arugula pesto

Arugula Pesto (Vegan)

I first had this dish when my dad made it for me. He was looking for a vegan dish that everyone in the family might enjoy, and this arugula pesto certainly is a crowd-pleaser. My dad found the recipe on the Food Network website. Whenever we get a nice bunch of arugula, this is the top item on our menu. I especially love that there are no processed oils in this satisfying pesto.

I prefer whole wheat pasta. You can, of course, make this dish gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta.

Arugula Pesto

Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Oil Free
Servings: 6
Author: Singing Vegan


  • Food processor


  • 1 pound pasta any type
  • 2 medium avocados halved, seeded, and flesh scooped out
  • 3 cups baby arugula leaves 3 ounces
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice from 2 large limes
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted in a dry frying pan until golden, then cooled


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • While the water heats, mix avocado, arugula, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain but reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water.
  • Return the pasta to the pan (no heat). Stir in the arugula/avocado mixture, adding just enough of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.
  • Stir in the almonds or sprinkle them on top of each plate. Serve immediately.

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