Pasta Salad with Arugula-Lemon Pesto


If you want proof that school gardens help create sophisticated and adventurous eaters, look no further. Just say "arugula-lemon pesto" to yourself and marvel that the origin of this pasta salad recipe is a cookbook that is an offshoot of school garden programs in Vermont. Recipe adapted from VT Feed.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
8 servings


  • 1 pound whole-wheat rotini or penne pasta

  • 2 ½ cups packed baby arugula

  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • ¾ cup unsalted sunflower seeds

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • Zest & juice of 1 medium lemon, divided

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added white beans, rinsed

  • 1 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes

  • cup finely chopped red onion

  • Ground pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

  2. Meanwhile, combine arugula, Parmesan, sunflower seeds, garlic, lemon zest and salt in a food processor; process until smooth. With the motor running, add lemon juice and oil; process until combined.

  3. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the pesto, beans, sun-dried tomatoes, onion and pepper; toss to combine. Add just enough of the reserved pasta-cooking water to get a creamy consistency; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

497 Calories
25g Fat
59g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 1 1/4 cups
Calories 497
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 17g 33%
Total Fat 25g 31%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Vitamin A 871IU 17%
Vitamin C 13mg 14%
Folate 106mcg 26%
Sodium 461mg 20%
Calcium 168mg 13%
Iron 4mg 24%
Magnesium 143mg 34%
Potassium 829mg 18%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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