This homemade Arugula Basil Pesto with Pecans is the perfect sauce for pasta, vegetables, or as a sandwich spread. Tons of flavor and peppery bite, this homemade pesto recipe comes together in minutes and will be something you make over and over again.
Fresh Ingredients Make the Best Homemade Pesto
I am not great at keeping plants alive. However, I can’t live without pesto, and I realized while shopping recently that I just spend way too much money on fresh basil.
So while it will be a challenge, I have vowed to learn to grow herbs in plentiful amounts, and when you taste this arugula basil pesto, you will know why. Perhaps you will run out and buy a basil plant also. I urge you to do so, because once you’ve served pasta or zoodles doused in this peppery and bright pesto, there’s no looking back.
I make pesto often, and keeping the ingredients on hand for it isn’t an issue.
For this Pecan Arugula Basil Pesto, you’ll need:
- Peppery arugula
- A handful of fresh basil
- Toasted pecans (or sub walnuts – but give pecans a shot one time!)
- Fresh lemon juice — it’s worth squeezing whole lemons to get the best arugula pesto!
- High quality olive oil — this isn’t a time to be frugal, since it’s a prominent flavor.
- Salty, aged parmesan cheese ( <– you can leave it out to make this Whole30 or Vegan, but I love using it!).
How to Make Homemade Arugula Basil Pesto
Making pesto at home couldn’t be easier. It’s really a matter of throwing all your ingredients into a food process, and giving it a good whir. As long as you’re using enough liquid, it should come together in a couple of minutes.
You can also make homemade pesto in a blender, but I find you need more liquid to make it smooth, and sometimes adding too much liquid just waters down the flavors of the herbs or basil.
Pesto is so versatile! You can make arugula basil pesto with all arugula, or all basil, you’ll just have to change the name!
You can also lighten it up by using 1/2 of olive oil and adding extra water, or by omitting or reducing the cheese. If you do that, you might want to use a bit more salt.
However you choose to make it, you’ll find tons of ways to use homemade pesto!
Ways to Use Pecan Pesto
Pesto is NOT just for pasta! I use it all of the time, and actually for pesto pasta is probably the way I use it least often.
- Pesto Vinaigrette Salad Dressing: Simply add white or red wine vinegar and lemon juice. I typically use about 1/2 pesto, and 1/2 a balance of vinegar and lemon juice. You can also add a little water or olive oil if it gets too bright for you.
- A Sandwich or Wrap Spread: Forget mayo! Pesto is way more flavorful, and you’ll get a boost of greens as well!
- Pesto Hummus: Give your veggie dip a pesto-y flair. I recommend trying this Basil Pesto White Bean Hummus.
- Flavor up a Vegetarian Salad: You’ll love this Pesto Green Bean Quinoa Salad!
Arugula Basil Pesto
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups basil
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pecans toasted
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or more, to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a food processor bowl, and process until smooth.
- Taste, and adjust salt and lemon if necessary.
- Serve on pasta, salads, or use as a sandwich spread.
Other Homemade Pesto Recipes:
- Pistachio Herb Pesto, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Lightened up Basil Walnut Pesto, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Supergreen Watercress Pesto, by Sunkissed Kitchen
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