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Arugula Pesto

This Arugula Pesto is bright, flavorful, and packs a light punch. It's made in 10 minutes with only 5 ingredients and the best way to brighten up your favorite recipes. Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free option.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Italian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1431kcal
Author Caitlin Shoemaker



  • Toast the Walnuts (optional): For a deeper flavor, warm a pan to medium heat and add the walnuts. Toast for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the walnuts are fragrant and slightly golden on the edges.
  • Make the Pesto: In a food processor with an S-blade attachment, add the walnuts and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the arugula, nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse again until finely chopped. Scrape the sides of the food processor with a spatula, then close the bowl and run again. Slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the mixture emulsifies and turns a creamy, vibrant green color.
  • Serve: Use immediately, or store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. High-quality olive oil may solidify in the fridge after a day or two, but will turn back into a liquid once it sits at room temperature for around 30 minutes. Leftover pesto can also be frozen for up to 2 months.


  • Walnuts: The flavor of walnuts pairs well with arugula, but you could also use pine nuts for a more traditional pesto flavor, or use pumpkin seeds to make the recipe nut-free.
  • Olive Oil: Use only 1/3 cup of olive oil if you prefer a thicker pesto, or if you are omitting the nutritional yeast
  • For a Smoother Pesto, follow the same steps but make it in a high-speed blender instead of a food processor.


Calories: 1431kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 148g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 39g | Monounsaturated Fat: 84g | Sodium: 1198mg | Potassium: 1002mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2703IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 5mg