For a simple weeknight meal that will keep you coming back for more, this Avocado Pesto Pasta always delivers! All you have to do is boil pasta and throw some ingredients in a blender, and you'll have this easy dish ready in no time. Adding avocado gives the pesto a rich creaminess plus a boost of healthy fat that still packs in all the flavors we love. You can also easily turn this recipe into a gluten-free or vegan-friendly meal if you like.
Pasta is a comfort food I come back to again and again. It's simple to make, plus there are endless ways to combine your favorite ingredients.
When I want something creamy yet flavorful, Avocado Pesto Pasta always satisfies my craving!
This dish can be ready in a matter of minutes. The prep is so simple!
Throw the pesto ingredients in a blender while the pasta cooks, then toss it all together!
I like to add sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, and parmesan to top it off. Pasta dishes don't get any easier than this.
When you're in the mood for a cozy, creamy bowl of comfort that won't feel too heavy, Pesto Pasta with Avocado is such a treat.
Once you try it, I know you'll start craving it all the time!
Make sure you check out my Avocado Pesto Pasta Web Story.
Ingredients for Making Avocado and Pesto Pasta
- Pasta - I usually make Avocado Pesto Spaghetti or Fettuccine, but I've used penne or fusilli as well. You can choose a gluten-free brand if needed. (I used Cappello's, which is grain-free and gluten-free.)
- Basil - Feel free to substitute fresh parsley, spinach, or arugula if you prefer.
- Avocado - The fruit should have a little give when you squeeze it without being too soft. Remove the peel and pit.
- Olive oil - I recommend a good brand of extra virgin for the best flavor.
- Parmesan - Fresh grated is always best. The pre-shredded kind uses lots of preservatives and won't be as flavorful. If you are vegetarian, look for rennet free parmesan.
- Pine nuts - These give the pesto its texture. You could substitute an equal amount of walnuts, pistachios, or almonds for the Avocado Pesto Recipe if you prefer.
- Garlic - Freshly minced garlic cloves are best, but the jarred kind works as well.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes - Choose a brand that's dehydrated and rehydrate them, or go with oil-packed and drain them. You can buy them pre-chopped or chop them yourself. You could also use fresh cherry tomatoes if you prefer.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper enhance the flavor of this dish.
Tips & Tricks
- You can control the texture of the Avocado Basil Pesto by how long you pulse the ingredients in the blender. Less blending will give you a chunkier pesto while more blending will make it smoother.
- Instead of basil, feel free to use arugula, spinach, or a combination of any of the above.
- Add the reserved pasta water slowly, stirring after each tablespoon, so you don't accidentally add too much and end up with runny pesto.
- Watching your carbohydrates? This avocado pesto sauce is great tossed with zucchini noodles.
What Do You Serve with Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta?
- Gluten-free Focaccia with Rosemary is deliciously tender and topped with fresh herbs and flaky sea salt for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
- Add some powerhouse greens to your meal by serving this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad as a side.
- If you can't get enough avocado, these Avocado Fries with a delicious dipping sauce are a fabulous low-carb dish.
- This beautiful Antipasto Platter is a great appetizer to serve before or alongside your pasta main course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditionally, pesto sauce combines olive oil, fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and hard cheese.
But these days, there are plenty of variations like this Avocado Basil Pesto or Pesto Rosso that substitute ingredients or include additions for more flavor.
Absolutely! To make vegan Avocado Basil Pasta, you can either omit the Parmesan or use a plant-based substitute.
Make sure that you use vegan pasta. Most kinds of pasta are vegan, but it is always good to check the label - especially when choosing fresh pasta.
Tools Needed to Make Pesto Pasta with Avocado
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- Large or Medium pot
- Blender or Food Processor
Avocado and Pesto Pasta is best served within a day or two. Otherwise, the avocado will oxidize and start to darken. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The pesto can be frozen for up to a month for longer storage.
How to Make Avocado Pesto Pasta
Cook the pasta in a large pot according to package instructions. Drain, reserving a ½ cup of the cooking water.
While the pasta cooks, combine the fresh basil leaves, avocado, olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Return the pasta to the cooking pot and set the heat to low. Add the pesto and sun dried tomatoes.
Add the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you achieve your desired consistency.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Top with crushed red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese to serve.
More Pasta Recipes
- Comforting casseroles like this Chicken Broccoli Penne are always loved by kids and adults alike!
- With a creamy Parmesan sauce and just the right kick of garlic and red pepper flakes, Chicken Primavera is cozy comfort in a bowl.
- You're going to fall in love with the decadent flavors in this Creamy Roasted Garlic Sausage Pasta.
- Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta is a family favorite made with ground beef, mozzarella, ricotta, marinara, and noodles.
Avocado Pesto Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta gluten-free if necessary
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- 1 avocado peeled and pitted
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese rennet free; substitute ¼ cup nutritional yeast to make vegan
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes dehydrated and chopped
- For serving: crushed red pepper and additional parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, combine the basil, avocado, olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a blender. Process until smooth.
- Return the pasta to the cooking pot and set the heat to low.
- Toss with the pesto and sun dried tomatoes.
- Add the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.
- Top with crushed red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.
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