Avocado Pesto

This will blow your mind.

What if I told you that I knew a pesto recipe with half the calories that took a quarter of the time to prepare? I know, I know, “hodgeposh!” you’d say…

But it’s true!

Ladies and gents, I’d like to introduce…

*drumroll please*

…AVOCADO PESTO.

Sounds a little weird? Don’t write it off just yet, ok?

For those of you who don’t know by now. I love pesto. No, not just love… I adore pesto. If pesto were cheaper or quicker to make, I would eat it every day. A little while ago, I wrote a post on spicing up store-bought pesto, but this avocado pesto is a far cheaper and easier substitute during those cold winter months when basil seems impossible to come by.

If you need proof of how magical this recipe is, just look to its source. This little guy comes from Angela Liddon over at Oh She Glows and it has 242 comments of professed adoration. That’s right, 242 posts of pure avocado love.

This dish is done-zo by the time your pasta has finished boiling, and if you forgo making it in a food processor (as Angela’s recipe dictates) and mash it up like guacamole in a bowl instead, your cleanup is ONE bowl. As I said… way too good to be true.

Both le boyfriend and I were pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I think le boyfriend was expecting complete disaster, since a grimace was written all over his face when I answered his nightly question of “whatcha makin’?” with “ohhhh just pasta with avocado sauce.” I don’t think seeing this sight helped much:

BUT DON’T LET IT FREAK YOU OUT EITHER! The result was well appreciated all around, with the avocado providing a pretty muted base for the other ingredients. Le boyfriend said “you will definitely be making this again,” and that’s coming from someone who’s been spoiled by many a bowl of my Italian family’s top secret pesto recipe. Believe me, neither one of us is tolerant of sub-par imitations when it comes to pesto… that’s one area we don’t compromise on.

You can find Angela’s original recipe here; I made a few modifications to make it a little more like pesto and to make the cleanup a little more manageable. You can find mine below:

Avocado Pesto (Adapted from Angela Liddon’s 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta)

  • 1 medium sized ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ~1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped (or a few tablespoons of the dry stuff)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese
(if you prefer more topping for your pasta, this recipe is easily doubled)
  1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lime juice, olive oil, avocado, basil, and salt in a bowl and whipping with a fork (like you would guacamole) until smooth and creamy.
  3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with black pepper and A LOT of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.

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