Sautéed Arugula

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If you haven’t tried sautéed arugula before, you are in for a treat! It’s tender, full of flavor, with the delicious touch of sweet soft raisins and crispy pine nuts for the perfect finish! 

it’s a fast, healthy, and versatile side dish full of flavor.

Top view of a white serving plate full of sautéed arugula with raisins.

Can you cook arugula? The answer is yes, you can. Cooked arugula tastes delicious, and with very little effort, you can turn a bunch of these nutritious greens into a tasty side dish.

To add more interest, I cook arugula the Italian way with the help of some garlic, raisins and pine nuts. This is a delicious combination, very popular in many southern italian dishes, and it’s sure to have you going back for seconds.

The sweetness from the raisins, and the crisp textures from the pine nuts, add layers of flavors and textures and pair perfectly with the peppery leafy greens.

And it’s vegan, gluten free and super versatile.

Trust me, this easy sautéed arugula is perfect to shake up your side repertoire.

List of the ingredients

  • Arugula
  • Garlic
  • Raisins
  • Pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients to make this sautéed arugula are arranged over a white background.

How to make sautéed arugula

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

  • Toast the pine nuts on the skillet and set aside.
  • Add garlic and olive oil to the same skillet and cook until fragrant.
  • Stir in arugula and cook until wilted.
  • Season with salt and pepper, toss in pine nuts and raisins, and serve!
Top view of a pan full of sautéed arugula with raisins and pine nuts.

Recipe notes

Ingredients & substitutions

Arugula (aka rocket): baby arugula with its milder flavor is great for the recipe, while the more mature version (usually sold in bunches) is spicy and thicker. If you use is, just keep in mind that the flavor will be stronger. Alternatively, spinach and baby kale would do too.

Olive oil: adds flavor and moisture.

Garlic: for flavor, but some finely sliced onion or shallot is another good option if you wish.

Raisins: any type of soft and juicy raisins work and add bright pops of natural sweetness. Sultanas and dried cranberries are fine too.

Pine nuts: for flavor and texture. Walnuts or hazelnuts are fine instead of pine nuts.

Salt & pepper: make sure to adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.

Close-up of a white bowl full of fresh arugula leaves over a total white background.

Arugula benefits

This tasty leafy green is part of the cruciferous family and it’s also a nutritional power house. Its amazing health benefits may include reduced risk of cancer, healthy bones, improved eyesight, and it also helps in boosting the brain and the immune system.

How to serve with sautéed arugula

Top some sliced crispy bread with wilted arugula to make a vegan bruschetta, or you can add it on warm focaccia, mozzarella pizza, or simply toss it with plain garlic spaghetti. This is a versatile side dish that you can turn into a meal!

Close-up of a slice of crusty bread topped with sautéed arugula and served on a white plate.

More arugula recipes?

Here a few delicious recipes that use arugula and that will inspire you to turn the convenient, healthy leafy green into a delicious meal:

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

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Top view of an oval serving tray full of sautéed arugula.
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Sautéed Arugula

You are in for a treat with this quick and easy sautéed arugula. It's tender, full of flavor, with the delicious touch of sweet soft raisins and crispy pine nuts for the perfect finish! 
Recipe yields 4 small servings.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: sauteed arugula
Servings: 4
Calories: 89kcal
Author: Katia


  • ½ tablespoon pine nuts, use more if you like
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 7 oz (200 grams) arugula, washed and drained
  • ⅛ cup (20 grams) raisins (or sultanas)*
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Place the pine nuts in a dry skillet (without oil). Heat over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, stir and toast them until golden. Transfer them to a plate immediately to prevent burning, and return the skillet on the stove.
  • Heat the oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Gradually add arugula to the pot, a handful at a time (it looks a lot but it will reduce quickly), and stir constantly until all the arugula is wilted but still bright green, it takes about 3-4 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning (I use about ¼ teaspoon of salt), toss in the toasted pine nuts, the soft raisins, and cook for 30 seconds just until well combined. The recipe is very adaptable, feel free to add more raisins or pine nuts if you wish.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.


Raisins: the recipe calls for soft raisins or sultanas. If they’re not soft, pour enough hot water over them and let them sit for 10-15 minutes, then drain and use.
Nutrition facts: Please note that the nutrition values are based on an online nutrition calculator.  It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition values are for one serving.


Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1582IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!! And so quick and easy to make. I used chopped pecans because I had no pine nuts. Served with a grilled tenderloin steak. Definitely making again.

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly. : )

  2. 5 stars
    Enjoyed this. Easy and delicious. Served over noodles and topped with shaved Parmesan. Will definitely make an again.

    1. That’s great, Anne! Thanks for sharing yoour feedback. : )

  3. Stephen Gelinas says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, it was delicious. I did add a little bit of lemon juice. The only thing is it caused bloating and gas for my wife I. We both took a gas x pill and felt better. I wish there was a way to add something to the recipe to help keep the bloating down.

    1. Hi Stephen, not sure how to help with bloating, many things can cause this digestive issue unfortunately.
      Hope next time you both can enjoy the dish without this issue. Thank you for sharing your feedback! : )

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for lunch, and added a few cubes of feta cheese stirred through in the empty pan at the last minute, till it just started to melt slightly. The warm salty cheese went really well with the sweet raisins, crunchy pine nuts and peppery arugula. So quick, easy and delicious to make!

    1. That sounds SO delicious!! Thanks so much for sharing your great feedback, Eileen! x

  5. The recipe mentions soft raisins, but the instructions don’t mention soaking them in hot water. Am I missing something, or are cooks assuming that packaged sultanas are soft?

    1. Hi Becca. The recipe calls for soft sultanas assuming that packed sultanas are usually soft – and cooks know how to soak them if needed.
      I will add an extra note in the recipe to explain how to do that. thanks.

  6. It’s not a favorite in this house. Everyone was looking for dessert to get the taste of arugula out of their mouths. Sorry.

    1. No problem, Joan. It looks like you didn’t enjoy the combination of sweet raisins and peppery arugula. x

  7. 4 stars
    very good, easy to make, and ingredients are usually in my kitchen. I made it last night and added a splash of fresh lemon juice. I served it along with pork loin and sweet potato fries. everyone enjoyed it.

    1. That’s great, thanks so much for sharing Donna, I appreciate. X

  8. 5 stars
    This is delicious! thank you for the recipe. I made this last night but left out the raisins (I ran out) and tossed it with gluten free spaghetti noodles. My four children all liked it and asked for more so I consider this a win.

    1. Great, I’m so pleased it turned out delicious (and the kids loved it! : )
      Thanks so much for sharing, Amie. x

    2. I never have any pine nuts on hand, are any other nuts suitable to substitute? How about hemp hearts?

    3. You can skip the nuts, Merry. : )

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