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Lemony Arugula Pesto

dressings and sauces recipes Jul 22, 2020

Looking for a star ingredient to take your summer meals to the next level? Make a batch of this Lemony Arugula Pesto that’s as easy to make as it is versatile. It’s perfect for basting grilled tofu kebabs, marinating vegetable steaks, slathering on sandwiches or tossing with noodles. You can find it in our Lemon Hummus Pasta with Spinach & Sun-dried Tomatoes, our Pesto Tofu Kebabs and Heirloom Tomato & Arugula Pesto Paninis. (Try us free here!) 

Lemony Arugula Pesto        

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes

Makes about 2 ½ cups



4 cups tightly packed fresh arugula

¼ cup walnuts 

4 large cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)

¼ cup olive oil

⅓ cup water (plus more if needed)



  1. Add the arugula, walnuts, garlic, lemon, nutritional yeast and salt to a food processor. Mix on high until a loose paste forms.
  2. Stream the olive oil into the processor a little at a time while the machine is running. Scrape down the sides as needed and add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. The sauce should be thick, but pourable. 
  1. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more salt, nutritional yeast or lemon juice.


Nut allergy? Substitute raw, shelled sunflower seeds for the walnuts.


Ditch the oil: Replace the olive oil with water or vegetable broth.


Spoiler Alert: Lemony Arugula Pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or poured into ice cube molds and frozen for up to 1 month.


Batch it up! Lemony Arugula Pesto is delicious tossed with your favorite pasta or spread on a pizza crust or panini. It's also a flavorful marinade on tofu kebabs and vegetable steaks.

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