Quick & Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta

5 from 6 votes
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This avocado pesto pasta recipe is another exclusive from my new cookbook. It’s super easy to make, delicious, and can be made gluten-free.

Avocado Pesto PastaPin

The Perfect Lazy Meal

Pasta is one of my favorite meals to make because it’s so quick and easy. Simply cook the pasta and by the time it’s al-dente, the sauce is ready too. What could be more convenient than that? A number of the recipes in my new book, including this avocado pesto pasta, come with a “lazy vegan” label. Those are all recipes I created when I wanted something to eat right away without having to spend hours in the kitchen.

Truth be told, about 90% of the meals I make for myself are lazy vegan meals. The shorter the prep time and the quicker the clean up time, the better. Occasionally, I do love to dedicate more time to cooking, but quick & easy recipes will always be my go-to. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe! Tip: be sure to check out the playlist I included below, it’s great to listen to while you’re cooking and/or eating.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make
  • Simple, yet delicious!
  • Can be made gluten-free
  • Plant-based

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Pasta: the pasta shape I used is called “Mafaldine”, you can find the exact one I used and a gluten-free alternative in the recommended products section below. Whichever type of pasta you end up using, just make sure it’s egg-free to keep it vegan.
  • Pine nuts: Pine nuts are essential to any great pesto recipe, but walnuts work too. If you’re allergic to tree nuts, you can use sunflower seeds instead.
  • Fresh basil leaves: the most affordable way to always have fresh basil at hand is to buy it in pots that can keep growing in your kitchen. Keeping them alive is another story, but I’ve found that watering them daily and trying not to forget they exist helps;) Basil is very important in this recipe, so I wouldn’t recommend substituting it with another herb, but if you can’t find fresh basil, you can use more baby spinach. Just keep in mind that this will impact the taste a bit.
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves: it doesn’t necessarily need to be baby spinach, regular spinach works too. I just find baby spinach a bit milder. Make sure you wash your spinach and then pat it dry to ensure the sauce doesn’t get too watery.
  • Olive oil: you could use avocado oil too, but olive oil truly works best.
  • Ripe avocado: knowing when an avocado is ripe is an art in itself. If you’re buying yours the day you’re making this avocado pesto pasta recipe, make sure it’s soft to the touch, then lift the stem to see the color the avocado has on the inside. It should still be bright green. If it’s brown- or gray-ish, it’s overripe.
  • Lemon: since lemons come in lots of different sizes, I’d recommend measuring the juice. One medium lemon should yield about 2 tablespoons of juice, which is exactly the amount needed for this recipe. Tip: I’ve been using a lemon & lime squeeze like this one for the last ten years and it’s one of my most practical kitchen tools.
  • Nutritional Yeast: nutritional yeast is a secret weapon in any vegan kitchen. Before going vegan, I had never heard of it, but now it’s the staple ingredient in my home. It has a nutty and cheesy flavor, making it perfect for vegan cheese recipes. In this avocado pesto pasta recipe, it’s meant to replace the parmesan cheese. It’s also high in protein and b-vitamins, so I like to sprinkle it on my soups and salads for an extra nutrient boost any chance I get. As for substitutions, please don’t use any other kind of yeast instead. Either substitute with vegan parmesan cheese or a little umami seasoning sauce (this one is my favorite).
  • Garlic cloves: you can use garlic powder instead (I usually use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder per garlic clove), but if possible, fresh garlic is ideal.
  • Sea salt: the amount of salt used in this recipe may seem high, but I tried many different ratios and this one worked the best. If you’re unsure, or sensitive to salt, then start with half the amount indicated and then add more to taste if need be.
  • Grated vegan parmesan cheese: this topping is 100% optional and you can also just use a little more nutritional yeast instead.

🌿 Low Waste Tip: This recipe uses a whole avocado, but if you ever need only half an avocado for a recipe, leave the pit in the half you’re not using. Then fill a small bowl with water (just enough for the pit and the green part of the avocado to be submerged), place the avocado half in the bowl (cut side down), and store in the fridge. This will keep the avocado from turning brown too quickly.

