Vegetarian Avocado and Pesto Pasta

Avocado and pesto pasta recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
893 Calories
59g Fat
77g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 893
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 59g 76%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 479mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Protein 22g
Calcium 175mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pesto and avocado go surprisingly well together, which you'll soon find out if you try this avocado pesto pasta recipe. Need it to be vegan? Use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese to make the pesto or just sub in your own favorite vegan pesto recipe. Need it to be gluten-free? Use gluten-free pasta and you're good to go, since all of the other ingredients, including Parmesan cheese, avocado, basil, and garlic are all gluten-free. 

Like with most vegetarian recipes, it is recommended that you use either kosher salt or sea salt in this dish, as it really does make a big taste difference. 

For a complete meal, add a side green salad and perhaps some toasty garlic bread


  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 avocado, diced into about 1-inch (bite-sized) cubes
  • About 10 ounces pasta, any kind
  • Extra sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for avocado and pesto pasta
    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes
  2. First, prepare your pesto. You can also skimp and just use a store-bought jar of pesto, but it's so much cheaper, fresher, and tastier to make your own. To prepare the pesto, place the pine nuts or walnuts, basil, garlic, sea salt or kosher salt and Parmesan cheese in a blender or food processor and pulse together a few times.

    Prepare your pesto
    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes 
  3. Slowly add the olive oil and blend until you have a nice, smooth consistency. You may need to add a little bit more or less olive oil to get the perfect texture.

    Slowly add olive oil
    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes
  4. Next, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, or however you like to cook your pasta. Drain well. 

    Cook pasta
    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes
  5. Next, combine it all. Toss the prepared pasta with your prepared pesto until well combined, then gently toss together with the diced avocado, being careful not to break up the avocado. 

    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes
  6. Finally, give it another little sprinkle of sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to serve.

    Sprinkle with salt
    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes