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Arugula-walnut vegan pesto

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Vegan Arugula and Walnut Pesto

This Arugula-walnut vegan pesto is a nice switch from the standard pesto. The peppery taste of the arugula and walnuts make for a delicious, healthy sauce to use on a variety of dishes. I always love having a little of this pesto hanging around the house. It’s easily stored in the freezer for those rainy days when you don’t feel like making anything. So versatile, consider keeping individual portions of this vegan rocket pesto with walnuts in your freezer to use as a quick and easy go-to sauce that you can add to zest up a variety of dishes in a zip. Loaded with garlic and nutrient-dense arugula this makes for a deliciously healthy addition to any meal. 

What makes this Arugula-Walnut pesto vegan?

The traditional Italian pesto recipe contains parmesan. This adds density and creaminess to the sauce it also makes it a more filling dish. Since we are making this Arugula-Walnut pesto vegan and therefore without cheese, the addition of walnuts is necessary to bring back a lot of that creaminess to the sauce in addition to flavour and filling you up.   

What makes this Vegan Rocket Pesto with Walnuts so versatile?

I’ve added this Arugula-walnut vegan pesto to so many dishes and have quite literally been surprised every time. It has such a lovely flavour to it. Also, since it is quite easily frozen, just fill up an ice cube tray full of it and you can zip up your dish in no time as an alternative to plain tomato sauce or zip up other sauces. See below for examples of dishes to create with this pesto.

Vegan recipes with this Arugula-walnut vegan pesto

  • Pesto with vegan pasta                                   
  • Vegan pesto gnocchi
  • vegan creamy pesto rice                                             
  • Use the walnut vegan pesto as a sauce on your Pizza Crust Recipe (Gluten-free, Vegan) as a replacement to the traditional tomato pizza base.
  • Add a dollop of this vegan arugula pesto while grilling vegetables
  • Mix it with a vegan mayo for a delicious vegan arugula pesto sandwich
  • Mix it in creamy salad dressings
  • So many other uses


  • Fresh arugula
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic
  • Lemon


  • High-Powered Blender

Tips on making the best vegan creamy pesto

This vegan creamy pesto is probably one of the easiest sauces to make; there aren’t very many ways to mess it up. One thing that I would suggest is to salt conservatively. You can always add extra salt but if you go too far, you would have to rebalance the recipe which can be a real pain. Remember, you can always salt the dish directly as opposed to salting the pesto. Furthermore, make sure that you have a blender that can cream the walnuts properly. I high powered blender is highly recommended or else you might find yourself with a bit of a gritty pesto which would be unpleasant in texture. This recipe makes about 2 cups which translates to about 32 portions if you use about a tbsp per portion.

Making this Arugula-walnut vegan pesto

The beauty of this recipe is that there is really not much to it. Since there is only one step and no cooking involved (only blending), as long as you follow the quantities, you should be good to go.  Here’s how to make it.

Add ingredients into blender

Add ingredients of Arugula-walnut vegan pesto into blender

Use your high-powered blender and mix all the ingredients except the salt till well combined. The resulting sauce should be creamy and smooth looking and resemble the image below. Salt conservatively. Then pour over your favourite pasta dish.

Blended Arugula-walnut vegan pesto

Variations on this Arugula-walnut vegan pesto

Vegan Cashew Pesto

If you are a fan of cashews or simply do not have walnuts on hand, consider this Vegan Cashew Pesto by replacing the walnuts with equal parts of roasted cashews to make a vegan creamy pesto. This version of vegan cashew pesto will blow your mind.

Garlic Scape Pesto (Vegan)

During the springtime there are loads of garlic scapes on sale at the grocery stores. Personally, I can’t get enough of them. However, a lot of people simply don’t know what to do with them. Garlic scape pesto (vegan) is a delicious variation on the traditional pesto recipe. Simply replace the arugula, basil and garlic with equal parts in garlic scapes and use it as you would use any other pesto. 

Vegan basil-walnut pesto

Not a huge fan of the bitter bite of arugula or simply don’t have any on hand? This delicious alternative to this recipe works really well too! Just replace the arugula with equal parts of basil and use it as you would any other pesto.

How to store this Arugula-walnut vegan pesto

Keep this vegan arugula pesto with walnuts in the fridge for up to a week. More than that, your pesto will change in flavour. I usually just put any excess in ice cube trays and freeze it immediately after making it so that I can have it on hand whenever I need to make a quick meal. Store it for up to 3 months. 

Vegan Arugula and Walnut Pesto

Vegan Arugula and Pesto

This vegan arugula and walnut pesto is a nice switch from your standard pesto with peppery arugula paired with the sweet basil and walnuts.
Course sauce, Toppers
Cuisine Italian
Keyword arugula, basil, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, pesto, recipe, sauce, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 32
Calories 67kcal
Author Happy as a Yam Recipes


  • Blender


  • ½ cups Firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup Firmly packed arugula
  • 1 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Walnuts Chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Lemon
  • 1 tsp Sea salt


  • Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Serve over pasta, rice, vegetable or protein.


Keep in fridge for up to a week or freeze in ice cubes for up to 3 months.

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