Pesto means “to crush” in Genoese.
Likewise, pesto typically refers to bright green sauces originating from Genoa, Italy.
Now, arugula pesto simply means pesto made from arugula.
A combination of freshly ground arugula leaves, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese- arugula pesto is intensely flavorful and aromatic.
It’s also incredibly versatile and goes well with a variety of dishes.
No matter how delicious arugula pesto is, it can sometimes be tricky to know what to pair it with.
So, if you’ve been wondering what to serve with arugula pesto, don’t go anywhere.
We’ve mentioned 7 of the best options below.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Arugula Pesto?
Arugula pesto, on its own, can be used as a dip, spread, or sauce.
You can also use it to add flavor to soups and pasta dishes.
However, there’s much more to this sauce than that.
Besides its culinary uses, arugula pesto is also packed with nutrients.
Arugula, walnuts, garlic, and olive oil are all incredibly healthy ingredients.
They’re known to improve heart health, cognitive function, and digestion.
Pairing arugula pesto with the right side dish can make it an even more nutritious and well-rounded meal.
Not to mention, it can also help bring out the flavors of both the pesto and the side dish.
Besides, depending on the recipe, arugula pesto can often taste bitter.
Hence, it’s a good idea to balance the flavors by pairing it with sweeter or saltier dishes.
What To Serve with Arugula Pesto? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Arugula Pesto goes well with a variety of dishes.
However, it would take an entire book to list all the options.
So, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best side dishes to have with arugula pesto.
1 – Grape Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese Salad
This salad is the perfect blend of sweet, salty, and tangy flavors.
The sweetness of the grape tomatoes pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the Parmesan cheese.
Meanwhile, the arugula pesto dressing ties all the flavors together beautifully.
If you want to add more flavors, toss in some freshly chopped spring greens, a dash of fresh lemon juice, or pepper.
The salad tastes exceptionally well on its own, or you can always have it with some tortilla chips.
2 – Arugula Pesto Pasta
You may have tasted the classic pesto pasta before, but have you ever tried arugula pesto pasta? This dish is a heavenly combination of flavorful arugula pesto and al dente spaghetti.
You can add some grilled chicken or shrimp if you want.
It’ll make the dish even more filling and satisfying.
Don’t forget to top it off with Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
3 – Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside- making them the perfect side dish for a creamy arugula pesto.
For this dish, we recommend using baby potatoes.
However, you can also use regular potatoes; just cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Before roasting the potatoes, make sure to toss them in some olive oil and salt.
This will help them attain a beautiful golden color and ensure that they’re properly seasoned.
4 – Garlic Bread
Here’s something special for those who just can’t get enough of garlic.
This dish is the perfect blend of crispy bread and garlicky flavors.
Pairing it with arugula pesto will take your taste buds on a flavor journey that they’re unlikely to forget anytime soon.
And don’t worry, you won’t have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen to make this dish.
Just pop the bread in the oven and let it do its thing.
While the bread is baking, you can prepare the arugula pesto.
When the garlic bread is golden and crusty, simply spread some pesto on top and enjoy.
5 – Grilled Fishes
This side dish is one of our favorites.
The smokiness of the grilled fish pairs perfectly with the arugula pesto sauce.
In fact, if your arugula pesto is bitter, the smoky flavor can help balance it out.
You can use any type of fish fillet for this dish.
However, if you’re looking for recommendations, we think you can never go wrong with a white fish such as cod, halibut, or bass.
These types of fish have a delicate flavor that won’t overshadow the pesto sauce.
Place your grilled fish on a white plate, drizzle some arugula pesto on top, and garnish with lemon wedges.
And there you have; a meal that’s not only wholesome but also extremely Instagram-able.
6 – Rice Salad
Ever tried rice salad? If not, then you’re in for a treat.
This dish is healthy, flavorful, and can be made in under 30 minutes.
It’s the perfect side dish for arugula pesto because it has a neutral flavor.
This allows the flavors of the pesto to really shine through.
Plus, rice salad is incredibly versatile.
You can add in any vegetables or protein of your choice, such as chicken, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.
7 – Hard Boiled Eggs
Want a quick and easy brunch snack? Then you’ll love this dish.
All you need are some hard-boiled eggs and arugula pesto.
Slice the hard-boiled eggs, spread some pesto on top, and garnish with paprika or chili flakes.
And that’s it.
This simple yet delicious snack is perfect for when you’re on the go.
There you have it. These are some of the best dishes to enjoy with arugula pesto.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and stir some Italian goodness into your life.
Of course, there are many other dishes that you can serve with arugula pesto.
But if you’ve never made one before, our above-mentioned list is a great place to start.
Since arugula pesto can be fairly bitter, just make sure not to use too much of it.
A little goes a long way.
And lastly, you don’t want to pair it with another bitter dish, as that’ll only intensify the flavor.
Keep these little tips in mind while working with arugula pesto, and you’re good to go.