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Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad – Eat Yourself Skinny

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This light and fresh Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad is the perfect meal or side dish that is easy to make, healthy and delicious!

We’re diving head first into spring and this pea and arugula pesto pasta salad is the perfect recipe to help you transition into the season! Fresh flavors, leafy greens and protein-packed peas all tossed together with warm pasta and homemade pesto make this one of my favorite dishes.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Light, healthy and delicious!
  • Easy to make and comes together in just 15 minutes.
  • The homemade pesto also tastes great on top of pizza, works as a salad dressing and is a great topping for steak or chicken.
  • Perfect addition to summer parties, cookouts or a simple meal at home!
This light and fresh Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad is the perfect meal or side dish that is easy to make, healthy and delicious!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • pasta – for this recipe I used rotini noodles, but feel free to use any type of curly/corkscrew pasta such as cavatappi or fusilli.  The nooks in the pasta really grab hold of the pesto nicely! 
  • arugula – I love the peppery flavor of the arugula in this dish, but any type of leafy greens will work. You’ll be using the arugula both in the pesto and for the salad.
  • peas – fresh or frozen (thawed) peas work in this recipe and really adds to the creaminess of the pesto while adding a little sweetness!
  • fresh mint – adds a boost of freshness and flavor.
  • olive oil – I like to use good quality extra virgin olive oil that doesn’t have to be expensive, just make sure it’s cold-pressed and organic for the most flavor.
  • garlic – adds a boost of flavor and tastes amazing with all these fresh flavors!
  • pine nuts – if you don’t have pine nuts on hand you can use another nut such as cashews, walnuts, pistachios or almonds. If there are nut allergies, sunflower seeds are a great substitute!
  • parmesan cheese – freshly grated parmesan cheese right from the block is truly best in this pesto!  It’s a little more expensive, but really makes a difference in how great this tastes, but of course you could buy pre-grated parmesan cheese from the store if you prefer.
  • lemon juice – I just love the bright, fresh flavor lemon juice bring to this pesto, you could even add a little lemon zest to this as well.
  • salt + pepper
This light and fresh Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad is the perfect meal or side dish that is easy to make, healthy and delicious!

How to Make Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad

  1. Boil the pasta.  Bring some water to a boil, sprinkle in some salt, and cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente.  I personally prefer this pasta salad warm, but if you wanted a cold pasta salad, simply run your pasta under cold water after draining it in a colander!
  2. Make the pesto. While the water is coming to a boil we can make the pesto! In the bowl of your food processor, add the arugula, peas, mint leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and kosher salt and pepper; pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add the olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy. (If you like your pesto thinner, add a little water)
  3. Toss the salad. In a large bowl, toss together drained pasta with pesto sauce, arugula and peas. Season with cracked pepper and a little extra parmesan, serve and enjoy!
This light and fresh Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad is the perfect meal or side dish that is easy to make, healthy and delicious!

Prepping and Storage

The great thing about this pesto pasta dish is that it tastes great warm OR cold and will last up to 3 to 4 days in your fridge.  Just make sure to store any leftovers in a sealed, airtight container. 

If you want to make this salad ahead of time, I recommend storing the cooked pasta and pesto separately and tossing everything together right before serving (or even an hour or 2 before serving). This way the arugula stays fresh and the pasta doesn’t soak up all the liquid from the pesto.

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More Pasta Salads You’ll Love

Hope you all enjoy this Pea and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad and if you love this as much as we do, please leave me ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain the cooked pasta.

  • While the water is boiling, in the bowl of your food processor, add arugula, peas, mint leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and salt/pepper and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy. (If you like your pesto thinner, add a little water.)

  • In a large bowl, toss together warm pasta with pesto, arugula and peas. Season with cracked black pepper and a little extra Parmesan, serve and enjoy!

Serving: 1/8th of recipe | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.5g | Protein: 8.8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 2.9mg | Sodium: 128.1mg | Fiber: 5.8g | Sugar: 4.7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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