A simple recipe for Arugula Pesto with Almonds, designed to enliven soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. It’s vegan and made without pine nuts– adding a delicious peppery brightness to dishes you are already making! 

A delicious recipe for  Arugula Almond Pesto designed to enliven soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches and pasta dishes. It's vegan and made with almonds, basil and lemon zest adding a peppery brightness to dishes you are already making! 

This is one of the oldest recipes on the blog and I’m bringing it all the way to the front because of how useful I think you’ll find it. I first shared it on this Heirloom Tomato Sandwich almost 10 years ago but I feel it deserves a little emphasis. Plus, I pull it out all the time at home so I thought you might want to too. 😉

Arugula Almond Pesto is bright, peppery, and complex and brings dishes you are already making, to their happy place.  It really elevates!

It loves to be paired with lasagna, beans, lentils, and casserole-y things, or lathered into sandwiches, tossed with pasta, sauteed veggies or roasted veggies, or spooned over your morning eggs.

Pesto without pine nuts

In our catering business, we found that many people had pinenut allergies, so we began making our pesto without pinenuts. Almonds were the perfect substitution!

So here we are using almonds instead of pinenuts (although pinenuts are fine too), arugula, a little basil, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil.

Vegan Pesto

We intentionally leave the cheese out of this pesto to keep it vegan,  but feel free to add.

how to make arugula basil pesto- using a food processor. Vegan.

How to make Arugula Pesto

This arugula pesto recipe only takes about 5 minutes! Just place everything in a  food processor and pulse.

It makes one cup –  a small manageable batch that can easily be repurposed during the week.

Expert tip

Make sure your olive oil is light and not overly bitter. The arugula adds its own bit of bitterness, but you’ll find it will mellow out after an hour or so, and when combined with food is quite pleasant.

A delicious recipe for vegan Arugula Almond Pesto designed to enliven soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches and pasta dishes. It's dairy-free and made with almonds, basil and lemon zest adding a peppery brightness to dishes you are already making!

how to freeze pesto

To freeze the arugula pesto, place it in a small jar, cover the pesto with a thin layer of lemon juice to preserve its vibrant color, and seal with an inch of headroom- it will expand as it freezes.

Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

 Arugula Almond Pesto designed to elevate soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches and pasta dishes. It's vegan and made with almonds, basil and lemon zest adding a peppery brightness to dishes you are already making! #pesto #arugula #veganpesto #arugulapesto #nopinenuts

The Arugula Pesto will last 4-5 days in the fridge.

Hope you enjoy this simple recipe for Arugula Pesto! Let us know how you use it!

xoxo

Sylvia

Use Arugula Pesto on: 

 

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A delicious recipe for Arugula Pesto designed to enliven soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches and pasta dishes. It's vegan and made with almonds, basil and lemon zest adding a peppery brightness to dishes you are already making! 

Arugula Pesto

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine| Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: sauces, condiments,
  • Method: blended
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A delicious easy recipe for Arugula Pesto designed to enliven soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches and pasta dishes. It’s vegan and made with almonds, basil, and lemon zest adding a peppery brightness to dishes you are already making!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds,  pinenuts  or smoked almonds
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed arugula
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 23 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/31/2 cup light flavored olive oil(make sure oil is not bitter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if your almonds are heavily salted, use salt to taste.)
  • 1/4 cracked pepper

Instructions

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse repeatedly until uniformly chopped and well combined.

For a looser pesto, add a little more oil, and for a sturdier pesto, add a few more almonds.

Arugula Pesto will keep 4-5 days in the fridge.


Notes

For a delicious, smoky taste, try using smoked almonds– heavenly! ( Add salt to taste)

Pesto can be frozen for later- squeeze a thin layer of lemon juice over the pesto before freezing.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 133
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 76.4 mg
  • Fat: 11.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.9 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: arugula pesto, almond pesto, vegan pesto, dairy free pesto, how to freeze pesto, pesto without pine nuts, pesto with almonds

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. The only pesto recipe I ever use now. We have made this at least ten times, and it’s the main reason we grow so much basil and arugula. A couple times I have added 1 drop of liquid smoke because I couldn’t get smoked almonds. Love this and your chimichurri sauce too, even just with celery as a dip. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I am wondering if I can substitute cilantro for angular and use chopped walnuts instead of pine nuts. I”ll try this and let you know how this turns out. Thank you Sylvia! Your’s is my “go to” cooking website!

  3. What can I substitute for fresh basil? It’s February – no fresh basil in sight. Can I substitute dried basil and increase the volume of fresh arugula leaves?

  4. Hi, as a home gardener, I make a similar recipe using lettuce leaves (we often have a glut of one thing or another that I try to use up as best I can). A combo of lettuce, arugular, and celery leaves works great too.
    By the way, arugular is called rocket in Australia!
    Thanks for all your great recipes

  5. This was fantastic. Great flavor and I didn’t miss the cheese at all. I chose to add a little more garlic, but it really didn’t need it. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Good morning Sylvia, I just want you to know that I am loving your blog and recipes! Several have become regulars but the problem is I have been putting on weight!!! I made your Indian Vegetarian Sheperd’s Pie 2 days ago and it was delicious. I never was a lentils fan, but I have found the path….thanks also for your inspirational quotes, Kathy