Spinach Arugula Walnut Pesto over Whole Wheat Penne
Combine in-season spinach leaves with peppery arugula and walnuts for an earthy, less oily version of pesto.
  • Makes: 10 cups (6 servings of 1⅔ cup each)
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty Rating: Easy

  • Nutrition Highlights: Whole-wheat pastas are filled with nutrients and fiber, meaning you just might fill up with a smaller portion. Spinach’s phytonutrients include lutein and zeaxanthin. Arugula provides outstanding folate plus vitamins A, C and K.

  • Recipe Created By:
  • Recipe From: My Indiana Home


  • 10 ounces baby spinach*
  • 5 ounces arugula*
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½-¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil**
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half for garnish, optional

*Packages or containers of prewashed.
**This pesto is designed to be more “veggie” than oil, so if you prefer a glossier, oilier pesto, add extra olive oil as desired.

See Also:  Warm Okra and Tomato Salad


  1. Add half the baby spinach to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped and reduced in bowl. Add remaining spinach and continue pulsing. Add arugula, walnuts, garlic, Parmesan, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth. Add oil slowly, processing until thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
  2. Serve ¼ cup pesto over 1 ¾ to 2 cups cooked penne, or toss together in individual dishes. Garnish with grape tomatoes, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories – 461, Fat – 26.4g, Dietary Fiber –8.5g, Protein – 12.5g, Vitamin A – 101%, Vitamin C – 35%, Calcium – 10%, Iron – 12%.

**Nutrition information is calculated using an online calorie calculator. Variations may exist. Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Tips & Notes

• Not keen on 100% whole grain pasta yet? Start with the 50% white/50% whole-grain versions.
• Finely grated cheese, rather than shredded, creates a more desirable texture in pesto.
• Arugula can be found in either plastic bags or small plastic rectangular containers near other lettuce and mixed greens.

More Spinach-Arugula-Walnut Pesto Tips & Notes


  1. I always looking for recipes to link to from my fan FB and since pesto is a serious fav or mine (especially with walnuts!) I linked to this recipe. I just wanted to let you know!


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