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June 27, 2018

by Alyssa

Zucchini Noodles with Lime-Arugula Pesto

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This lime-arugula pesto over zucchini noodles is a raw vegan dish that is perfect for summer. It can be whipped up in about 5 minutes and is naturally gluten-free too!

zucchini noodles with lime-arugula pesto

Is there anything better than pesto smothered noodles? Pretty much my ideal dinner every single day!

As it turns out, part of my Italian roots goes back to the area in and around Genoa, a city on the northern Italian coast and inventors of pesto. Not saying that my family actually invented pesto, BUT classic basil pesto originates from that area. When Matt and I traveled there a few years ago, I just had to give the pesto a taste (even though it had some cheese) and dang was it good!

Back stateside you can definitely whip up a good pesto at home, and I even have an awesome vegan pesto recipe, but there's nothing as good as the authentic stuff.

how to make lime-arugula pesto

A Healthy Twist on Classic Pesto

Since I've already shared my version of classic pesto, today we're going to change things up. We're still going to use basil because you just need to in pesto, but we're also tossing in some arugula and some lime juice.

It's tangy, it's bright, it's fresh and although untraditional, it's really good.

The spicy bite of the arugula is softened by the basil. But it was the lime that really made this pesto shine. It's flavorful, fun and is the perfect summer dish!

raw zucchini noodles with lime arugula pesto

How to make Lime Arugula Pesto

Over the years, I've made countless batches of pesto and have realized that each recipe pretty much as the same basic components:

  • Basil
  • Nuts
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Cheese (or cheese alternative)
  • Olive Oil

And of course, some salt & pepper!

If you have those components, you can make pesto. And all we're doing differently here is adding some arugula and swapping the lemon for lime.

Simple as that!

zucchini noodles with vegan lime-arugula pesto

Pesto Zucchini Noodles…for the win!

As I'm writing this, we're in the middle of zucchini season and zucchini noodles have become a staple. They're so easy to make, are a lovely way to lighten up your meal, and still give you that classic “pasta” feeling.

I use the Inspiralizer for all my spiralizing needs and it's really the best. While most spiralizers work perfectly fine on zucchini, I love that the Inspiralizer clamps to the counter so I can use it on tougher veggies like sweet potato & butternut squash, meaning I can use it all year round!

Zucchini + pesto = match made in heaven ????????

Perfect Bite of Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Lime Arugula Pesto

The Ultimate Vegan Pasta Recipe

When dinner is ready in under 10 minutes,  you know it's going to be a good day! And that's exactly what you can expect with this recipe.

I think this is honestly the ultimate vegan pasta recipe – it's quick, it's flavorful and it's healthy.

And for those of you who don't love cold pasta, you can totally heat this up and serve it warm. Or you could also freeze your extra pesto, pull it out in the dead of winter when you're craving something summery, and whip up a fabulous dinner in minutes.

Just remember to imagine you're sitting in a small cafe along the coast of Italy enjoying your pesto pasta ????

lime arugula pesto with zucchini noodles

More Healthy Pesto Recipes:

Zucchini Noodles with Arugula-Lime Pesto

A fun twist on classic pesto, this arugula-lime pesto recipe uses just a few simple ingredients and pairs perfectly with fresh zucchini noodles. It's a wonderful summer dish that is sure to be gobbled right up!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 343kcal
Print Pin
raw zucchini noodles with lime arugula pesto
5 from 1 vote


  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts (or any other nut/seed you'd like)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 2 limes about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water more if needed
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Using a spiral slicer, turn the zucchinis into noodles. Transfer them to a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients into a food processor fit with the steel blade and process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Spoon the pesto onto the noodles (however much or little as you would like) and toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 776mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1260IU | Vitamin C: 38.8mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Zucchini Noodles with Vegan Lime Arugula Pesto

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. […] Zucchini Noodles with Arugula Lime Pesto: GF, V […]

  2. Hi, I was wondering what purpose the nutritional yeast serves in this recipe. I don’t have it and have never used it so didn’t know if it was something I needed to go out and buy or if I could make the recipe without it. Thanks!

    • Hi there – so basically nutritional yeast is what adds the cheesy flavor. If you can handle dairy, I would simply swap the nutritional yeast for parmesan or romano cheese. Both would be lovely. Enjoy!


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