Venison with Arugula/Spinach Pesto

Venison with Arugula/Spinach Pesto

This no cook pesto sauce doesn’t use the traditional fresh basil but instead incorporates a peppery flavored leafy green known as arugula. Since arugula does have a strong pepper flavor, I chose to use an arugula/spinach blend that you can easily find in the grocery store. The blend of toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic, Parmesan cheese and a slightly intense flavor of pepper pairs well with the wild flavor of the venison steaks.

You can also use this pesto on most wild game meat and you’ll have more than enough sauce when following this recipe so you can easily freeze any remaining pesto for other dinner recipes.


  • 2 – 8 ounce venison steaks
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups arugula/spinach blend, packed tightly
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • salt to taste

Heat oven to 350° F. Place the raw pine nuts on a baking sheet and bake until slightly toasted, about 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool. In a food processor or blender, add toasted pine nuts, arugula/spinach blend, Parmesan cheese, garlic and a pinch of salt. Add oil and pulse to blend until semi-smooth. Adjust with more salt if needed. (This will yield roughly 2 cups. Freeze remaining pesto to be used later.)


Preheat oven to 400° F. Coat venison steaks with olive oil and season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat and sear both sides of the venison steaks until golden brown. Remove from heat and set skillet in the oven. Bake steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 125° degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve sliced venison steaks with arugula/spinach pesto. ~Enjoy.

Venison with Arugula/Spinach Pesto
Venison with Arugula/Spinach Pesto
Venison with Arugula/Spinach Pesto
Venison with Arugula/Spinach Pesto

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