Avocado Pesto (Vegan & Nut-Free)

This Avocado Pesto recipe is easy to make at home, using just a handful of healthy ingredients. I love how it’s naturally nut-free and dairy-free, to accommodate special diets, but it tastes like an authentic, creamy pesto sauce!

avocado pesto

This recipe is particularly great if you’re someone like me, who isn’t the biggest fan of avocado on its own. I love guacamole, but otherwise I’m the type who has to sneak it into things like a Chocolate Avocado Smoothie, Avocado Cilantro Dressing, or Chocolate Avocado Truffles!

How Healthy is Pesto?

Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, cheese, and plenty of olive oil, making it relatively high in calories. This avocado pesto is lightened-up, using no added oil, nuts, or cheese.

avocado pesto ingredients

Since there’s plenty of fat found in avocados, the extra add-ins aren’t necessary!

Avocado Pesto Pasta

My favorite way to serve this avocado pesto is over cooked pasta, for a sort of avocado pesto pasta. (Which is properly combined, if you follow food combining.)

You can serve it warm with sauteed veggies, like red onion, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, or chilled with some crunchy raw veggies stirred in. You can also serve it over zucchini noodles for a light, summery dish.

What Can You Use Instead of Basil in Pesto?

If you don’t have any fresh basil on hand, you can use another herb such as fresh parsley or cilantro for a different flavor profile.

avocado pesto in blender

To substitute dried basil for fresh, I’d start with 1 tablespoon of dried basil for 1 cup of fresh leaves, and then add more to taste. You may want to also add some fresh spinach or other leafy greens to bulk up the pesto sauce, though the avocado in this case will help already!

For a more mild-flavored pesto, I’ve also been known to use fresh baby spinach for half the amount of herbs called for, to help add bulk to the sauce. (Plus a few extra vitamins and minerals!)

How to Make Avocado Pesto

What I love about this avocado pesto is that it’s incredibly easy to make! Just add the ingredients to a blender or food processor, then blend until smooth and creamy.

avocado pesto pasta

Since there’s no cooking involved, it’s ready in just minutes and you can taste the sauce as you go and adjust until it’s perfect.

How Long Does Frozen Avocado Last?

If you don’t end up using all of this sauce at once, I recommend freezing it to prevent it from spoiling too quickly. You can freeze it in ice cube trays for a convenient way to thaw later!

In my experience, frozen avocado can last in the freezer for up to 3 months, and thaws nicely. (You can save plain leftover avocado for an easy smoothie addition!)

5 from 16 votes
avocado pesto pasta
Avocado Pesto (Vegan & Nut-free!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This AVOCADO PESTO recipe is easy to make, using just a handful of healthy ingredients. I love that it's dairy-free without added oil, for a delicious pasta sauce or dip.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: avocado, dairy free, nut free, paleo, pesto, vegan
Servings: 4
Calories: 83 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh basil , tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt , or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the basil, water, lemon juice, and garlic to a blender or food processor, and process until broken down and relatively smooth.

  2. Add the avocado and salt, and blend again until smooth and creamy. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then serve over your favorite pasta or veggies.

  3. This recipe makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta, but leftover sauce can be saved in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours without much browning. For longer storage, store the leftover sauce in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Per Serving (sauce only): Calories: 83, Fat: 7g, Carbohydrates: 4g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 1g

Recipe Notes:

  • Because you can taste this recipe as you go, you can adjust any ingredients or measurements to your liking. Please leave a comment below if you try something different! We can all benefit from you experience.

Reader Feedback: Are you an avocado fan? Have you ever tried kelp noodles?

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Comments

Julia

Made this for our dairy intolerant son, it was delicious. Great recipe. Quick and easy.

Katherine

Hi Megan,

I love this pesto recipe here. And I have featured it in our blog post 10 Best Raw Vegan Pesto Recipes in our website Green Thickies.

I haven’t posted the actual recipe, but only a small snippet and one image from this post, and given credits back to you and link back to the recipe page. Is that okay with you?

Thanks a lot πŸ™‚
Katherine

mandi

Hi there, Im wanting to use this as a sauce for a “Buddha” bowl i am putting together…however, i want it thinner. would i just thin it with a touch of water or something like olive oil? tia:)

Ewa

My daughter has a tree nut allergy so she can’t have pine nuts. She also has a dairy sensitivity. We have really missed pesto. Even my son and husband who don’t care for avocado, loved this pesto. Thank you!

Wendy

Where is the calorie count per serving

nina

Damn good, and easy! Thank you detoxinista XOXO

Krista

About how long does the avocado pesto last in the fridge? I am thinking of making it today but wouldnt eat it until probably Sunday or Monday!

Kim

Wholly YUM! Made this for lunch tomorrow and kinda ate half of it. Not sure how well it keeps but it is delicious fresh. Perfection

Ivalu

Thanks! That was pretty amazing πŸ™‚ and super fast too. Not the last time, for sure!

PhatUnicorn

This sounds amazing, but I have one question about the ingredients. It says 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice is equivalent to ‘about 1 lemon’. Maybe we’re using different types of lemon, but I get way, way more juice out of one lemon than 1.5 TBSP…

Sheila

β€œHi Megan, I can’t wait to try this recipe of yours for it really looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :).I also found this non-allergenic pesto, it’s delicious and nutritious! ” http://www.digitalcookingclasses.com/fresh-basil-pesto/

Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama

You did it again, Megan! This was delish πŸ™‚ I put mine over green bean noodles and added some tuna to it, for a nice protein punch. And for dessert I had you dark chocolate avocado truffles! I’m loving all these avocado recipes.

