This Easy Vegan Arugula Pesto Recipe is one of my favorite Italian preparations. Not only can you make great pasta, but you can use it to boost the flavor of other dishes.
Sometimes we just add it to a stew, make bruschettas or add it to pizzas. We also use pesto as a sandwiches’ spread to instantly boost its flavor instead of using mayonnaise.
5 Reasons to make your own pesto
- Pesto Sauce is super versatile and customizable. First, you need a strong-flavored green such as Arugula (Rucola), Basil, Mint, or Kale, any nut, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon, salt, and garlic.
- Looking at the ingredients of store-bought pesto, I realized how many conservatives and chemicals they have. You should be in complete control of what I put in your body.
- If you are vegan, including Nutritional Yeast in your diet is essential. This pesto replaces Cheese with Nutritional Yeast to make up for the traditional pesto cheesy flavor.
- You can make a lot and save some money. For example, I used to buy lots of pesto, using it at least twice a week. But, making your own pesto is suitable for your pocket!
- It is a great way to add nutritious greens to your diet. Fresh Arugula (Rucola) is considered a cancer-fighting superfood, so with this pesto, you deliciously include arugula in your diet as you also protect the Aging Brain From Cognitive Decline.
This is how you make a pesto vegan. We are replacing the Cheese Component with Cheesy Nutritional Yeast. It is essential to have good quality and cheesy nutritional yeast; otherwise, it won’t make it for the recipe’s lack of cheese. Some Nutritional Yeasts are neutral or are even fruit-scented, which, of course, won’t work.
- Olive Oil
- Nutritional yeast
Another plus of having this vegan version is that it is dairy-free and casein-free. Therefore, lactose-intolerant individuals can consume it, and nutritional yeast is packed with protein and has a very low-calorie count compared to cheese.
Just throw everything in the blender.
Blend 2-3 minutes until soft and smooth. Add more oil if you want it to be thinner.
What is pesto sauce?
There are many kinds of pesto: Pesto Alla Genovese is the traditional one and consists of seven ingredients, according to il Consorzio del Pesto Genovese (the Academy of Pesto).
These ingredients are Basil leaves, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Pecorino Cheese (Sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia), Garlic, Pine nuts, Coarse Salt.
It is common to replace pine nuts with walnuts since pine nuts may be challenging to find and relatively expensive.
In addition to the traditional Basil pesto and the less traditional but commonly found Arugula one, the standard pesto products found in Italy are:
- Pesto Alla Calabrese (Hot Peppers)
- The Pesto Alla Siciliane (Ricotta Cheese and Nuts)
- Pesto Rosso (with tomatoes).
Then you have more Gourmet pestos made out of Pistachio nuts.
In a nutshell, to make a pesto, you need a Vegetable or Leave (such as Basil, Red Peppers, Tomato, Arugula), Cheese, Garlic, and Oil. The variations come with imagination. The Mint Pesto is a good example.
Benefits of arugula (rocket or rucola)
Arugula Health Benefits are vast. Did you know that rucola is considered a Superfood?
- Cancer-Fighting Powerfood: studies show may reduce the risk of developing lung, prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer.
- Aphrodisiac: research has shown us that the trace minerals and antioxidants in the dark, leafy greens are essential for our sexual health.
- Weight Loss: rucola in your diet can benefit you with many nutrients. Two cups contain only 80 calories, making it a good choice for those on a diet.
- Protects the Aging Brain From Cognitive Decline: rucola, along with broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, is high in fiber and antioxidants and rich in glucosinolates, which studies show may reduce the risk of developing lung, prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer.
- Helps Reduce Inflammation in the Body: It contains substances that have been shown to suppress the production of inflammation in the body.
Now, let's get cooking! Well, just blending... it only takes 5 minutes, so you might want to start boiling your pasta!
More Vegan Italian Recipes
- Stuffed Pasta Shells with Pesto Sauce
- Lemony Spaghetti
- Saffron Risotto
- Vegan Basil Pesto
- Mint Pesto
- Basic Pizza + All the tips for getting it right the first time!
Find out more about Nutritional Yeast benefits.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Recipe: Vegan Arugula Pesto
- Blend. Put all the ingredients on the food processor or you can also use a small blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Adjust with water for fluidness or nutritional yeast for thickness.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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