How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto

a delicious vegan Spicy Pesto Sauce!

How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

What makes this Pesto SO special, you might ask? Well, this pesto has double peppery-bite with promise of far less calories! Yes, my friends! This Pesto, not only TOPS the chart for being flavorful, it also comes with vegan and paleo promise! Not even a touch of cheese in here! 

Then what makes it taste delicious and so flavorful? 

Well, there are few magic ingredients in this pesto sauce which not only provide, taste, silky texture but mimic the taste of parmesan cheese. 

Big promise? I know! But you have try it once to believe me! 

Spicy Vegan Jalapeno Arugula Pesto Sauce |

Now, that magic ingredient, I mean ingredients(s) are: cashews, lemon juice, and jalapeno!!

I know!!!

This is not an authentic Pesto Recipe. I mean, in Italian world, pesto needs parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. But, in my world, frankly, parmesan is not required in this pesto sauce. And pine nuts! Gosh! Pine nuts are so costly! I often end-up with pistachios, even walnuts and cashews but pine nuts! Unless, I'm really in mood to splurge a little, of course ;)

Even though not authentic, the peppery arugula with spicy jalapeno, creamy cashews, silky smooth extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice create a creamy, nutty, and aromatic Pasta Sauce!

Trust me, this Pesto Sauce has everything to make Pasta Dinner crave-worthy!!

Spicy Vegan Paleo Jalapeno and Arugula Pesto Sauce |

I'm sure you will wonder, why do I eat Arugula Pesto and not Classic Basil Pesto?! No offense, I love me Basil Pesto and often make Basil Pesto Pasta for quick and easy dinner! However, I'm a huge salad lover! So, more than Basil, my refrigerator mostly has a box of arugula, with a few handfuls left unused.

Also, just like Basil, arugula is a delicious and healthy dark-leafy green. It offers key nutrients like phytochemicals to combat cancer, antioxidants, and vitamins.

SO, friends, it is good for you!! Eat more arugula!

Spicy Vegan Green Pesto Pasta Sauce | Jalapeno Arugula Pesto Sauce |

As I mentioned, this Pesto Sauce is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and has less calories per serving. Just a moderate amount of oil and nuts used.

Now, I think I have given you enough facts to try this twisted classic pesto with just few, easy to find, delicious ingredients!

Friends, need I say more?! Go get some arugula and enjoy some healthy, Pesto Pasta for dinner, tonight!! -Savita

Few more pasta sauces, for your next Italian Pasta Dinner, at home!

Arrabbiata Sauce | Spicy Italian Pasta Sauce | Rao's Arrabbiata Copycat Artichoke and Garlic Pizza Sauce Basil Pesto

How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto

How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Italian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 1/2 Cup Pesto - Serves: 6



  • Step for Recipe - How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto 1. In a food processor jar, add all of the above ingredients except oil and seasoning (salt and pepper).
  • Step for Recipe - How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto 2. With food processor's motor running slow, add olive oil in one slow stream until pesto is pureed and creamy. (scrap the sides of bowl once in-between to puree everything evenly)
  • Step for Recipe - How To Make Spicy Arugula Pesto 3. Taste and adjust salt and black pepper. If needed, taste and add a little more lemon juice too. Remove in a jar with lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps well for up-to one week!
Savita's Notes:

I have used half jalapeno without seeds, so spice level is not that unbearable! I would say, it is moderate spicy. To adjust per your taste, you can add 1/4 of jalapeno in start, pulse, taste and then add more if you prefer.


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20 Responses

  1. Can you freeze this?
    Hi Cathie, yes you can freeze this pesto.
  2. Wow I love this pesto Savita, so creative! adding cashew is genius! Love the pictures, so fresh! :)
    thanks you so much for such sweet words! I'm glad you like it!
  3. Oh my goodness, I definitely need to try this! Arugula is by far my favorite salad green, and I love anything with jalapenos in it! This pesto sounds right up my alley!
    Annie, thanks! I hope you like it when you try... considering you have liking for jalapeno and arugula just like me, I think.. you gonna like this pesto :) thanks for stopping by my friend! -x
  4. Ooh! I love the thought of spicy pesto! And cashews is a GREAT secret ingredient!
    Nagi, thanks for sweet words. I'm glad you like this pesto :)
  5. I love arugula pesto - it's one of my go-to's. I can't wait to try this spicy version and I love that you used cashews!
    Keri, thanks! :)
  6. Beautiful and vibrant looking pesto, Savita!
    thanks, Anu! :)
  7. Savita, I am having an arugula fever lately!! This is perfect for me right now because I have a big arugula box in the refrigerator. Love it!!!
    Oriana, thanks for kind words! Glad you like the idea of arugula pesto :)
  8. You know what, i know arugula is healthy and all that....but i never like its taste...its bitter. Now i have to try this....who doesnt like pesto. Great flavours and colors:) Beautiful
    Shweta, thanks my friend. About arugula... it is all about personal preference. If you don't like arugula, you can also make this pesto with spinach. But, I understand what you saying, though I wld like to say, arugula is not bitter, it is actually peppery. In my opinion, if you pair it with tangy dressing, it tastes really good. I'm sure if you get chance to try pesto, you know what am I sayng.
  9. Great idea on making arugula pesto! We have arugula growing out of control in our garden right pesto would be a great way to use it. And I'm all about the cashews here, too. Pine nuts might be traditional, but those things are mighty pricey. Cashews would totally work! Thanks for the idea.
    David, thanks for the kind words my friend! I'm really glad you agree, cashews work gr8 in this dish
  10. Sauce look very delicious,who say no to this pesto ,i agree with you pine nuts are too costly .
    Sathya, thanks! Good thing is walnuts, pistachio or cashew too do great job. So we can skip expensive pine nuts :)