This arugula smoothie is loaded with nutrition and antioxidant, plus makes for a super simple and quick breakfast or snack. It has an amazing peppery flavor and includes banana and pineapple to naturally sweeten the smoothie. 100% vegan.
One of my favorite ways to start the day is to enjoy a green smoothie. They are packed with so much nutrition and can help rehydrate you in the morning.
I often make my tropical island green smoothie for a sweeter version and this peanut butter avocado green smoothie to feel satiated enough until the next meal. But it is fun to experiment with other leafy greens when making a healthy smoothie!
So this time I made an arugula smoothie and it was so delicious, fresh, peppery and creamy! It is made with tropical fruits, such as fresh pineapple for more sweetness and frozen banana for a creamy and frosty result. I also included a touch of lemon juice to brighten up the whole drink and a little bit of almond butter for extra healthy fats.
I also added a small amount of fresh ginger for a little bit more warm flavor, which was absolutely delightful, but you don't have to include it.
The result is an easy-to-make, satisfying and full-of-flavor green smoothie you can make in 5 minutes for breakfast, snacking or as a post-workout boost of energy and hydration. This arugula pineapple smoothie is super refreshing and will make you feel good!
Using arugula in smoothies
Green smoothies are often made with baby spinach as it blends well and also, it is easy to find and loaded with nutrition. But probably the most important reason, spinach is almost completely flavorless when paired with fruits.
But, I gave it a try and swapped my regular baby spinach for baby arugula in my smoothie routine recently and I have to say that I was happily surprised!
Here is why you should try adding arugula to smoothies:
- Adds a mild and tasty peppery flavor that balances well the super sweet fruits, which can be great if you don't like smoothies being too sweet.
- Arugula is a great option for making green smoothies since it is loaded with nutrition and will provide a shocking amount of antioxidants to your diet.
- The baby arugula leaves are delicate and blend well, no matter the kind of blender you have.
- Compared to flavorless greens, such as spinach, arugula adds more character and a nice kick to your drink!
Health benefits of Arugula
Arugula (also called Rocket green) is a cruciferous vegetable (which is a category that also includes broccoli and cabbage) and is considered a superfood by many!
Cruciferous vegetables have been praised for a while now for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant roles in our bodies. This means that they can help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as cancer, arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer and even heart disease. They also can boost our immune system to help fight infectious diseases.
Other than disease-fighting actions, arugula also is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins (especially vitamins K, vitamin C and folate) and minerals (such as calcium and iron). It is even a good source of healthy omega-3 fats and plant-based protein.
Arugula is often enjoyed in salads or used to garnish pizza, but sneaking some arugula in smoothies is such an easy way to enjoy all of the health benefits arugula has to offer and can help bring great nutrition to your diet!
Highlights of this recipe
- Easy 5-min recipe
- Amazing creamy texture
- This smoothie has a distinct taste with a perfect balance of sweet vs peppery vs tart flavors
- Great for breakfast and snack
- Made with whole foods that are good for you
- Contains a healthy dose of greens!
- Packed with antioxidants
- Delicious and fun way to enjoy peppery arugula
- Very versatile and easy to customize to your taste
- Fits many diets, such as vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free
Ingredients you will need
- Fresh arugula: look for fresh and bright green tender leaves without any yellow spots. Baby arugula usually comes in a sealed container in the fridge around the produce section.
- Frozen banana: adds sweetness naturally, but also, using frozen banana will help thicken the smoothie and make it super creamy!
- Pineapple: I used fresh pineapple, although you can also use frozen pineapple if that's all you have. Pineapple in smoothies is great to make them sweeter, fruitier and to provide a nice tropical flavor too.
- Plant-based milk: I used oat milk from Oatly for its creamy and rich consistency, but use any milk you prefer. You can use coconut milk for a creamier smoothie, unsweetened almond milk for a mild nutty flavor and choose soy milk for a higher content in protein.
- Almond butter: swap for peanut butter or pumpkin seed butter if you prefer. It helps whip the smoothie to a creamier and thicker consistency. It also makes this smoothie more filling and satisfying by including more healthy fats.
- Lemon juice: amazing in this smoothie recipe to brighten up the flavor and make your smoothie crisp and slightly tart.
- Flavoring ingredient: I absolutely loved the mild flavor of fresh ginger in this smoothie, although you can omit or swap for a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom instead.
How to make a green arugula smoothie recipe
This smoothie recipe should be ready within 5 minutes!
In a blender, add the milk, pineapple, frozen banana, almond butter, lemon juice, fresh ginger and arugula greens (you can start with ½ cup).
Blend on high until smooth. Make sure all the arugula is well blended and that you don't see any specks of green anymore.
Adjust and serve
Stir in the blender with a spatula to ensure all the ingredients were blended and also, taste the smoothie to adjust the flavor to your preference.
Pour in a serving glass and garnish with chia seeds and a straw, if desired. Enjoy!
- I like to pour the milk first into the blender, which helps the ingredients blend and combine with the milk as they get crushed. If you start by adding the greens or frozen ingredients first in the blender, then the smoothie can get stuck on the side before being all done. This can interfere with the blending process.
