Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad – I via I #vegetarian #vegan
30 min or less, Appetizers, Easy, Salads, Side dishes, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad (Vegan)

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Some of my favorite things in this world are tomatoes, pesto, and pasta. That’s why I love this Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad so much.  This is such a versatile dish- you can have it for dinner, lunch or just as a side dish (trust me, I’ve done all three!). And maybe even as a midnight snack. =) shhh….

First, you’ll want to find the type of pasta you want to use. I use a rainbow radiatore pasta from Trader Joe’s but any corkscrew pasta will do (gluten free works too). In a large pot, boil the noodles as the package directions suggest. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. In a food processor, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, walnuts, and nutritional yeast. Process for 1 minute or until blended and somewhat smooth.

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad – I via I #vegetarian #vegan

So, what exactly is nutritional yeast you ask?

When I ventured into the vegan way of life, I found people were using nutritional yeast in a lot of recipes. It’s not as gross as the name implies (who came up with that, really?) and it’s actually very different than the standard bread yeast you may be thinking of. It’s often used to create vegan cheeses, and gives you that cheese-like flavor that you may be craving. I for one, love pesto with parmesan cheese, but for this recipe, I thought I would substitute it with nutritional yeast and YUM! The other great thing is, it’s packed with a TON of B vitamins and is extremely healthy for you.

Ok, so back to the recipe…

Add the pesto to the pasta and stir to combine. Then, add arugula, tomatoes, pine nuts, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir all to combine. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do!

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad – I via I #vegetarian #vegan


Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 12 ounces corkscrew pasta (I use rainbow radiatore), gluten free if desired
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 16 ounce container grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted


  1. In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water according to instructions on package. Drain completely and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. In a food processor, add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and walnuts. Process for 1 minute. A
  3. dd pesto to pasta and stir gently to combine. Add arugula, tomatoes, pine nuts and sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir until combined.

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...


  • I am always looking for ways to use arugula. Your recipe fits the bill and looks delicious. It’s on next week’s menu after grocery shopping. Thank you!

    • Yay, thanks Margaret! So happy to help! =)

  • When do you add the arugula???????

    • You add the arugula right after the pasta, with the tomatoes, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Thanks.


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