Arugula Pesto Pasta with Garlic Shrimp

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I've never been someone to buy souvenirs while on vacation, rather I just stock pile ideas for recipes from my meals while traveling and bring them home so I can reminisce about where I've been. And that's exactly where this Arugula Pesto Pasta comes from!

Arugula Pesto Pasta from (@whatsgabycookin)

Perhaps my most favorite meal in all of Italy, a few years back, was at this little beach club off the coast in Positano called Da Adolfo! It's literally just a tiny beach with a handful of lounge chairs and a small restaurant area right smack on the beach with a couple dozen tables and a LOT of food. I had to call weeks ahead of time to make sure we got a reservation and then the countdown was on! We went for my birthday lunch and ordered almost everything on the entire menu. (pictures here) Peaches with wine, grilled mozzarella on lemon leaves, grilled Branzino, mussels with tomato sauce and this Arugula Pesto Pasta! It's beyond simple but incredibly memorable and I've been making it ever since. While the Arugula Pesto Pasta tastes just as good as our beachside meal in Positano, eating this on my kitchen table doesn't have quite the same vibe as sitting under an awning on the beach in Italy. Sigh... I'll just count down the hours until we can go back!

Check out some of my favorite Shrimp Recipes here:

  1. Avocado Shrimp Tostadas 

  2. Creamy Goat Cheese and Shrimp Pasta

  3. Summer Corn Risotto with Shrimp

  4. How to Cook Perfect Shrimp Every Time!

  5. Shrimp Scampi with Couscous
  6. Shrimp and Crab Seafood Rolls
  7. Spanish Paella
  8. Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl
  9. Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto
  10. The Ultimate Garlic Shrimp Scampi

Arugula Pesto Pasta

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 13 votes
This Arugula Pesto Pasta is beyond simple but incredibly memorable and I’ve been making it ever since I had it while traveling.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups firmly packed arugula plus extra for garnish
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • cup grated pecorino romano cheese plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound linguini

For the Shrimp

  • ½ - ¾ lb medium sized shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • In a food processor, combine the pine nuts and garlic and process until finely chopped. Add the 3 cups arugula and process until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Turn off the machine and add the lemon juice and cheese, then pulse until incorporated. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Toss the shrimp with the oil, garlic powder as well as salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes on each side until pink and fully cooked.
  • In a large bowl, toss the pesto with the pasta until well coated. Scatter arugula leaves on top and sprinkle with extra cheese. Serve immediately.


Not a fan of arugula? Feel free to use bail or kale.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. 5 stars
    I should probably rate this given how many times I've made it. It's one of my family's favorite recipes! Great on a hot summer day when when you want low effort, and limited time over a burner or oven. Pairs well with rosé wine 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this! Arugula made it a bit tart, which is ok. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and went really well with the pesto. Nice dish!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I subbed kale for the arugula which I enjoyed, but my husband thought was too raw (not a recipe critique just FYI). Guess the leftovers are all mine!

  4. 5 stars
    Another excellent recipe from Gaby! The arugula in the pesto is really something special. I made this with grilled chicken instead of shrimp & loved it!

  5. 5 stars
    Last night I was in a pinch. I needed a recipe I could make quickly and something the entire family would enjoy. This recipe was PERFECT! Fast, simple, delicious!!! We're hooked on Gaby! She's simply the best!!!!

  6. 5 stars
    Super easy dinner in under 30 minutes. I added basil to the pesto and it was delicious! I also cooked the shrimp in butter with a squeeze of the extra lemon. I will make this again!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner because I just happened to have everything on hand. I also tossed the pasta with some roasted cauliflower I had from meal prep earlier this week. All I can say is WOW! The flavors were spot on— love the peppery kick in the pesto from using arugula. Am planning on making some more pesto to keep in the freezer so that making this meal in the future will be a snap to throw together!

  8. 4 stars
    Super yummy Gaby! Arugula is my favorite greens but I’ve never used it in pesto. I enjoyed some pasta with pesto, mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes and shrimp then enjoyed the leftover pesto all week. My only small thing is that I enjoyed it all week on everything because the recipe gave me a ton of pesto. Normally no complaints but I cut it down specifically to give me less and it still seemed to give me way more than I would reasonably use for the amount of servings you recommend. Next time I’ll scale down more or plan to freeze some!

  9. I can't find arugula in store right now - could I sub with a spring mix or something else?! Can't wait to make!!

  10. 5 stars
    This is so good, so fast, and so easyyyy.

    I didn't need to feed that many people so I only made enough pasta for myself and saved the rest of the Pesto in my fridge. I'm excited to try it with other things!

  11. my fave thing ever to eat in the summer. so fresh and delish - I prefer it to basil pesto! added broccoli because #broccoliholic

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