Rocket Pesto Without Pine Nuts

6-8 Servings
17 min

Rocket pesto without pine nuts such an easy yet delicious recipe, this little pot of gold is also super versatile. Leave it chunky for the perfect pesto or add a little more oil and blend till smooth for a delicious dressing. With perfectly paired ingredients: rocket, almonds, garlic and parmesan, this rocket pesto will pack a punch in the flavour department. And it’s loaded with health benefits too, what’s not to love! Let us show you how to whip up this little pot of deliciousness.


There are some fabulous ingredients, both for flavour and health, packed into this pesto recipe, let’s look at the main ones:

  • Rocket (Known as arugula in the US) an edible annual plant in the family Brassicaceae used as a leaf vegetable for its fresh, tart, bitter, and peppery flavor. It gained its superfood title for being rich in chlorophyll, amino acids and vitamins C, E, B and K. Also containing beta-carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin (for eye health). This could be substituted with basil.
  • Almonds deliver a massive amount of nutrients. They are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein and various important nutrients. Also high in antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage. And high in vitamin E, can help control blood sugar levels and are will help your heart stay healthy. Using almonds is a great well to make pesto without pine nuts, but you can use a range of nuts for pesto including: cashew nuts, pecans and walnuts.
  • Parmesan an Italian hard cheese, with a rich flavour, made from cow’s milk it is aged from 12-36 months. Named after its producing areas, provinces of Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. Within the EU the name is protect to reflect the the designations of origin. Outside the EU, cheese producers can use the name ‘Parmesan’ for similar hard cheese, which has often been aged for less then 12 months. We highly recommend using an original Italian parmesan, when possible, for its rich flavour. Parmigiano reggiano, which simply means Parma of Reggio Emilia, is known for its incredible rich flavour profile and will take your dish to the next level!

How to make rocket pesto without pine nuts.

Simple to make, you can have this pesto ready in a few simple steps.

Roast the almonds for 12 minutes, at 180°C (356 °F) and allow to cool. Place the rocket, garlic, almonds (cooled), grated parmesan and oil into a mini blender and blend to your desired consistency. Taste and season with a pinch of salt, mix and enjoy!

Serving suggestions.

Not only is it simple to make but there are so many great ways to enjoy this rocket and almond pesto recipe:

  • Stir through pasta with additional parmesan grated over the top. The kids love it served like this and it makes a great take the work or school lunch.
  • Drizzle over slow cooked beef,
  • Enjoy in a grilled chicken sandwich,
  • With grilled fish
  • Over a lamb salad.
  • Or turn it into an amazing salad dressing, simply add a little more and blend well.

How to store homemade pesto.

This recipe will last a week in an air tight container stored in the fridge, so we often have a jar of it ready to go. You can whizz a batch up on Sunday and pay yourself forward for the week ahead.

Even better yet it freezes well too. Frozen in single serve portions, it will last 6 months. Giving you a pesto pasta lunch or dressing on the go!

We really love go-to simple, versatile recipes that pack a punch in the flavour department and this simple rocket and almond pesto recipe ticks all the boxes.

Happy cooking!

Rocket Pesto Without Pine Nuts
Recipe details
  • 6-8  Servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 12 Minutes Total time: 17 min
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  • 50 g Rocket (Arugula)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 100 ml Olive Oil
  • 20 g Almonds Unsalted
  • 20 g Parmesan
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 180°C (356 °F).
Place the almonds on an oven tray and roast for 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Place the rocket, garlic, (cooled) almonds, grated parmesan and oil into a mini blender and blend to your desired consistency. (See note 1)
Taste and season with a pinch of salt.
  • Note 1 – For pesto, you can leave the consistency fairly lumpy.
  • To create a dressing add more oil and blend until smooth.
  • Storage – Store in an air tight container, in the fridge. Freeze in single serve portions, for pesto/ dressing on the go.
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  • Kathy Martin Kathy Martin on Mar 10, 2022

    Can you add a conversion to US measurements on screen???? Sounds lovely as a recipe over and above the traditional basil pesto !