Take your pesto game to the next level with this Avocado Pesto Pasta. Buttery avocado, aromatic basil, nutty parmesan, and crunchy pistachios come together in a creamy sauce to coat your favorite pasta. Quick, easy, and delicious, dinner never tasted so good!
Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta Recipe
Got a thing for the combination of avocados and pasta? If so, you’ll really like this laid-back avocado pesto gnocchi. Think creamy avocados, earthy pistachios, tasty Parmesan, and that cool touch of fresh basil. It’s like giving your pasta dinner a chill, flavor-packed hug. And hey, it’s not just tasty, it’s got some good stuff for your health too: awesome fats, proteins, vitamins, and all that jazz.
With just a handful of ingredients, a blender, and 20 minutes of your time, you’ll have a creamy, dreamy pesto that will elevate your pasta game to a whole new level. Serve it as a wholesome weeknight dinner or as the star piece of your next dinner party. Give it a go and feel good munching on it!
Why You’ll Love This Creamy Pesto Pasta
This delicious, simple recipe is sure to make it to the top of your busy weeknight dinner list. It only takes 20 minutes to throw together and it’s packed with nutritional benefits and satisfying flavors.
The creamiest pesto around. The velvety richness of ripe avocados makes this pesto pasta so wonderfully creamy and tasty.
Packed with nutritional benefits. Between the avocado and the olive oil, this dish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. It even has a nice amount of protein in it from the pistachios. Delicious and nutritious.
Quick and easy. In the time that it takes to boil the pasta, you can whip up the creamy pesto sauce. It’s an excellent recipe for your busy days.
Ingredients For Avocado Pesto Pasta
Here’s what you’ll need to make avocado basil pesto pasta. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.
Pistachios: You could use pine nuts, cashews, or walnuts instead if you’d like. In fact, try them all, in different batches, of course.
Grated parmesan: I highly suggest grating fresh parmesan cheese if possible.
Pasta or gnocchi: I used gnocchi, but you could use any pasta shape here.
How To Make Avocado Pesto Pasta
In just a few steps and 20 minutes, you will have yourself some of the tastiest, creamiest pesto pasta ever.
Make the pesto. Add the basil, pistachios, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until the pistachios have reached the texture of very coarse sand. Add the parmesan and process until fully incorporated. Add the avocado and process until fully incorporated.
Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package’s instructions. Just before it’s finished boiling, remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Sauce the pasta. Stir the pesto into the pasta. Add a little of the pasta water if the sauce isn’t easily adhering to the pasta.
Tips And Variations
Check the avocado. You want to use avocados that are perfectly ripe.
Reserve the pasta water. Don’t forget to pull a cup of pasta water out of the pot before you drain the pasta. If your sauce has a hard time spreading evenly over the pasta, you can add a bit of the starchy water to the mix and it will help everything meld together.
Choose the right pasta. I used gnocchi here. I love how the pesto sinks into the somewhat porous dumplings, but you could just as easily use a more conventional pasta. Longer pasta cuts tend to carry pesto best. Try bucatini, spaghetti, or tagliatelle.
Grate your own cheese. Pre-grated cheese just won’t melt with the heat of the pasta to make a creamy sauce nearly as well as freshly (and finely) grated parmesan.
Extra greens. Boost the nutritional content of the pesto by blending a handful of spinach or kale with the avocado basil pesto.
Try some lemon. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the pesto to stop the avocado from browning and to add a refreshing zing to the overall flavor.
Add protein. Toss in some grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or tofu to round out the meal with some protein.
Play with cheese. Add a little goat cheese or feta to the dish for an extra kick of flavor. You can blend it into the pesto or toss it with the pasta before serving.
What To Serve With Avocado Pasta
How To Store Leftovers
Refrigerator. Once the pesto pasta has cooled completely, seal it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezer. Pesto and pasta combined do not thaw very well. I highly recommend freezing just the sauce sans pasta. Allow the sauce to thaw in the fridge before boiling a fresh batch of pasta and tossing it with the thawed avocado pesto.
More Healthy Pasta Recipes
Sometimes you’ve just got to have some pasta. I get it. Next time you have a pasta itch that needs scratching, try one or several of these delicious, health-conscious recipes.
Prep Time 10 minutesmins
Cook Time 10 minutesmins
Total Time 20 minutesmins
Make the pesto. Add the basil, pistachios, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until the pistachios have reached the texture of very coarse sand. Add the parmesan and process until fully incorporated. Add the avocado and process until fully combined.
Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water, add the salt, and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook per the instructions on the package. When done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain out the rest. Transfer the cooked pasta back to the pot.
Sauce the pasta. Add the pesto to the pasta in the pot and stir until the pasta is coated in the sauce. If the pesto is having a hard time spreading to all of the pasta, add some of the reserved pasta water (1/4 cup at a time) to thin it out a bit.
Choosing Avocado: Aim for a ripe avocado; it should give a little when pressed but not be squishy.
Save That Pasta Water: Before draining, set aside a cup of pasta water. If your sauce needs a smoother spread, a splash of this starchy magic does the trick.
Pasta Choice: While I love gnocchi for its pesto-loving texture, classic pasta like spaghetti or tagliatelle works great too.
Lemon Twist: A squeeze prevents browning and adds a fresh kick to the pesto.
Add Some Protein: Consider grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp, for a complete meal.
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