Sun-dried tomatoes: they bring sweetness and umami flavor, great to soften the peppery arugula.

Garlic: you need just a touch of garlic, you don’t want to overpower the other flavors.

Salt & pepper: taste and make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

How to store arugula pesto

In the refrigerator: keep this fabulous pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and feel free to drizzle in some more olive oil or water to loosen it if needed. Be aware: it will loose some of its bright green color.

In the freezer: you can freeze a batch of this arugula pesto for later! Add it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and pop it in the freezer for up to one month.

More arugula recipes?

You can turn this healthy leafy green into several delicious meals! Check out this round up of 15 Arugula recipes. Below some of our favs:

Lastly, if you make this arugula pesto, or you have a question, let me know by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you! x

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Arugula Pesto

Arugula pesto is my go-to pasta sauce, especially in summer! It’s rich, savory, amazingly flavorful and perfect for a quick yet incredible pasta dish.
Recipe yields 1 cup (about 200 grams).
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Condiment, pesto
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: arugula pesto
Servings: 4
Calories: 71kcal
Author: Katia


Arugula pesto

  • 4 cups (80 grams) baby arugula, washed
  • ⅓ cup (40 grams) sun dried tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) cashews
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • ⅓ cup (30-40 grams) grated parmesan cheese (or use a few whole pieces, same weight)
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil


  • Place arugula, parmesan, garlic, cashews, tomatoes, salt and pepper in the food processor. Give a quick blitz just for a few seconds, until the mixture resembles a coarse pesto-like consistency.
  • Scrape down size as needed, add extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and give another quick whizz. You can also add a touch of water to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Enjoy with this classic arugula pasta recipe, pizza and more! Leftover pesto will keep stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but will lose some of its bright green color. It's freezable too.


Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are  for one portion and are based on an online nutrition calculator.  It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies. 


Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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