Fresh and Easy Arugula Pesto

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Pesto is one of the easiest condiments to make on the Paleo diet that can bring powerful flavors to your plate. Diverging from classic basil pesto, in this recipe the base of the pesto is composed of peppery arugula. Pair it with just about anything.

Fresh and Easy Arugula Pesto- A garlicky, peppery and perfectly balanced pesto! Plus, it is completely dairy free and gluten free.
Serving Size

Fresh and Easy Arugula Pesto- A garlicky, peppery and perfectly balanced pesto! Plus, it is completely dairy free and gluten free.

Fresh pesto has an amazing ability to liven a dish. You can enjoy it with zucchini pasta, over grilled fish, stuffed into chicken, or incorporated into meatballs. Or it can be eaten straight with a spoon. Pesto adds a ton of healthy flavor and at the same time only takes about two minutes to mix together. I like to make a large batch so that I have some leftover for meals during the week, since it keeps very well in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Homemade Paleo pesto is a bit different than the store-bought variety. Many pesto sauces have cheese added into them. This is a dairy-free pesto recipe than can also be made nut-free. If you have a nut allergy, simply omit the walnuts. I chose to incorporate walnuts with the arugula to give the pesto an earthier flavor, or you could also use pine nuts.

pesto ingredients

The use of arugula as the base has made this recipe my favorite pesto recipe. The flavor that you get from the peppery greens is delicious and simply can’t be found in other vegetables. Lemon and garlic also add their own bright notes to the pesto.

healthy pesto
paleo pesto

I feel like everyone makes pesto a little differently, adding their own flare or personal touch. There are so few ingredients in this recipe that a simple adjustment can change the flavor drastically. So let your inner chef out, and taste and adjust, then go back and taste and adjust some more, if needed. This arugula pesto is one condiment that you will always want to have around.



    • 2 cups fresh arugula, packed
    • 1/4 cup walnuts
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the arugula, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to a blender or food processor and blend. Gradually add the olive oil and process until well combined.


Serving Size




P.S. Make sure to take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. It has over 470+ easy paleo recipes and free 10 week meal plan. Click here to view recipes.

Nutrition Information




0.8 g


18.8 g


0.2 g


0.4 g


0.2 g

Calories 170 kcal
Potassium 34.4 mg
Vitamin A 8 µg
Vitamin C 1.5 mg
Folic Acid (B9) 7.7 µg
Sodium 63.4 mg

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