Pumpkin Seed Arugula Pesto: A Delicious Twist!

Welcome to my vegan kitchen! Today, I’m excited to introduce you to my latest creation- pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce. This recipe is a nutrient-packed twist on the classic pesto sauce that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your body nourished.

As a vegan chef, I understand the importance of flavorful, nutritious meals. And this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce ticks all the boxes. It’s not only delicious but also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your body requires for optimal health.

In this recipe, we’ll be using fresh arugula and shelled pumpkin seeds to create a smooth and creamy sauce that’s bursting with flavor. And the best part? It’s vegan, which means that it’s entirely free from any animal products, making it suitable for anyone following a plant-based diet.

I’m excited to share this recipe with you, and I hope that after trying it for yourself, you’ll become as passionate about it as I am. So let’s head straight into the ingredient list and get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pumpkin Seed Arugula Pesto Sauce (Vegan)
Pumpkin Seed Arugula Pesto Sauce (Vegan)

Looking for a delectable way to add some zing to your meal? You’ll love this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce vegan recipe. Trust me, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before!

Not only is this sauce incredibly rich and full-bodied, but it’s also bursting with flavor that will leave you wanting more. This delicious pesto sauce has a unique blend of ingredients including fresh parsley, garlic cloves, and arugula that gives it an unforgettable taste.

One of the highlights of this recipe is its main ingredient – the pumpkin seeds. These seeds are rich in protein and healthy fats, making it very good for you, which means you get nutrition without sacrificing flavor. The pumpkin seeds are complemented perfectly by the tangy, fresh flavor of arugula and the bold flavor of garlic.

This pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce vegan recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to add more flavor and variety to their meals but doesn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or break their bank account.

So if you’re looking for a new way to spice up your meals and impress your dinner guests or if you just want to try something new, give this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce a try! I guarantee that you’ll love it as much as I do.

Ingredient List

“A pesto sauce with a twist”

Let’s talk about what you will need to make this delicious and versatile pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce. The ingredients are simple, vegan-friendly, and packed with nutrients. Here is what you will need:


  • 2 cups arugula, tightly packed
  • 1 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
  • 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan cheese)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Sea salt to taste

You can find most of these ingredients in your local grocery store or health food market. Make sure to select the freshest and highest quality produce as it will impact the overall taste and quality of the pesto.

For those who are allergic or intolerant to some of the ingredients listed above, I have provided substitutions in section (5) for a personalized and tasty variation of the recipe that suits your taste buds.

The Recipe How-To

“A green and nutty sensation”

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients for this delicious pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce, it’s time to put everything together and create this amazing vegan recipe.

Step 1: Toasting the Pumpkin Seeds

Start by toasting pumpkin seeds in a pan over medium heat. Gently toss them around and cook until they are nicely brown and fragrant.

Step 2: Making the Pesto

In a food processor, combine the toasted pumpkin seeds with arugula, garlic cloves, fresh parsley and some sea salt. Pulse everything together until well combined.

Step 3: Adding the Oil

With the food processor still running, slowly add olive oil through the pouring spout until a smooth texture is achieved.

Step 4: Adding Lemon Juice

Lastly, add some freshly squeezed lemon juice into your pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce for a delightful tangy flavor.

Now that your beautiful pesto dish is ready, toss it with pasta until evenly coated or use it as a spread on your sandwiches. I personally love using this sauce on my roasted vegetables like delicata squash or even when making an arugula salad!

Enjoy experimenting with different ways to use this flavorful sauce!

Substitutions and Variations

“Fall flavors on your plate”

As with any recipe, there are always substitutions and variations that can be made to suit individual preferences or dietary restrictions. Fear not, my fellow vegan foodies, I’ve got you covered with some creative and delicious options for this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce.

Firstly, the oil in this recipe can be substituted with avocado oil, hemp seed oil or any other neutral-flavored oil of your choice. If you want to make an oil-free version, you can simply use 1/4 cup of water or lemon juice instead.

Furthermore, you can swap out the pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds, pine nuts or even cashews. If nut-free is what you’re after, try using pepitas instead or simply leave them out entirely.

For some added nutritional benefits, sprinkle in some nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese to enhance the savory flavor. You can also throw in some fresh kale or delicata squash for a tasty twist on the classic sauce.

If you prefer a spicier kick, try adding a small amount of jalapeno pepper or red pepper flakes to the mix. Feeling adventurous? Experiment with incorporating different herbs such as sage or oregano for more unique flavors.

Lastly, this pesto sauce is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes beyond pasta. Mix it into your favorite salad dressing recipe or spread it over toasted bread for a flavorful snack.

Whatever your preference may be, have fun experimenting with these substitutions and variations to create your own personalized pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce recipe!

Serving and Pairing

“A quick and easy vegan sauce”

This pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce is a versatile and delicious addition to many meals. Here are some ideas for how to serve and pair it:

– Pasta: This sauce would be perfect over pasta, whether it’s spaghetti, linguine, or any other type of noodle. I recommend serving it with a simple pasta dish that won’t overpower the unique flavor of the pesto.

– Roasted veggies: Drizzle this sauce over roasted vegetables like delicata squash, kale, or brussels sprouts. It provides a nice contrast to the richness of roasted veggies.

– Salad dressing: Use this pesto as a salad dressing by thinning it out with a little bit of water or lemon juice. It would pair well with an arugula salad or any other peppery green.

– Pizza topping: Spread this sauce on the crust of a pizza instead of tomato sauce. It would pair well with toppings like sliced cherry tomatoes, sautéed onions, and garlic.

– Dip: Serve this pesto as a dip for crackers or sliced vegetables. It’s a great appetizer to share at a party or to snack on while watching TV.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce is sure to add a burst of flavor to your meal. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Unleash the power of pumpkin seeds”

As someone who often holds dinner parties, I’ve learned that it’s always more convenient to make a big batch of sauce ahead of time. That way, when your guests arrive, you can focus on the main course and simply reheat the sauce when it’s time to serve.

