Pistachio Arugula Pesto (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)

pesto in a black mortar and pestle with arugula leaves on the table

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It is sometimes called rocket, roquette, rugula or rucola. It looks like a baby lettuce and is often compared to watercress, but its little-known secret is that it is really just a common local weed, and a member of the cruciferous family related to broccoli and cauliflower. 

Arugula Nutrition

Arugula is a very nutritious, leafy green vegetable with an unusual spicy flavor. It is high in vitamins A, C and K, and folic acid. It is also a good source of zinc, potassium, calcium and iron.

Arugula of any type goes well in mixed salads, substituting for basil in pesto sauces and stepping in for spinach when required.

From its cruciferous family roots, arugula gets its antioxidant power as well as enzymes needed for detoxifying the body naturally. Recently, it’s been linked to gastric ulcer relief. Like other leafy greens, arugula is most nutritious when eaten raw, and can be juiced or well-blended for optimal nutrient digestion and assimilation.

Here’s one of my favorite pesto recipes that we enjoy a lot in early spring.

Other Pesto Recipes You’ll Love

pesto in a black mortar and pestle with arugula leaves on the table

Vegan Pistachio Arugula Pesto

Enjoy this pesto on crackers, veggies, zucchini noodles, or even chicken and fish!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: GAPS, Paleo, Raw Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian
Approx. Cost: $10
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Calories: 29kcal



  • In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until well combined, but you can still see small chunks of pistachios and arugula.
  • Store in a jar in the refrigerator for two weeks to a month, or freeze in ice cube trays and use as needed.


Serving: 1Tbsp.Calories: 29kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 36mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 40IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.1mg

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13 thoughts on “Pistachio Arugula Pesto (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)”

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  1. Arugula is also low in oxalates so is a great green for those who have any of the many symptoms caused by oxalate overload in the body.

  2. Debi @ Adorned From Above

    Hi Dawn,
    Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party last week. This weeks Link Party is opened at
    from Wednesday until Sunday.
    Hope to see you there.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  3. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma)

    I LOVE your post title, its so true! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party last week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I hope that you’ll join us this week to share more yummies! Also, be sure to stop back by to see who the winner of the Planet Rice will be! The winner will be announced at GFF #9 Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  5. Debra @ Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes

    Arugula pesto sounds so very interesting. I like pesto, but basil is expensive if you do not have it growing in your garden.

    Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday! Hope to see you back this week.

  6. Amanda @Natural Living Mamma

    I have never eaten Arugula. I will keep an eye out when I am wildcrafting! Thanks so much for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  7. We love Arugula and this is a wonderful Salad. Enjoy your weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Kayla @ Radiant Life

    I am always looking for new ways to use beautiful native arugula! I love that your recipes balance its bitterness with sweet tastes too. Can’t wait to try these!

  9. KarenLynn@Lil'SuburbanHomestead

    Arugula grows very easy in our area thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I will pass it on to my Mom too. 🙂

  10. Michele {The Homesteading Cottage}

    Such a great post! We don’t eat much pesto around here and it’s basically due to making the same favorites over and over, but THIS recipe intrigues me so much that we’ve got to have it soon!! Just reading it made my mouth water (; Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    Wow, I love posts like this when you take something fairly uncommon like *arugula* and make it so interesting! Very good, well-written post, thanks!
    Kelly p.s. That picture just makes me want to chomp right into it, did you take it?

    1. Thanks, Kelly! No I didn’t take this particular picture, but I picked it for the same reason you liked it!


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