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!
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.
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.
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.
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!)
Avocado Pesto (Vegan & Nut-free!)
- 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
- Add the basil, water, lemon juice, and garlic to a blender or food processor, and process until broken down and relatively smooth.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?
Questions and Reviews
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!
Psychic! Just made this last week, only with zucchini noodles. Looks gorgeous and is now making me want to eat this again!
Can’t wait to try this out!!! Just bought Kelp noodles so this is perfect!!!
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!!!
I am a huge avocado fan but lately I cannot eat them at all, I get a really bad stomach ache 🙁 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!!
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.
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.
Love it! I made something so similar (including the kelp noodles) but I added broccoli, too!
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.
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!
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…
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!
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 🙂
I’m looking forward to trying this pesto recipe tonight! thanks megan!
I tried this. It is awesome! I used wholly guacamole instead of fresh avocado. Yummy!
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.
Then you rinse them off before eating..
Oops forgot to rate
Made this last night! Even my husband loved it, however I forgot to mention it was actually healthy!
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?
I haven’t tried it myself, but I assume water would work just fine! Glad you enjoyed it!
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?
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.
I made this omg it was so delicous on my cucumber salad!!!!
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.
You’re very creative. You even mix the avocado in the noodles. 🙂 Very greeny colorful 🙂
Actually it doesn’t seem good to look at it.. But I know it tastes very delicious! 🙂
This is delicious over roasted veggies! Thank you so much!
Thanks!! Just exactly what i was looking for! You are a gem!!! x
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.
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!
You did it again, Megan! This was delish 🙂 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.
“Hi 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/
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…
Thanks! That was pretty amazing 🙂 and super fast too. Not the last time, for sure!
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
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!
Damn good, and easy! Thank you detoxinista XOXO
Where is the calorie count per serving
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!
Yay! I’m glad you all enjoyed it!
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:)
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 🙂
Made this for our dairy intolerant son, it was delicious. Great recipe. Quick and easy.
Absolutely delicious!! Actually like this more than the traditional pesto recipe. I used it over tofu noodles and as a salad dressing. The only change I made was I used only 1/2 garlic clove because I have a sensitive belly. I also tried it with arugula and spinach combined with the basil, Love it!! Thank you for sharing this recipe.
We made this last week with zucchini noodles, and the whole family enjoyed the dish. This pesto is so easy to make and tastes delicious!
Very easy and tasty, beautiful color. I added some nutritional yeast for flavor and texture. Next time I won’t blend it as smooth. I just used plain spaghetti, which was what I had on hand. Thank you!
This was really great! It was so easy and tasted awesome. I’m going to share it with all of my friends. I followed instructions as written. Topped with cherry tomatoes like the picture and red pepper flakes – my husband added parm. Thank you!
I just made this and it’s delicious! I love pesto but had not tried this version! I will use some today and probably freeze the rest in an ice cube tray! Thank you for another simple but delicious recipe!
What is the serving size for the 83 calorirs of the avocado pesto sauce?
Tried this recipe
I didn’t have basil so I used spinach instead.
You had me at “avocado pesto.” Brilliant to substitute avocado for pine nuts, which means, yeh, who needs the olive oil? Recipe do not call for cherry tomatoes; a must. And I did notice them pictured. I also splurged and added a few chunks of fresh mozzarella. Then, I topped it off with some of my homemade pepper sauce for a little extra zing. Deee’lish!! Kudos for this one detoxinista.
It was so easy and delicious. I didn’t have a cup of basil but I did have some chives, arugula and sweet basil. It was perfect for my chickpea and eggplant wrap.
This is one healthy recipe I can get my kids to eat without any complaining. It is so flavorful. I just tell them to ignore the color!
Sorry, this was not a winner. Next time, less basil, no water, much less lemon juice, and more salt.