Pea and Arugula Pesto |

Pea and Arugula Pesto

This post was originally published here July 6, 2015. I’ve since updated the text and photographs.

I love a good non-traditional pesto recipe. Especially this time of year, when there are lots of little tender green things at my disposals. Herbs, lettuces, stems, etc. I’m game to toss it all in my food processor!

This Pea and Arugula Pesto is a fun one that I find myself making over and over again these days. The flavor is delicate and sweet. And it’s the prettiest shade of pale green.

For the peas, you can certainly use thawed frozen peas in this recipe. But I highly recommend using freshly shelled peas, if you can find them. They really do have a superior taste. So I like to take advantage of them as much as possible while they’re in season.

Pea and Arugula Pesto |

So what can you do with this Pea and Arugula Pesto? My absolute favorite way to enjoy it is tossed with a small shaped pasta (I highly recommend orecchiette), peas, sausage and shaved Parmesan cheese. It’s an easy, simple dinner that’s very well suited for late Summer. I also like it slathered on avocado toast. But you can really use it anywhere you would use a more traditional pesto. It’s very versatile!

If you give my Pea and Arugula Pesto a try, let me know! And tell me your favorite way to use it!



Pea and Arugula Pesto

Pea and Arugula Pesto

At a Glance:
Yield: Makes about 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes


  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup shelled peas, blanched
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the walnuts until they become fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Add the peas, arugula, mint, garlic, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and toasted walnuts to the bowl of your food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse everything together several times, until a course meal is formed. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then with the food processor running, gradually stream in the olive oil until your desired consistency is reached.
  3. Transfer the pesto to a clean container. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired. 
  4. The pesto can be used immediately. Or stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for several days. The pesto can also be frozen for longer storage periods. Drizzling a thin layer of olive oil over the surface of the pesto will help to preserve the color/flavor during storage.

61 comments on “Pea and Arugula Pesto”

  1. Pingback: Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon | Simple Bites

  2. Pingback: Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette - Flavor the Moments

  3. Pesto is definitely a summer staple for me, too! I love this kind, Liz! Such a great idea to forgo the basil and add in peas and arugula. This looks so delish and your pictures are just stunning!

    • Pesto is just SO GOSH DARN GOOD! Love it on everything. Thanks for the great compliment, Gayle!

  4. Pingback: Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie Recipe - The Lemon Bowl

  5. My hubby had to work all weekend. Which means I went to bed at 8 30 on July 4th and spent the day baking. Alone.
    I’m exciting. I KNOW.
    I LOVE pesto, and this pea and arugula creation is calling my taste buds! pinned!

  6. This looks delicious, and a great way to use fresh peas. Pinning 🙂

  7. Rinse and repeat and repeat x’s 100. Your weekend sounds lovely m’dear! I ate a lot of tacos and fried foods, so mission complete for summer! xo

  8. Such a fun weekend, Liz! General silliness…. yes!! Me tooooo!! Lots of hiking at Mt. Baker, slow mornings, weed pulling and cherry pie for me! Yeeee! It was a good one! I just got bags and bags of various peas at the market this weekend and was thinking of Pea Pesto… but I didn’t think of pairing it with arugula! This sounds just fabulous Liz… I love the vibrancy of pesto, especially pea pesto! Slather it on everything… I like it!

  9. Pingback: Spinach Pesto - Mountain Mama Cooks

  10. Pingback: Papaya Seed Vinaigrette Dressing | Kitchen Confidante

  11. I love pesto in every way, shape, and form. This combination sounds delicious, Liz, and I could totally eat it with a spoon!

  12. Oh my, that green is just so VIBRANT!

  13. Oh this is the best!!! I love pesto in anyway and this is a unique combo 🙂

  14. Sounds like such a lovely weekend! I love playing bocce ball but my team basically never wins. I always blame it on the fact that the game is typically paired with booze 😉 Loving this pea and arugula pesto! I can taste the flavors now!

    • Ha ha – there was definitely booze. And then I wanted to change the rules too – like we should have to chug a beer, spin around a baseball bat and then throw the balls. That would be more fun!

  15. I’m so jealous of your proximity to the beach! Do you by chance need a roommate in your new house?! I’m glad you had a great weekend! I love pesto and really love it when people come up with creative alternatives to basil pesto! This looks awesome, Liz! I wanna put it on some pizza 🙂

    • Thanks, Izzy! I could certainly use a roommate – especially a roommate that will make me pizza! 🙂

  16. Pingback: Apricot Chicken Recipe | Vintage Mixer

  17. LOVE this idea Liz!! I think it would be especially good on a sandwich but I’d probably even eat it by the spoonful. So glad you had a good holiday weekend with your dear friends.

  18. Pingback: Climbing Grier Mountain » crispy chicken & cucumber salad with dijon vinaigrette

  19. Sounds like an awesome weekend to me Liz! I love pesto and this one sounds so different I have to try it! Little pieces of toasted baguette, some of this pesto and maybe a nice fresh strip of roasted red pepper! Yummo!

  20. I super duper love this! I just so happen to have peas and arugula in my garden! This will be the perfect way to use them up. Love!

  21. This is seriously really stunning! Gorgeous!

  22. Liz, pesto is most definitely one of my favorite summer staples. . and I LOVE the pea and arugula combo!!! Gorgeous!

  23. This looks so yummy! Plus both are super easy to grow in the garden…:)

  24. You just described the perfect weekend, Liz! And you’ve got a perfect pesto here, too – love the peas combined with the arugula 🙂

  25. Eating seasonal is my favorite. This pesto is perfection and I would gobble up every one of those toasts!

  26. Your holiday weekend sounds DIVINE! It has been so rainy in my neck of the woods that pool hopping has been a no go this summer. I love the sound of this pesto, especially since I’m kind of a pea obsessive 🙂

  27. I need to get me a pool, but first I need to get me a house with a bigger yard that will actually fit a pool. I’m seriously jealous over your summer list you mentioned above. It sounds like a good deal. Love this pesto.

  28. This looks wonderful! Yummy!

  29. What a fun way to make pesto! My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I absolutely love peas! I think I’d love this pesto too 😉

  30. Pestos are the best! I love how versatile they are and how you can use basically any kind of green. This one sounds bomb and so fresh!! Glad you had a fun 4th. Holiday weekends are always the best, aren’t they!? 🙂

  31. Love this version of pesto! I too think it would be fabulous on sandwiches 🙂

  32. Pingback: Fresh Corn Salad - Bless This Mess

  33. Pingback: Weekly Obsessions! - Whisk & Shout

  34. Pingback: Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce| Cookin' Canuck

  35. Pingback: 25 Unique Pesto Recipe You Really Need to Make | Boulder Locavore

  36. I love anything with arugula and anything with pesto so I have to try this! Looks awesome 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *