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Arugula Walnut Pesto Sauce


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Traditional pesto using basil and pine nuts seems to be taking a back seat of late. New variations of homemade pesto sauce seem to be popping up everywhere. So, when I had a bit of leftover arugula, I just knew I had to turn this leafy, peppery green into one amazing nutty pesto. Seriously, you need only about five minutes to make this bright and tasty Arugula Walnut Pesto Sauce.

Of course, I created a short video preparing this Homemade Walnut Pesto Sauce. Be sure to check watch down below in the recipe. Also, do not miss how I used this peppery pesto on salmon. If you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account.

a small white bowl of homemade walnut arugula pesto sitting on a wooden board with fresh arugula, a lemon, a garlic bulb, a block of Parmesan cheese in the background


Pesto is basically a generic term for anything that is made by pounding. Traditional pesto hails from the Genoa region of Italy and consists of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, coarse salt and olive oil. All of these ingredients are “pounded” or crushed using a mortar and pestle.

As mentioned above, traditional Genoese Pesto ingredients are now being substituted. Unique and different versions of pesto sauce are popping up all over the place.

This is happening not only out of creativity, but also due to the expense and availability of pine nuts.


If you do not own a mortal and pestle, a food processor or blender are great alternatives to prepare homemade pesto. Additionally, the consistency of the pesto should be centered around what will be happening to the pesto after it’s prepared. For example, thicker pesto can be thinned out with pasta water if you are using to make Pesto Pasta.

Here are a few other tips and considerations when making homemade pesto:

  • It’s ok to tear up the basil or arugula prior to adding to the food processor
  • Garlic cloves can be given a rough chop
  • If adding Parmesan cheese at the beginning of the pesto making process, it’s ok to add in cubes (rind removed)
  • Parmesan cheese should be grated if incorporating in the final stages of preparing the pesto
  • use quality ingredients
  • toasting the nuts is a matter of preference


You have just created this wonderful, non-traditional pesto sauce! Now, what do you do with it? Keep in mind, pesto is basically a type of dressing. Honestly, there are more options for incorporating fresh pesto than you can imagine.

Here are a few ideas:

  • pesto pasta
  • drizzle on your favorite protein (salmon, chicken, vegetables)
  • slather this rich pesto on toast or bread
  • use pesto as a component in dips
  • make pesto eggs
  • use pesto as a garnish in soups like I do in my recipe for Minestrone
a pan of roasted salmon covered with Arugula Walnut pesto sauce and garnished with lemon slices and roasted asparagus


Store this nutty homemade pesto sauce in an air-tight container. It will last in the fridge for up to five days. Homemade pesto lacks preservatives. The shelf life is much shorter than store-bought pesto.

Good news! This Arugula Walnut Pesto Sauce can be frozen. Ice cube trays with lids or air-tight freezer safe containers will easily do the trick. Frozen homemade pesto will last up to four months in the freezer.

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a pan of roasted salmon covered with Arugula Walnut pesto sauce and garnished with lemon slices and roasted asparagus

Arugula Walnut Pesto Sauce


New variations of pesto sauce seem to be popping up everywhere. So, when I had a bit of leftover arugula, I just knew I had to turn this leafy, peppery green into one amazing homemade pesto. Seriously, you need only about five minutes to make this bright and tasty Arugula Walnut Pesto Sauce.


  • 2 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor.
  2. Pulse to combine.
  3. Drizzle in enough of the olive oil to create the consistency you need for its use (see post)
  4. Serve with crusty bread or ENJOY as recommended in the post.



  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Keywords: how to make pesto, how to make arugula pesto, how to make arugula walnut pesto, what can you do with pesto, recipes using pesto, easy pesto recipe ideas, pesto recipes not using basil, alternatives to using basil to make pesto, can I make pesto using arugula, how to salmon with pesto, what is pesto, is pesto easy to make, can you freeze pesto, freezing pesto, how to store pesto,


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