Baby Arugula Leaves

Homemade pesto is the simplest of sauces, but probably one of the most versatile.  Tossed with fresh or boxed pasta, you have the quickest of weeknight meals. 

While I have a personal affinity to traditional pesto made with basil leaves, arugula pesto is my new favorite alternative.  Not only is fresh baby arugula incredibly easy to find, even during the cold winter months, it also comes pre-washed.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My personal ways to use pesto include stirring it into freshly scrambled eggs, dolloping it onto homemade pizza, and spreading it onto sourdough bread for sandwiches or grilled cheese.  You really can’t go wrong. 

Arugula Pesto Ingredients

Add a spoonful of this arugula pesto to your favorite vinaigrette or hummus dip, use as a garnish on vegetable or slow cooker winter vegetable soup, or simply as an add-in to your favorite homemade meatballs.

You can also toss it with roasted winter vegetables. 

Baby Arugula Pesto

Baby Arugula Pesto

Homemade Arugula Pesto

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Unlike traditional basil pesto, simple homemade arugula pesto is a great alternative in the winter months when fresh basil is hard to find. To cut the spiciness of the arugula, this peso uses equal parts grated manchego cheese and parmigiana reggiano cheese.


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely grated manchego cheese
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese feel free to substitute and use only one type of cheese if you prefer
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large food processor, pulse the garlic cloves until roughly minced.
  • Add the pine nuts, arugula, and extra virgin olive oil. Pulse repeatedly until mixture becomes smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Remove mixture to separate bowl and fold in the grated cheese. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or store in a container in the refrigerator. Best used within 2 to 3 days.
  • If freezing, prepare pesto without the cheese, cover with a thin layer of olive oil. It can be stored for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and add cheese just before serving.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 230kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 238mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g