Kayli Schattner

Great recipe + thanks so much for sharing!! I’m allergic to tree nuts so it can be hard for me to find yummy pesto sauces. This one looks delish!

Marli

Hello! What a great sauce recipe! I’ve tried kelp noodles and did like them (fun texture) but I wonder about how the kelp is processed to achieve the noodle form… I have been tending toward spaghetti squash as it feels more natural. I do love me some seaweed! For the mineral content, texture, even taste.

melissa barker

Thanks!! Just exactly what i was looking for! You are a gem!!! x

Byer

This is delicious over roasted veggies! Thank you so much!

Chris Zaccharia

Actually it doesn’t seem good to look at it.. But I know it tastes very delicious! πŸ™‚

Donna

You’re very creative. You even mix the avocado in the noodles. πŸ™‚ Very greeny colorful πŸ™‚

Natalia

Granted I took the recipe a little loosely (as I tend to do) and didnt so much measure well…anything lol but this stuff is AMAZING! Due to auto-immune disease I have numerous adult onset allergies including nuts. I hadnt had pesto in over 7 years so this was such a treat for me :).

I ended up having to add some olive oil to get to it to blend propperly but it came out perfectly. Had it for dinner tonight on a GF vegan wrap with smoked salmon and goat feta.

Khalilah

I made this omg it was so delicous on my cucumber salad!!!!

Denise

This sauce was amazing…definitely a hit in my home. I warmed it up on top of the stove adding a little coconut milk, seasoned to taste and served on top of spaghetti squash. Delish! Thanks for a great recipe.

Michelle

Looks so good, can’t wait to try it! Question – can it be made with organic, dried sweet basil leaf flakes? I have a ton of that on hand. I know fresh would be better, but, in order to save time today?

Nicole

Started a Candida cleanse and used this over spaghetti squash–delish!

One question, have you ever thinned out extra sauce to use as a salad dressing? Any tips on what to use for thinning it out–maybe water?

    Megan

    I haven’t tried it myself, but I assume water would work just fine! Glad you enjoyed it!

Whitney

Made this last night! Even my husband loved it, however I forgot to mention it was actually healthy!

Carrie

Oops forgot to rate

carrie

I get my kelp noodles at iHerb.com or in the refrigerated section of my Whole Foods (by the kimchee and mochi). I’m hoping they grow on me. They don’t have a taste but that crunch is so unexpected (think thinner bean sprout-type crunch). I wonder if boiling them a bit would help soften them. Anyone tried it?

Has anyone tried the sea vegetables (same brand)? I bought a bag a few months ago but am worried I wont like them since I don’t like seaweeds or the taste of dark greens except raw spinach and raw/cooked Kale. I know they’re so nutritious though! Gotta give em a try πŸ™‚

I’m looking forward to trying this pesto recipe tonight! thanks megan!

    Carrie

    I tried this. It is awesome! I used wholly guacamole instead of fresh avocado. Yummy!

    molly

    I recently read that you can set the noodles in a mixture of a little bit of baking soda and lemon juice to soften them.

    molly

    Then you rinse them off before eating..

Esther

One word…..”BRILLIANT”. So simple yet and easy. I know what we are having for dinner tonight!!

Keep the recipes coming…..I love your blog!

Rebecca

I love both avocado and basil, so this looks like THE perfect combination! You mentioned kelp noodles are bland, so they don’t have a seaweed taste to them? I never tried them because I thought they might taste “fishy”. Still a little hesitant to try them but I guess it can’t hurt…

Candice

I love avocados and eat them practically everyday with at least one meal! I am definitely going to try this with cilantro also over zucchini pasta with tomatoes! Thanks!

Lisa

I used to really dislike avocado, until about 1 year and 1/2 ago and now I can’t get enough! Kelp noodles are definitely different, but I love ’em! They get a little softer if you let them marinade on the counter for a bit, which I tend to like better.

Sarah

I too am only a new fan of avocados. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve never tried the kelp noodles. I just started eating Shiratake noodles.

jeanne

I am a huge avocado fan but lately I cannot eat them at all, I get a really bad stomach ache πŸ™ I’m sad because they are so delicious and totally in season right now! I’ve also been getting horrible stomach aches with goat cheese, eggs, and chocolate bars. All of these great foods I eat to detox have turned on me…so yes, my life sucks right now!!

    Christine

    We can become sensitive to foods we eat too frequently and if we do not have variety. Especially if our gut needs healing.
    You may want to eliminate those foods temporarily, start a rotating diet, then try adding them back in after a few months but still rotating them approximately every 4 days.

Carrie

Definitely an avacado fan! Have 2 ripe ones waiting on me at home, along with some fresh basil, garlic, and lemon! All I need are those kelp noodles! Are these on the shelf, or in the refrigerated section? Do you do anything to prepare them? (rinse, boil, or ?)
Thanks for the great ideas!!!

Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness

Can’t wait to try this out!!! Just bought Kelp noodles so this is perfect!!!

Marlena

Psychic! Just made this last week, only with zucchini noodles. Looks gorgeous and is now making me want to eat this again!

LizAshlee

This sauce sounds amazing! and I have a ripe avocado..but no basil, hmm? I will think of something! I have some kelp noodles too, in green tea. Have you noticed if there is a difference in the taste between the regular kelp noodles and the green tea ones? Happy Thursday beautiful!

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