Avocado Pesto PastaPin
  • Mini Food Processor: the smaller ones are ideal for sauces and dips, but a larger food processor or using your blender’s pulse function will work too.
  • A pot: any pot you usually cook pasta in will do. If you happen to be looking for new kitchenware, I’ve linked the brand I personally use and love below.
  • Mafaldine pasta: every time I post a recipe in which I use this shape of pasta, I get tons of questions about it. Mafaldine pasta is such a fun shape to cook with and has quickly become my favorite kind of pasta. If you’re in the U.S., I’ve linked them below. The single pack is a bit expensive, so I usually buy it in bulk. If you’re in Europe, my favorite mafaldine brand is Rummo. I found a gluten-free version too.
  • My cookbook: since I’m sharing the recipe for this avocado pesto pasta here, you obviously don’t need to get the book, but if you like the recipe and want more like it, it would mean so much to me if you considered getting a copy of the book too.

How to Enjoy This Avocado Pesto Pasta

This avocado pesto pasta recipe makes for a great weekday lunch or dinner. It’s also a perfect recipe to make when you’re hosting guests for a casual and cozy dinner night. It’s beginner-friendly and satisfying! Every recipe in the new cookbook comes with a song and an extended digital playlist. Here is the one for this recipe. Feel free to hit play and listen to it while cooking and/or eating this dish.

Avocado Pesto PastaPin

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

Yes! Simply replace regular pasta with any gluten-free pasta. You can find a gluten-free version of the exact pasta shape I used here.

How can I make this recipe high protein?

To turn this avocado pesto pasta recipe into a high protein dish you can do either or both of the following: 1. Use chickpea or lentil pasta instead (this will also make it gluten-free). 2. Add some chickpeas or butter beans to the recipe. You can either mix them into the final dish, or bake them in the oven at 200C/400F on a lined baking sheet with some olive oil and sea salt for 15-20 minutes to make them crispier.

How can I store the avocado pesto pasta?

Once cooled, you can transfer the pasta to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge. Since it contains avocado, I’d recommend consuming it within 1-2 days. I would not recommend freezing it. When reheating, you might beed to add a tablespoon or two of water to the pot to make it less dry.

More Vegan Recipes You Might Like

About the Best of Vegan Cookbook

Best of vegan cookbook coverPin
  • This cookbook is a bird’s eye view of vegan cuisine, showcasing just how versatile plant-based recipes can be.
  • It includes 5 chapters: comfort food, cultural food, wholesome food, desserts, and basics.
  • Each recipe from a different culture was created in collaboration with someone from that culture.
  • Each song comes with a playlist to listen to while you’re cooking and/or eating.
  • The book comes with additional bonus content, so if you decide to get a copy, be sure to forward your order confirmation or send a picture of your receipt to cookbook@bestofvegan.com.
  • CLICK HERE to find out more & order a copy.

Avocado Pesto Pasta Recipe Card

Save, pin, print, or share this recipe via the recipe card below. For any questions, please comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! For additional ingredient notes, be sure to read the full blog post above. Enjoy!

Avocado Pesto PastaPin

Avocado Pesto Pasta

This quick and easy avocado pesto pasta recipe is a personal favorite. It's perfect for a satisfying weeknight dinner or a comforting lunch.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: plant-based
Keyword: pasta, vegan pasta
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

For the Pasta

  • 7 oz 200 g of your favorite dry pasta (gluten-free if desired)

For the Avocado Pesto Pasta Sauce

  • ¼ cup 35 g pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 packed cup 20 to 30 g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 packed cup about 30 g fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup 60 mL olive oil
  • ¼ cup 60 mL water
  • 1 ripe avocado pit and peel removed
  • Juice of 1 lemon about 2 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup 15 g nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper

For the Toppings

  • ¼ cup 35 g pine nuts
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Grated vegan parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, in a small food processor, process the pine nuts, basil, and spinach using the pulse function until finely chopped but not pureed, then add all the other sauce ingredients and process until the sauce is blended yet still slightly chunky. Set aside.
  • While the pasta is still cooking, heat a small nonstick pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pine nuts for the topping and toast until they’re just golden brown (but not too dark). This should take only 1 to 2 minutes, so watch carefully and move them around the pan so they get toasted evenly.
  • Drain the pasta, transfer to a bowl, mix in the sauce, and top with the toasted pine nuts, fresh basil, and vegan parmesan cheese, if using.

🌿Don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any questions or feedback. And if you try & love this recipe, it would mean the world to me if you could leave a review and ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below. ❤️

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