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Homemade pesto with arugula in a white bowl in a spoon.
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5 from 10 votes

Arugula Pesto

Homemade arugula pesto is our go to summer condiment! Classic pesto gets an upgrade with the addition of peppery arugula. This creamy, garlicky sauce comes together in minutes in a food processor, and can be used endlessly on sandwiches, mixed with pasta, or used as a dipping sauce. A great condiment to brighten any dish, all summer long!
Prep5 mins
Cook0 mins
Total5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: arugula sauce, how to make pesto
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Ari Laing


Food processor


  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • ½ cup basil
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest + half a lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ - ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Place all ingredients except for olive oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse until very finely chopped.
    Finely chopped arugula pesto in food processor.
  • With machine on, slowly drizzle in olive oil, using ½ cup to begin, until smooth and emulsified. If pesto is too chunky, add remaining olive oil. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in refrigerator until needed.
    Fresh arugula pesto in a food processor.


  • Arugula pesto will keep for up to 1 week in a refrigerator or up to 3 months in a freezer. Tip: freeze extra pesto in ice cube trays, then add to sauces or pastas in single portions as needed!
  • Variations for arugula: additional basil, spinach, or kale work great
  • Variations for pine nuts: walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or almonds
  • Variations for parmesan: pecorino, asiago, or gruyere for a smoky, nutty flavor


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 393mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg
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