The good news is that this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce can be made ahead of time! Once your sauce is complete, transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. The oils in pesto tend to harden when refrigerated, so be sure to let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

If you find yourself with any leftovers, don’t worry! You can store it in the fridge for up to a week. Just be sure to give your refrigerated sauce a good shake or stir before reheating or serving.

To reheat your pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce, either microwave it for just a few seconds or warm it up in a small pot on low heat. If the sauce looks too thick while reheating, simply add a teaspoon of olive oil or water and mix well. I recommend tasting and adjusting salt/seasoning before serving.

One thing to note: because this vegan pesto recipe doesn’t use cheese (such as parmesan cheese) as a binding agent, the oil may separate from the other ingredients over time, especially when stored in cold temperatures. This is perfectly normal and can be resolved by whisking the separated oil back into the sauce.

Overall, making this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce ahead of time can save you a lot of stress when hosting guests or preparing meals throughout the week!

Tips for Perfect Results

“An arugula explosion for your taste buds”

Let me share some tips to help you create the perfect pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce.

First and foremost, use fresh ingredients when making your pesto. Ensure that your arugula and parsley is still crispy, and your garlic is not yet sprouting. The fresher the ingredients, the more flavorful your pesto sauce will be.

Another important factor to consider is the texture of your pesto sauce. If you prefer a chunky texture, pulse the ingredients in your food processor several times for a rougher consistency. On the other hand, if you are aiming for a smoother texture, blend the ingredients until the mixture is entirely smooth.

Proper blending also ensures that all flavors are well-mixed within the recipe. Always start with blending your dry ingredients – in this case, your pumpkin seeds, garlic cloves, and sea salt – before adding in the wet ones such as olive oil or lemon juice.

When seasoning with salt, it is best to do it gradually while tasting as you go along. Start with a small amount of salt and add more according to preference rather than pouring too much upfront and overpowering the other flavors.

Lastly, make sure to prepare enough sauce to cover fully coat whatever you’re pairing with it. Nothing is worse than having half of your pasta dry because there isn’t enough pesto sauce to go around!

Incorporate these tips into your cooking approach to create an amazing pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce that will take your meals to a whole new level!


Now that you have all of the details about the pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce and its versatility, it is time to tackle some of the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. Don’t let any doubts or concerns hold you back from enjoying the incredible flavors and benefits of this vegan pesto. In this section, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions to ensure that you can make this delicious sauce perfectly each and every time. So let’s dive in!

How do you make arugula pesto less bitter?

When seeking to diminish the bitterness in your dish, consider supplementing it with fat or salt. To achieve this, a handful of nuts or cheese can be blended in, and don’t hesitate to add a touch more salt. It’s always best to taste and adjust the pesto as you’re preparing it, so you can fine-tune the various components that are working together.

What is the difference between pumpkin seeds and pepitas?

Although pepitas and pumpkin seeds have similarities, such as being derived from the same plant, they have their differences. While pumpkin seeds have their shells intact, pepitas come from hulless pumpkin varieties and do not have shells.

Can you freeze arugula for pesto?

In case there’s any leftover of the Arugula Pesto after you’re done cooking, there’s no need to worry! It can be stored in a sealed glass jar which can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days. However, freezing it is a better option. You can easily portion it out and freezing it in ice cube trays is a clever idea. These cubes can come in handy whenever you want some Pesto.

Is pesto made from arugula?

For this arugula pesto recipe, we will need some fresh arugula to add a spicy and earthy taste to the sauce. Rather than using pine nuts, we will be using cashews to give the pesto a smooth and creamy texture. And for the right richness, we’ll be using some extra-virgin olive oil.

Bottom Line


So, what are you waiting for? Give this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce a try and taste the deliciousness of this vegan recipe. You will not be disappointed! This sauce is perfect for pasta, salads, sandwiches or even as a dip.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations to create your own unique flavor. Get creative and have fun in the kitchen! Share this recipe with your friends and family who are looking for a tasty and healthy vegan option.

Remember that you can also store it in the fridge or freezer so you always have a quick and easy meal ready to go.

Lastly, I want to remind you that plant-based food can be just as flavorful and satisfying as non-vegan dishes. So let’s embrace veganism by trying out new recipes such as this pumpkin seed arugula pesto sauce. Our bodies, animals and planet will thank us for it!

Pumpkin Seed Arugula Pesto Sauce (Vegan)

Pumpkin Seed Arugula Pesto Sauce (Vegan) Recipe

A mouthwatering selection from ExtraVeganZa, posted as written that makes a nice change for pasta dishes and pizzas from the traditional basil and walnut pesto. Add some nutritional yeast for cheeziness factor since this lacks parmesan or asiago cheese.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 6
Calories 347.1 kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds, toasted recommended)
  • 3 1/2 cups arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • Toast the pumpkin seeds by placing them in a skillet on medium heat until they start to brown a bit. (Or by placing in a baking dish in the oven at 475F for 8-10 minutes.).
  • Place the toasted seeds in a food processor and grind until fine.
  • Add the garlic and salt then pulse again.
  • While the food processor is running, add handfuls of arugula and parsley through the top opening of the machine.
  • Keep adding as these get blended in until all of the greens are incorporated.
  • Pour the oil through the top opening and continue blending.
  • You might have to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  • Add more salt or oil to reach your desired flavor, then scoop the sauce into a jar, it will keep for about a week.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 52gCalories: 347.1kcalCarbohydrates: 4.9gProtein: 10.3gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 5.3gSodium: 202.7mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, From Scratch, Greens, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetable, Weeknight
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