Homemade Arugula Walnut Pesto

This homemade arugula walnut pesto is easy to make. Use up leftover arugula or other greens to prevent waste. It makes a flavorful spread, dip, or pasta sauce.

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Arugula Walnut Pesto in jar with arugula in a bowl in the backdrop

I have a confession. I will make pesto out of any green. It’s my favorite way to use up greens before they go bad. Last week, I had a huge container of arugula to eat. When I got down to the last few cups, I decided to transform it into a pesto.

arugula walnut pesto ingredients from overhead

To make the pesto, you’ll need a blender or food processor. Well, I guess you could use a mortar and pestle if you are a true purist or a glutton for punishment. I’ve never tried one so I have no idea how that would actually work. I toss everything into the blender pulse a few times or hit puree.

How to make Walnut Pesto in a blender

Making pesto is not an exact science. I like to play around with the acidity and the amount of oil. I’ll check it for flavor. Does it need more garlic, more salt, pepper? Is it too thick? Can it use more olive oil? Adjust it to your taste buds and texture preferences.

Arugula Walnut Pesto in jar iwth spoon in front

With just 1/2 cup olive oil, this one is on the thicker side. It would make a hearty and flavorful base for crostini with tomatoes or white beans, a flavorful spread for a sandwich, or even a dip for crunchy carrots or pepper strips. If you want to use this arugula pesto as a pasta sauce, you might want to make it a bit thinner.

Got leftover greens? Make this easy homemade Arugula Walnut Pesto and put it on everything!Click to Tweet

Store it sealed in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it in an ice cube tray into cubes then freeze for an easy sauce later. You can melt the cubes to make a quick and easy pesto pasta sauce, whisk it into salad dressing, mix with butter for a pesto butter spread for bread, or drizzle it upon roasted vegetables, eggs, fish, or chicken. The options are endless.

Arugula Walnut Pesto by the spoonful

So… I have a vegan pesto on chickpea pasta, a kale walnut pesto, a spinach basil pesto, and now this arugula pesto. I may be all pesto’ed out. I’m kidding. I know I’ll be making more pesto when it heats up again next year.

Grab the easy recipe below. ere’s the easy recipe. Be sure to PIN it for later and tag me on Instagram when you make it!

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Arugula Walnut Pesto REcipe
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5 from 1 vote

Arugula Walnut Pesto

This homemade arugula walnut pesto is easy to make. Use up leftover arugula or other greens to prevent waste. It makes a flavorful spread, dip, or pasta sauce.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: arugula, pesto recipe
Servings: 10
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Marisa Moore


  • 2 cups fresh arugula, tightly packed (I used baby arugula)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is pureed but be sure to leave some texture. Add additional olive oil if needed.


Yields 1 cup of pesto.


Calories: 140kcal

12 Comments on Homemade Arugula Walnut Pesto

  1. Cindy Gordon
    September 14, 2018 at 4:50 PM (11 months ago)
    This pesto looks simply delicious! I LOVE arugula so this is a win for me!

    • Marisa
      September 15, 2018 at 10:17 AM (11 months ago)
      I'm a big arugula fan too. Love the little bite. I think people sleep on it! Reply
  2. mary
    September 14, 2018 at 5:26 PM (11 months ago)
    I love making pesto with whatever is greens and herbs I have lying around! Arugula pesto sounds wonderful!

    • Marisa
      September 15, 2018 at 10:15 AM (11 months ago)
      Me too, Mary! I think I'm a little pesto obsessed :) Reply
  3. Kelsey
    September 14, 2018 at 5:49 PM (11 months ago)
    This looks and sounds amazing! I can think of a million uses for it right now! Cannot wait to make it and have it ready to use!

    • Marisa
      September 15, 2018 at 10:15 AM (11 months ago)
      It's so nice to have a little jar of it in the fridge for ALL THE THINGS! Reply
  4. Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    September 14, 2018 at 5:50 PM (11 months ago)
    What a tasty twist on pesto. I love that you added vinegar, I bet this is SO flavorful!

    • Marisa
      September 15, 2018 at 10:14 AM (11 months ago)
      It adds just a little extra something, something :) Reply
  5. Valentina
    September 14, 2018 at 6:00 PM (11 months ago)
    Such a great idea to use up greens to make pesto. I love switching up the nuts too! I love having pesto on hand for sandwiches!

    • Marisa
      September 15, 2018 at 10:13 AM (11 months ago)
      Pesto makes the best spread for sandwiches. And I love to switch up the nuts too. I still need to try pistachio. Reply
  6. Sandi
    September 14, 2018 at 9:22 PM (11 months ago)
    Loving the color of this pesto. Looks light and vibrant. I can't wait to try.

    • Marisa
      September 15, 2018 at 10:12 AM (11 months ago)
      It is definitely that! Thanks! Reply

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