Arugula Pesto Pasta is a flavorful dish that makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner!
Pesto is one of my favorite ways to elevate and transform an otherwise boring dish. I typically turn to my Spinach Basil Pesto , which has the traditional flavor of fresh basil and extra nutrition from the spinach. Today, however, we are switching things up and making arugula pesto.
Instead of using basil, we are using arugula in our pesto. Arugula fans, you’re going to love this Arugula Pesto Pasta. I also use walnuts, which pair very well with the peppery arugula and add a great boost of omega 3s.
What is a pasta dish without veggies!? For this one, I added some frozen peas (fresh are in season and would be magnificent) and tomatoes.
Can I Make Arugula Pesto Vegan?
I used Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but you absolutely don’t have to. If you’d like to make your arugula pesto vegan, substitute nutritional yeast in place of the cheese. It lends a cheesy taste and feel, and also adds B vitamins.
Arugula Pesto Uses
Of course, I think you should use it in my Arugula Pesto Pasta recipe! Here are a few more ideas of what you can do with your arugula pesto:
- Mix it in with your scrambled eggs.
- Mix it with smashed chickpeas and add it to toast like this recipe.
- Grill or roast a large batch of vegetables and then coat them with the pesto. This makes a delicious side dish!
- Use it as a topping/sauce for fish, chicken, or steak.
How to Make Arugula Pesto Pasta
This is such a quick and easy dinner! Let me show you the step-by-step instructions.
In a pot of well-salted water, cook 8 ounces of whole wheat spaghetti according to the package instructions. Preserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water before you drain the spaghetti.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto.
Start with 4 cups packed arugula, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1 small garlic clove, minced, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process in the food processor, and then, with the machine running, add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Hello, flavor!!
Add the preserved pasta water to a pan/skillet and over medium heat. Add in 1 cup halved grape tomatoes and 1 cup frozen peas. Cook until they are hot, about 3 minutes.
Add in the pasta and pesto and stir to combine. Continue to toss until everything is hot.
Here are the printable instructions for you:Print
Arugula Pesto Pasta Recipe
Use Arugula Pesto to make a quick and easy weeknight pasta dinner!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
- 4 cups packed arugula
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- In a pot of well-salted water, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Preserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water before you drain the spaghetti.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, make the arugula pesto. Put the arugula, cheese, walnuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process to combine. With the machine running, add in the olive oil until you have a smooth pesto. Set aside.
- In a pot or skillet, heat the reserved pasta water along with the tomatoes and peas over medium heat until they are hot, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and pesto to the pan and toss until everything is evenly coated and hot. Enjoy!
- Calories: 457
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Fat: 22 grams
- Carbohydrates: 45 grams
- Protein: 19 grams
If you like easy pasta dinners, you might also like this Whole Wheat Penne with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Tomatoes or this One Pot Penne with Broccoli. This Chicken Fajita Pasta is also a favorite!
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If you’d like to save this recipe for later, here’s an image to save to your Pinterest recipe board!