With a handful of nutritious, flavorful ingredients, this Avocado Pesto is such a delicious sauce for pasta and a favorite meal to share with the kids. It’s fast, it stores well, and it’s easy to customize for your family. Win!

avocado pesto pasta in two bowls with cheese.

Avocado Pesto

I love making pasta dinners with a range of sauce options, according to what we’re in the mood for and the ingredients we have on hand. And this avocado pesto is a new favorite—that I love, particularly, because it stores in the fridge and freezer so well.

This sauce is bright, fresh, and just a little bit creamy and can be adjusted for any allergies that you may have in the family. (Or just for the ingredients you have access to one week or another.)

Along with my Zucchini Pasta Sauce and my Extra-Veggie Marinara, this is a favorite way to add flavor and nutrition to a bowl of pasta. Think of it as pesto, with the added bonus of avocado in the mix!

Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to make this recipe to share with your family.

Ingredients for avocado pesto on countertop.
  • Avocado: Adding fresh (or frozen) avocado adds creaminess and beneficial fats.
  • Baby spinach: This adds the bright green flavor and plenty of nutrients, including iron and fiber.
  • Fresh basil or parsley: I have made it with both (according to what was available at my store) and they both work well. I have a slight preference for the flavor of basil, but see what you like.
  • Parmesan: This cheese adds flavor and saltiness, which is a pleasant addition.
  • Olive oil: I use extra-virgin olive oil to help blend the sauce smoothly.
  • Lemon juice: This brightens the flavor of the sauce with some refreshing acidity.
  • Pasta: You can use the sauce on any pasta prepared according to the package directions.

TIP: You can optionally add roasted unsalted sunflower seeds to give this a sort of a pesto flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of how to make this recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full how-to and timing.

how to make avocado pesto in grid of 4 images.
  1. Add the spinach, basil, Parmesan, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, and sunflower seeds (if using) to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend very well until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make a smooth and creamy sauce. Season to taste with salt if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  4. Toss pasta with as much sauce as you like. I usually start with ½ cup. Serve warm with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
avocado pesto pasta in white bowl with cheese.

How to Store

Store sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in a zip-top freezer bag, with as much air removed as possible, for up to 3 months. You can also portion sauce into an ice cube tray, freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag for long-term storage in the freezer.

Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature to use. Or simply add a frozen sauce cube to a hot bowl of pasta and stir to thaw.

avocado pesto pasta in white kids bowl with fork.

Best Tips for Success

  • You can also use this sauce on Pesto Pizza, Pizza Rolls, or with any grain such as quinoa.
  • Dairy-free: Omit the Parmesan and top with a little nutritional yeast, if desired.
  • Use the seeds or leave them out, according to your preference.
  • Start with a small amount of the sauce and add more to your liking. (You may have enough sauce to make two meals!)
  • Check out my Spinach Pesto and Kale Pesto for more green sauce options.
  • Add a clove of fresh garlic of you like the taste of garlic in pesto.

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Green pasta sauce pasta in two bowls with cheese.

Favorite Avocado Pesto

With a handful of nutritious, flavorful ingredients, this Avocado Pesto is such a delicious meal to share with the kids. It's fast, it stores well, and it's easy to customize for your family. Win! (This makes enough for 2-3 meals of pasta, so see the Notes for how to store.)
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Sauce
Calories 337kcal
Servings 16 (Makes about 1 cup)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • ½ cup fresh basil (lightly packed; or parsley)
  • ½ cup avocado (about 1 small avocado, pitted)
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (or almonds; optional)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼-⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 pound pasta
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Instructions

  • Add the spinach, basil (or parsley), Parmesan, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, and sunflower seeds (if using) to a blender or food processor. Start with the lower amount of olive oil and add more as needed to blend the sauce.
  • Blend very well until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl or using the stick that came with the blender as needed to make a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Season to taste with salt if needed.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  • Toss pasta with as much sauce as you like. (I usually start with ¼-½ cup.) Serve warm with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

  • Store sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in a zip-top freezer bag, with as much air removed as possible, for up to 3 months. You can also portion sauce into an ice cube tray, freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag for long-term storage in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature to use. Or simply add a frozen sauce cube to a hot bowl of pasta and stir to thaw.
  • You can also use this sauce on pizza, Pizza Rolls, or with any grain.
  • Dairy-free: Omit the Parmesan and top with a little nutritional yeast, if desired.
  • Use the seeds or leave them out, according to your preference.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 271mg, Potassium: 280mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1554IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is amazing! I can’t buy store bought because of the milk. So I made this and used dairy free parm and it was amazing. Bonus is a little goes far so I have some to freeze!

  2. 5 stars
    Not only was this very delicious, but it was so easy to make that my (normally very picky eater) 3 year old helped me make it. He loved it! And so did my 1 year old. Something about getting them involved in process is a game changer. I felt really good about giving this to them too (all the straightforward, simple ingredients) More recipes like this please! Thank you for what you do for busy parents.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been making your nut-free pesto recipe for months and loved the addition of avocado (my daughter did too!) I made a large batch and stored in an airtight container, but the color of the sauce is much darker now hours later than it originally was, I think because the avocado is browning. Any tips to prevent this and is it still okay to eat?

    1. It’s totally fine to eat! You could cover the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil or add a little more lemon juice next time.