Avocado Pesto Pasta

in Dinner, Pasta

I feel like I’ve been a little bit of a psycho lately. It started a few weeks ago when I was like, Man, what if I put bacon on popcorn? That was cool. Then there were these salty oatmeal cookies, followed by bone marrow and then fried corn dog tots. Ugh. After all that I needed a hike and a fruit bowl, you know what I mean?

So, I went on the hike–it was pretty. And had a fruit bowl, but then I needed dinner, a real dinner…

If you’re on Pinterest–like the rest of the female population–you might’ve seen pictures of Avocado Pasta floating around.

This has been on my “to-make” list for a loooong time. I figured it was the perfect time for a little vegan meal to come into my life.

I tried it. Delicious.

Then I got the crazy idea to make it almost like carbonara. There were egg yolks, pancetta, a good amount of Parmesan and avocado. Sound weird? It kinda was. And while pretty delicious, I could only eat like four bites–it was way too decadent and the avocado was totally lost. Bummer (sorta)!

So, I returned to making it in a vegan manner, changing a few things, adding a few things here and there.

There’s a big handful of fresh basil leaves which are blended with garlic, salt, sliced almonds, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil. Think of it almost like a refreshing, totally untraditional pesto.

The avocado is added last and blended until it’s nice and smooth. A little toss action with the pasta and boom! dinner. It’s a simple as it gets.

There’s a good balance between the flavor of pesto and avocado. The liberal amount of lemon juice and zest makes it refreshing and light, while the avocado adds a nice creamy texture.

Think of this dish almost like vegan comfort food. I’m so into it!

P.S. At the last second, I totally choked and sprinkled Parmesan all over the pasta. It was good!! :(

Avocado Pesto Pasta

Print this recipe!

Pasta of your choice (I used linguine)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sliced almonds
1 lemon, for zest and juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh Pepper
1 medium avocado

1. Add the pasta to a pot of well-salted boiling water and cook to al dente. As you drain the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water for the pesto.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, add the basil, garlic cloves, almonds, zest from 1/2 of the lemon, juice from the whole lemon, salt and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper. Blend until chopped, scraping down the sides, if need be. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth. Add the avocado and blend once more. If the mixture is a bit too thick (mine was), add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta sauce and blend one last time.

3. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and toss until thoroughly coated.

Yields 2 servings

Recipe adapted from Epicurious and Oh She Glows

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike @TheIronYou April 11, 2012 at 1:42 am

I saw this recipe as well and was curious about it. I really love pesto and I’m really curious to see how the avocado blends in it.
Gonna try this really soon!


Hither and Thither Girls April 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

I’m moving to an avocado populated location soon and will enjoy picking fresh avocados and making this tasty, if ‘untraditional pesto’. Looks delicious, and would probably pack great for bringing on a gourmet hike!


Blog is the New Black April 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

I’ve been wanting to make this! Heavenly.


Heather (Heather's Dish) April 11, 2012 at 2:42 am

I love using avocado as a sauce but never thought to add pesto. I need this!


Sue/the view from great island April 11, 2012 at 4:58 am

A creamy pesto without cream sounds divine, and the color is beautiful.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 11, 2012 at 6:08 am

I have seen the avocado pasta and it looks lovely! Yours sounds like a nice switch up too. Yum!


Terry April 11, 2012 at 6:42 am

Great idea… I love avocado …and i often use it smashed on pasta… This creamy pesto is really tempting!!!


Kelsey @aslolife April 11, 2012 at 7:31 am

Yum–totally obsessed with avocado in anything so I need to try this soon! I think I’ll wait to yell my husband what’s in it till after he eats it though!


Margarita April 11, 2012 at 7:32 am

Basil and avocado! Two of my favorite ingredients. I’ve never heard of avocado pesto before and I’m always up for new and interesting things to try. I like that there’s not so much olive oil.


cindy April 11, 2012 at 8:27 am

I can’t judge you on adding parm, ’cause I totes would too. Almost vegan is close enough.
I’m going to make this so soon!


Amy April 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

Yum this looks so creamy and delicious.

mon amy


Jennifer the Story Lady April 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

This looks delicious! I’m a big fan of avocados – thank you for the idea!


Megan April 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

My stomach is growling for real. I need this in my life immediately. YUM.


Maria April 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

One of my favorite meals!


Sommer April 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

I made this and it is INCREDIBLY good.


Kelsey April 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

This is totally for the kindred california spirit. Love it, girl.


Cassie April 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I have been making this since I saw it on Oh She Glows last year and it is a go-to meal in our house. Yours is gorgeous! I love seeing how many different adaptations there are to this recipe!


dervla @ The Curator April 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Now that basil is creeping back into the markets I’m definitely trying this one out. Thanks for helping me figure out dinner tonight! Your photos are gorgeous too.


Martha @ Weekend Doings April 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Looks delicious. I love avocados, but I never seen them as an ingredient in pesto. I need to try it.


The Chic Teach April 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Oh, yum. I’ve seen these recipes a zillion times, and seriously need to break down and make it already!


Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers April 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Yum, yum! This looks incredible, I love avocado! ♥


Dana B @ thebakingbooth April 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Looks great!! :)


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Oh my – this looks incredibly creamy!


tina April 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

i’ve obsessed with all things avocado – like dressing, on toast, guac, and now this i so wanna try! thanks love for the great inspo :)


Barb Bamber April 12, 2012 at 7:43 am

I hadn’t seen this on pinterest.. I’d better get over there more often, or just come here:) Beautiful dish!!


Meghan April 12, 2012 at 8:12 am

What a great idea! I’m totally trying this recipe out on a cold pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and bacon? Yes please!


Carrie April 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

I feel like avocado always gets pigeon-holed as only-good-for-guacamole or on a salad. This recipe defies that idea – looks scrumptious.


Truly Smitten April 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Mmmm! How I want to lick the computer screen right now!


Nik April 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

It’s pretty hard not to sprinkle pasta bowls with cheese. I feel you.


Nicole Franzen April 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

leave it to you 😉 I have to try this. I easily eat half of an avo a day. They are my happy fruit. Though I havent wrapped my head around the vegan chocolate pudding idea, made with avocados or is it the raw diet. But pasta and I are long time friends, this should be made asap. x


Maria @ Orchard Bloom April 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I made the non basil version of this and I was underwhelmed. I’m going to give it another go and do it your way!


Javelin Warrior April 13, 2012 at 6:52 am

I’ve never tried avocado with pasta before, but it does look terribly tempting. And the color and texture looks incredible. I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…


France April 13, 2012 at 8:03 am

I love the idea of using this rich and creamy vegetable as a sauce. So much potential when one starts thinking outside the box with avocados. This looks delish.


Bridget April 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This looks awesome. I love when I have all the ingredients already in my pantry for delicious-looking recipes! Definitely going to make soon.


Leanne@Around the Table April 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

I have seen this so many times and was not sure if it was good or not. I’m so happy it is good because I love avocado!!


Mary Gwen Sagen April 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I love this! Visit my blog at enjoyco.wordpress.com !


Estelle April 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I would totatlly do this but add bacon ( probably skimp on the egg yolks) would that be good or totally mess up the flavor if I just threw some bacon in there?


Adrianna April 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Have you ever had guacamole with bacon? It’s delicious. So, I’m thinking a little bacon in this pasta can’t hurt. :)


Stella April 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm

How much pasta do you use?


Alyssa April 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Made this tonight, and boy was it filling. So light too, I can see using this later this summer when my basil crop fills in. I could see little cherry tomatoes being good with this too.


Adrianna April 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

YAY! High five. The additions are pretty limitless. :)


laurie April 26, 2012 at 6:19 am

My fiancee and I are HUGE pesto fans and throughout the spring, summer, and fall, we make our own several times a week (we have an herb garden out back). My fiancee also loooves avocadoes – I can take them or leave them. But I decided to try this. It was a huge hit! Not only was it soo simple, it was delicious. There was a slight hint of avocado, and it helped add to the creaminess (as opposed to a ton of EVOO). The lemon zest and juice was also great. Nice recipe!


Adrianna April 26, 2012 at 11:29 am

So awesome to hear. YAY!


Friendship Quotes May 7, 2012 at 1:05 am

Avocado Pesto Pasta Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!


Stephanie May 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Going to make this tonight with the addition of cherry tomatoes (as suggested above). Really looking forward to surprising my Italian husband with this non-traditional pasta…


Mandy May 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Great recipe, thank you for posting! Eating it as I type. :) Only tip I would add is to use a SMALL lemon…I think mine was too big and the lemon flavor is a little dominant. I sprinkled more sliced almonds on my portion and it helped balance it back out for this time around.


Becky June 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

My recommendation – similar to others.. pancetta. It adds the perfect amount of saltines, this is divine!


Shreya September 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

This looks so simple and is extremely tempting! Must try it out soon =)


Sebastian B September 24, 2012 at 6:04 am

You should try the mix with rice.
Avocado, olive oil, mix… add salt.
White rice mix the avocado…



Yeji March 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm

The boy and I made this tonight and swooned over and over with each bite. Thank you for sharing!!!


Adrianna March 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Holler! YAY!


Femi April 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

Made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious! Thanks for sharing! xo


Heather P. October 6, 2013 at 9:40 am

Sorry if I’m overlooking this in the recipe, but how much pasta works with this amount of avocado pesto? I want to make sure I get the proportions right so it’s not a giant pile of pasta with too little sauce or vice versa.


Adrianna Adarme October 6, 2013 at 10:23 am

Oh no worries! Since this recipe is for 2 servings, I’d say 4 ounces of dried pasta.


Ringo Huff February 21, 2014 at 1:33 am

Can’t wait to try how well Avocado and pasta do when mixed. But i bet this is something that will work as avocado alone has such a great flavor. Adding bacon, perhaps a nice suggestion but by leaving the recipe as it is makes it Healthy and appealling.


Dominique August 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm

My friends and I made this recipe and it worked out smashingly well. We used gluten-free pasta and it tasted surprisingly good and also added some rotisserie chicken and vine tomatoes to add some tanginess. Delicious recipe!


Clemy Abadi October 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

This spaghetti with avocado looks delicious! Going shopping soon few the ingredients, to make it soon!


Clemy Abadi October 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

This spaghetti-avocado sounds very . very goon! Thank you for sharing. I’m going to try it as soon as I can!


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