A white bowl filled with pasta tossed in a pesto sauce

Toasted Walnut Arugula Pesto

Toasted Walnut Arugula pesto is a delicious variation to the classic basil pesto with pine nuts.

Pine nuts have been a little difficult to find and are expensive so walnuts are a delicious change of pace. Toasting them beforehand really brings out the flavor of the walnuts and gives the pesto a little smokey flavor.

Arugula has a nice peppery flavor that gives this pesto a little bite. This sauce is delicious on top of grilled salmon, tossed into pasta, or on top of crostini with a little goat cheese.

Try it in a pasta salad, like my Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad – it added a nice peppery bite to it!

A cutting board filled with ingredients for pesto
What you need to make Toasted Walnut Arugula Pesto

This sauce comes together in no time! Just toss a few ingredients in your food processor and you have a delicious sauce ready to mix into pasta, add to a sandwich, or make into a dip.

Toasted Walnut Arugula Pesto

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Prep Time 10 mins
Course Condiments
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 cups
Calories 150 kcal


  • 2 cups arugula washed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  • Place arugula, garlic, walnuts and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well chopped and blended together.
  • With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil and lemon juice through the feed tube and puree until completely combined.
  • Remove the top and add the Parmesan cheese. Close and puree until completely combined.


Pesto will last in the freezer for a couple of months.


Serving: 2tbspCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 130mgPotassium: 70mgFiber: 1gVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 40mg
Keyword Arugula, Walnuts
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