- I highly recommend starting with ½ cup of arugula, then adding more if you want. The taste of arugula in smoothie is more obvious compared to other leafy greens and unless you are an arugula smoothie connoisseur, you might want to go slow at first.
- If you enjoy smoothies or smoothie bowls, then try to plan ahead and freeze a few bananas on a regular basis. Simply buy more bananas than you need when grocery shopping and let them ripen on the counter. Then, peel/roughly chop/freeze so you always have some ready to go. I like to freeze the pieces on a plate or large tray covered with parchment paper first and once the pieces of banana are completely frozen, I transfer them to a reusable freezer bag.
- The lemon juice helps the peppery taste from the arugula not to be overwhelming, so try not to omit it!
- If you want your smoothie recipe to be colder, then feel free to add a few ice cubes to your blender!
I like to serve the smoothie with a sprinkle of chia seeds to add more omega-3 fats and protein to my drink, plus it also makes it look good and appetizing (and they go through the straw easily!).
You can also serve with an extra lemon wedge to uplift the zesty flavor more if you want.
This smoothie recipe is great on its own as a light meal, such as breakfast, but also makes for a great afternoon snack to fight the mid-day energy slump.
If serving for breakfast and you need more food to start the day, then you can serve this smoothie part of a more complete breakfast alongside avocado toasts, cereals, buckwheat pancakes, oatmeal or a high-protein vegan power bowl for the ultimate filling breakfast!
Variations to the recipe
Like most smoothie recipes, this arugula smoothie is super versatile and you can tweak the ingredients to make it your own! Here are a few variation ideas:
- Add more fresh fruits: this smoothie would also go great with mango, strawberries, pears and apples.
- Boost of protein: to make your smoothie more substantial and help you stay full longer, then simply add a scoop of vanilla pea protein powder or include more almond butter (or any nut butter).
- A mix of greens: use half arugula and half spinach or romaine lettuce. This can help limit the peppery flavor of the arugula.
- Blueberry arugula smoothie: if you have kids that refuse to eat anything green, then add some blueberries to your green smoothie to turn it purple and hide the green color completely! If serving for kids, I would also only use ½ cup of arugula to keep the green flavor milder.
- Chocolatey: I love including raw cacao powder in my smoothie to add a mild chocolatey flavor. Cacao powder can be bitter, so taste and adjust sweetness to your preference (add more frozen banana or a splash of maple syrup to balance out the flavor).
- Citrusy taste: instead of using milk, you can also make this smoothie with orange juice! Look for fruit juices that are made of natural ingredients only and also without any added sugar to keep this smoothie super healthy. You can also add a whole navel orange to the blender!
- Fiber-packed: add a tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds for extra fiber (but also more protein and omega-3!).
This smoothie is best when enjoyed right away, although you can keep the extra in a covered glass container (mason jars are great for that) in the fridge for up to 12-24 hours. The texture will be less thick and creamy as the frozen banana melts, but the flavors should still be as amazing the next day.
This obviously depends on your taste, but yes, arugula tastes good in smoothies! It does have a stronger "green" flavor compared to other classic greens included in smoothies, but I find it adds a nice kick to my morning drink. Make sure to include plenty of fruits that are full of natural sweetness to balance the peppery flavor of arugula. Also, arugula goes well with tropical flavors, which works out well with the banana and pineapple in this recipe, but mango is another good choice.
Baby spinach is a favorite green to include in smoothies, but arugula, collard greens, kale and swiss chard also are amazing to blend in smoothies. You can start with a smaller amount when you are trying a new green and also, try pairing with very sweet fruit to help get accustomed to its flavor.
No, you can make this smoothie using a regular blender! You might have to blend for a little longer and the smoothie might end up with more small specks of greens visible, but the smoothie will still be great!
More healthy smoothies to try!
- Watermelon mango smoothie
- Cucumber strawberry smoothie
- No banana raspberry and blueberry smoothie
- Peach pineapple smoothie
- Beet kale smoothie
- Chocolate, strawberry and banana smoothie
- Banana carrot smoothie
- Blueberry pineapple smoothie
- Watermelon banana smoothie
- Oat milk smoothie
- Banana chai smoothie
- Strawberry, banana and blackberry smoothie
I hope you like this arugula smoothie recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
- ¾ cup plant-based milk - I used oat milk from Oatly
- 1 cup fresh pineapple - roughly chopped
- 1 frozen banana - roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- ¾ cup arugula - start with less for a flavor less peppery
- ¼ tsp freshly grated ginger - optional, or vanilla extract (½ tsp) or cinnamon (a pinch)
- Add all the ingredients to your blender: start with the milk, then the pineapple, frozen banana, lemon juice, almond butter, ginger (if using) and arugula (start with ½ cup).
- Blend on high until smooth. You can use a spatula to stir and scrape the walls to ensure all the ingredients are blended.
- Pour in a tall glass and garnish with chia seeds, if desired.
- Arugula has a more peppery flavor compared to other leafy greens, so you can start with ½ cup and add more as needed.
- You can add more ingredients to your smoothie, such as mango, flax seeds, blueberries, etc. Check out the blog post for more ideas!