Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta.
We love this avocado pesto pasta! The pesto is made with basil, toasted pine nuts, ripe avocado, pecorino romano and a hint of lemon. It is so summery and delicious, and absolutely wonderful tossed with hot pasta.
We live for pesto in our house!
This avocado pesto pasta is the perfect weeknight meal – whether it’s your main dish or side dish. The avocado pesto is so incredibly creamy and coats the hot bucatini until you have green silky strands of pasta. Tastes wonderfully nutty, cheesy, creamy, refreshing and like a big bite of summer.
That’s the best kind of meal.
I didn’t grow up eating pesto as a kid and it took me quite a while to get into it. These days, I have my kids completely obsessed with pesto – any and all versions. Max eats it on rotini, Emilia loves to make it with me and Jordan is just venturing into his pesto pasta obsession.
It’s one of Eddie’s favorite side dishes and something I will throw together when I only have a few minutes. It’s just so super simple but packs so much flavor.
During the warmer months, I like to have pesto in the fridge. Any variety!
We use it for garlic bread, spread it on chicken or steak, toss it in pasta like this or even use it as a dip or drizzle for grilled vegetables. It’s so incredibly versatile and reminds me of sunshine and those light, refreshing dinners on the patio.
This recipe combines a mix of my classic basil pesto with perfectly ripe avocados. I’ve done an avocado pesto before, with this steak and corn. It is very similar except that one uses asiago for a sharper punch.
When I make pesto, I love to go heavy on the toast pine nuts. They bring out my favorite flavor. I also like a lot of garlic and parmesan along with just a pinch of crushed red pepper for heat.
Adding avocado to this pesto makes it extra creamy. It’s richer and hugs the pasta more than usual, thanks to the smooth avocado. I also just absolutely love the flavor. It does not a have a heavy avocado taste.
Eddie doesn’t love avocado, but in the pesto it doesn’t bother him at all. In fact, he had no idea this was filled with avocado until I told him… AFTER the meal of course.
I love this as the main meal in summer. Top it with lots of cheese, fresh basil leaves and a little spritz of lemon. It is such summer perfection.
One of simplest pleasures right now is a plate of pesto pasta, a chilled glass of white wine, some light music and a summer sunset. It doesn’t get better!
Avocado Pesto Pasta
Avocado Pesto Pasta
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 ripe avocado
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic
- kosher salt and pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for topping
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound bucatini pasta
- 1 cup reserved starchy pasta water
- fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- lemon wedges, for spritzing
- As a note, to toast the pine nuts, I add mine to a skillet and heat over low heat. I shake and stir until they are golden and fragrant, about 5 to 6 minutes. Do not walk away! They burn quickly.
- To make the pesto, combine the basil, avocado, cheese, lemon juice, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper along with the crushed red pepper. Pulse until small crumbs remain, and then with the processor running, stream in the olive oil. Start with the 1/2 cup and add any extra if needed to reach the desired consistency. Taste and season additionally with salt if needed.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the bucatini according to the directions. Reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water.
- Drain the pasta and toss it back in the pot. Add the pesto while it’s hot and toss it thoroughly so every noodle is coated. Stir in a sprinkle of extra cheese, some fresh basil leaves and crushed red pepper. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon for spritzing!
And the fork twirl!