Avocado Pesto is a delicious alternative to the traditional version, featuring fresh basil, lemon juice, and garlic. The avocado provides a creamy texture you’ll love over your favorite pasta!
This creamy pesto is the perfect thing to make when you have a ripe avocado sitting on your counter. It comes together in just minutes and pairs well with zucchini noodles or traditional pasta, and even makes a delicious spread for sandwiches.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Fresh basil leaves are the key to a delicious pesto sauce, so don’t be tempted to use dried basil in their place. However, you could use other fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro, if you want to try a variation.
The avocado replaces both the pine nuts and extra-virgin olive oil that traditional pesto would call for, but you can add some Parmesan cheese if you don’t need a dairy-free and vegan recipe. It takes the flavor over the top!
For a little spice, try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes, too.
How to Make Avocado Pesto Pasta
This avocado pesto sauce comes together quickly, so bring a large pot of salted water to a boil if you plan on serving it over pasta. Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. (Use gluten-free pasta if you need to; this sauce is already gluten-free)
While the pasta is cooking, add the avocado flesh, basil leaves, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt, and water in a high-speed blender or food processor.
Secure the lid and blend until the mixture looks smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the machine as needed.
For a cheesy pesto, add in the optional Parmesan cheese and blend again. If you skip the cheese, you may want to season the pesto with a little extra salt or a dash of nutritional yeast.
Taste the pesto and make any adjustments as needed.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain the noodles and toss with the pesto right away. The pesto will warm up immediately when tossed with the hot pasta, but you can also stir it in a skillet over medium-high heat if you’d like to warm it up even more.
Serve this creamy avocado pesto pasta warm with any additions you love, such as sliced cherry tomatoes or freshly ground black pepper.
Leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It may separate when chilled, so stir it well before serving again.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you need to store this pesto, the adicity in lemons will help slow down the browning process. You can also help by choosing a small storage container. Similar to storing guacamole, reducing the empty space and air bubbles in your container will slow down the browning processing, so aim to fill your container all the way to the top.
Yes, frozen avocado can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store this pesto sauce in ice cube trays to make it even more convenient to thaw later. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container to preserve their flavor.
- 1 cup fresh basil , tightly packed
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large ripe avocado (about 7 ounces with peel & pit)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt , plus more to taste
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Add the basil, water, lemon juice, and garlic to a blender or food processor. Secure the lid and process until the mixture looks relatively smooth.
- Next, add the avocado flesh, salt, and Parmesan cheese (if using) and blend again until smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce and add extra salt, if desired. I usually add an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt, but that can vary based on the size and flavor of the avocado each time.
- Spoon the avocado pesto sauce over freshly cooked pasta and serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours without browning too much, as long as you use the tips in the full post. (See the post above for tips on freezing, too.)
Update Note: This recipe was updated in February 2024 to add the optional Parmesan cheese. If you prefer the original version, simply omit it!
If you try this Avocado Pesto recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.