Easy Pea Pesto with Pistachio and Arugula

There’s a new pesto in town! This Easy Pea Pesto with Pistachio and Arugula is ready to rock your pasta game!

Easy Pea Pesto on Tortellini Pasta

I’ve always been a big fan of using arugula in pesto.

It’s vibrant, flavorful, and just plain pretty! More importantly, is just how heavenly it tastes over fresh tortellini. OMG! I could seriously eat this and nothing else all winter long. In fact, I just may try to!

You should join me. It’s oh-so-easy being green!

This tasty homemade pesto is vibrant, flavorful, and just plain pretty. Slather it on sandwiches or pizza, swirl it into pasta and soups, or spread it on crostini for a tasty vegetarian appetizer!

easy pea pesto

Easy Pea Pesto with Pistachio and Arugula

Easy Pea Pesto
5 from 2 votes

Easy Pea Pesto with Pistachio and Arugula

This tasty homemade pea pesto is vibrant, flavorful, and just plain pretty!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword Easy Pea Pesto
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 50 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 1 cup fresh baby arugula (2.5 oz)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 25 pistachios shelled
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin or light olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh smashed + minced garlic
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • additional Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese for topping
  • additional olive oil to thin the sauce if desired
  • several chopped pistachios for garnish
  • parsley for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste will vary based on amount of  salty parm used


  1. Begin by steaming your peas, this will take a few minutes on the stove or the microwave.
  2. Next grab your freshly smashed/minced garlic.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, add the garlic to a tablespoon of olive oil and cook on high for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can break out a small pan and sauté the garlic on the stove top. Both methods work great and take the bite out of the garlic while infusing the oil with rich garlicky flavor.
  4. Add to a food processor along with the remainder of your ingredients and pulse until beautifully blended.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and blend in a little extra olive oil if to thin the sauce. I add extra when using it for pasta and leave it thicker for spreading on crackers or crostini. Let your tastebuds be your guide!

Recipe Notes

Between the natural saltiness of the cheese and the pistachios used [most come salted, unless you happen to have access to unsalted] the dish will already have a bit of season to it. Add any additional salt to taste. I personally wound up adding around 1/8 teaspoon along with extra Parmesan for topping.

Nutrition Facts below are estimated per 2 TBSP of pesto using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Easy Pea Pesto with Pistachio and Arugula
Amount Per Serving
Calories 50 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 51mg2%
Potassium 40mg1%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 113IU2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this easy pea pesto, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

easy pea pesto

This totally goes without saying, but the glory of pesto is that you can make it out of anything you have in abundance.

If your garden is overflowing with fresh, fragrant basil, then whip up a bowl of traditional pesto! Have a bag of baby spinach that needs to be used up fast? Sub the arugula in this recipe for spinach and you’ve got yourself a sassy sauce!

The pestobilities are endless!

Did I really just say that? I’ll be under the bed hiding if you need me.

I’ll only come out if you make me pesto.

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Recipe Rating


  • Helene

    5 stars
    Rocket pesto is my favorite!! Drooling here yum. 🙂

  • 5 stars
    I love the idea of arugula with tortellini! I bet the flavor would be incredible and I will be trying this soon!

    • Super excited for you to try it Sandi! Hope it’s a hit!

  • Ashley

    Hi Jenn, I’m just wondering if you could tell me what the brand is or where you got that little serving dish with the two sides. I’ve been looking for one where each side is equal but keep finding ones where the one side is way smaller than the other. Thanks!

    • Jenn

      Hey Ashley! It’s from Crate & Barrel but I couldn’t find it when I searched for a link to send you, eek! I think they discontinued it? If I come across another I’ll def keep you posted! I need a second in case I break this one! [SOOOO likely!]

  • I am happy to embark on your winter crusade to eat nothing but four-cheese spinach tortellini with Pistachio Arugula Sweet Pea Pesto on top. Let’s start now. Ok, GO! 🙂

  • Heehee the pestobilities 🙂 this looks incredible! I love pesto and regularly put it through risotto! I can’t wait to try this! 🙂

    • Jenn

      Ohmygosh YES! Make me pesto risotto pleeeeeease!

  • Woah, I love that you used peas! So brilliant since they’ll blend in perfectly. And wow, it’s been WAY too long since I’ve had tortellini OR pesto. I’m pinning this recipe right now 🙂

    • Jenn

      Thanks Liv!! The peas compliment the pesto so well! <3

  • You are one talented, amazing, epic person.

    Sorry, I was just letting in the mirror.

    Oh um, Jenn. This looks okay.

    • Jenn

      muahahahahaha! you’re so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you! 😉

  • This looks incredible! I can’t believe it has peas. I mean peas can do that? And that last pic is amazing. Seriously when are you giving photography lessons?

    • Jenn

      gahhh thanks Megan! Peas can do a lot if you give ’em a little love! And I’m actually taking photog lessons from the bestie and good ole pinterest because I’m terrible at it when the light isn’t in my favor. I need to figure how to set up artificial lights again like I used to at our old house. It’s been so long I’ve forgotten!

  • Anne

    Perfect! I LOVE pesto, but husband refuses to eat anything containing basil–this will be just the thing for both of us–thanks!!

    • Jenn

      Yay!!!! Hope you both loooooove it! It’s a great alternative! Spinach works for the arugula too if he’d like the pesto even more mild. I also make this really awesome creamy spinach sauce for pasta.. let me see if I can find the link!

      • Jenn

        Spinach Sauce <-- this one! To die for!

  • I have never made or even eaten pesto (I know, I know), so I am super excited to try this out!!

    • Jenn

      You’ve GOOOOT to try pesto! Traditional and my snapped up version too! =)

  • this looks AMAZING!!!!! I love the idea of combining so many delicious flavors and hiding all those yummy veggies!! Who doesn’t love pesto??

  • Yum! May make this for a date night at home! Sounds delicious!

  • Two of my favorite things- peas and arugula! This pesto looks amaze. Pinning to add to my recipe list!

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