Arugula Pesto Pasta

by Erin

Pesto isn’t just made from basil. Try this peppery arugula pesto pasta with sundried-tomatoes and chicken. Serve with your favorite roasted veggies and garlic bread.

Arugula Pesto Pasta.

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Time for November’s Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen (no longer live), a blog run by a mother-daughter pair where they document the results from recipes they have collected over the years.

Pesto seems to make everything better. And with the ease at which it can be made, all kinds of variations have popped up. Since I had yet to try pesto made with arugula I decided to try out their arugula pesto pasta recipe, despite the copious amount of basil pesto I have stocked up in my freezer.

The best part about this arugula pesto pasta is how quickly it comes together. First you quickly blanche the arugula before making the pesto. Then use that same boiling water to cook your pasta while the chicken cooks in the oven. If you have room in the oven, make roasted Brussels sprouts on another pan for your side dish.

The peppery bite of the arugula was a great change from the most common basil pesto and I especially loved the addition of sun-dried tomatoes. This arugula pesto recipe will make more pesto than you use but you will be very glad that there is some leftover to use later on other dishes or just spread it on your garlic bread!

Arugula Pesto Pasta with pesto chicken, Brussels, and garlic bread.

Two years ago: Caramel Apple Pie

Arugula Pesto Pasta.


Yield: 8 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  • 4 cups arugula
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 lb. whole wheat linguini
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes


  1. To make the pesto, prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the arugula in a large sieve and plunge it into the boiling water. Immediately immerse all the arugula and stir so that it blanches evenly. Blanch for about 15 seconds. Remove (leaving the water boiling), shake off the excess water, then plunge the arugula into the ice water bath and stir again so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well.
  2. Squeeze the water out of the arugula with your hands until very dry then put in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and walnuts. Blend for at least 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend. (The pesto will keep several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Place the chicken in a lightly greased glass baking dish and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto on top of each chicken breast. Bake for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165F.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.  Put the pasta back into the pot, along with 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer) arugula pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and the cooking water.  Stir well to combine.  Serve with the cooked and sliced pesto chicken.
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Source: K&K Test Kitchen

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Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts May 25, 2023 - 9:08 pm

[…] Make this and you won’t regret it! Maybe even serve it with some garlic rolls on the side. And then if you love it, which I know you will, you should also try arugula pesto pasta. […]

Jenni November 27, 2012 - 12:22 pm

This looks really delicious! I recently discovered that I love arugula, so I might have to put this on the menu for next week! :)

Renee - Kudos Kitchen November 27, 2012 - 7:33 am

Arugula pesto sounds really intriguing. I love that it is paired with the linguine, chicken and sun dried tomatoes. This looks really tasty to me (and nice colors for the holidays)! I enjoyed your pick for SRC!

bakingaddict November 27, 2012 - 7:15 am

This looks delicious., I love pesto and pasta. Great SRC pick!

Asiya November 26, 2012 - 10:11 pm

Ohhhhh…I had no idea that you could make pesto out of arugula!! Definitely have to give that at try…great SRC pick!

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers November 26, 2012 - 6:45 pm

Yummy Erin! I haven’t had pesto in a long time! Looks Delicious!!

cindy November 26, 2012 - 5:58 pm

Pesto is pesto–whatever the greens. This looks delicious because I’ve yet to meet a pest I didn’t like!
Great SRC pick.

Sarah E November 26, 2012 - 1:52 pm

I am drooling all over the place. I’ve only had pesto once and loved it. So now I’m searching for all these pesto recipes – I’m trying a new one this week and definitely need to add this to my list :)

Happy reveal day!

Christine November 26, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Can you believe that I have never had pesto before? After seeing a recipe like this, I think it’s time to remedy that!


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