Arugula Pesto

Hi Everyone!

Today was refrigerator clean out day!  You know the day when you realize that you just let a ton of vegetables go bad and to add to the waste of food, you have to clean the mess that it left in the refrigerator.  Yuck!  Well as I was cleaning out the fridge I saw a bag of arugula that I used for my BLT Pizza and realized if I don’t use it now, it will end up in the compost pile with the rest of the veggies.  So what do I do with a bag of arugula?  Then I remembered that Chef Dennis from A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis said that during the Google Chat with Isabel and myself for Recipes from the Garden, he said that he liked to use arugula as pesto.  I thought, perfect idea!  So I took what he said and ran with it!
Arugula Pesto
The pesto turned out beautiful! I love the bright green color that it has and the favor is magnificent. It’s got a nice peppery flavor from the arugula with a pinch of citrus from the lemon and of course you can’t have pesto without garlic. I have to say I love it! Most people tend to use pine nuts or another kind of nut when making pesto, but I skipped it in this recipe. I know nuts are healthy, but I try to cut back on the fat especially since I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Arugula Pesto
To make the pesto I put all of the ingredients in my Vita-mix blender and processed it until creamy smooth. You could also do this in a food processor, that is normally how I make my pesto. To save on calories, I also used water in the recipe. The water makes it liquefied and you get more dressing without diluting the flavor. Of course I added olive oil since I think it needs the flavor, but I only added two tablespoons in the recipe.
Arugula Pesto
I served my pesto on some fresh tomatoes from my garden, sprinkled with a little Parmesan Cheese, but there are so many ways to use the pesto. Here is a list of just a few ideas I just came up, but the possibilities are endless.

  • Drizzle on chicken or pork
  • Smear on garlic bread and top with tomatoes
  • Brush on roasted vegetables or vegetable kabobs
  • Mix into pasta
  • Drizzle onto sautéed vegetables
  • Smear on a sandwich
  • Dip pita chips in it
  • Top on scrambled eggs
  • Add to a salad

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1½ cups
  • Serving size: 2 tbsp (12 servings)
    Prep time: 
    Total time: 
    A light, peppery, low calorie Italian pesto sauce made with arugula, lemon, garlic and parmesan cheese. Only 34 calories for 2 tablespoons.
    • 1 large clove garlic
    • 4 cups arugula (I used 6oz bag)
    • 1½ tbsp. lemon juice
    • ¼ cup water
    • ¼ tsp. salt (more to taste)
    • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    1. In a blender or food processor, add garlic, arugula, lemon juice and water. Process until it becomes a creamy liquid. Add salt and parmesan cheese and process until combined; slowly pour in the olive oil.
    2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    Calories per 2 tbsp: 34, Fat: 3.2, Cholesterol: 2.5, Sodium: 73, Potassium: 1.0, Carbs: .06, Fiber: .02, Sugar: 0, Protein: 1.3

    Arugula Pesto
    As much as I don’t like refrigerator clean out day, you just never know what creation you may come up with, with the ingredients you have leftover. I am looking so forward to drizzling my pesto on tonight’s dinner! Thinking veggie kabobs!  Yum!

    Hope you have a fabulous day!


    Arugula Pesto


    1. Maureen Kearns says

      What a great idea! I love how you think outside the box, and this pesto sounds yummy. I had a clean-out day yesterday and used my half butternut squash in a pasta with andouille sausage in a sauce made with shallots, lots of garlic, chardonnay and chicken broth with EVOO, of course and lots of romano cheese and chopped Italian parsley and basil. I love your recipes, but I don’t know how you do so much in a day. Do you sleep? LOL! Thanks for all you do.

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