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?