This Avocado Pesto is a healthy lightened-up variation of the classic pesto where avocado is added to the recipe. Make it using basic ingredients in just 5 minutes (gluten-free, vegetarian).
About This Recipe
Avocado pesto is a silky creamy condiment that is super versatile. It is the lightened-up version of the classic pesto and this super versatile condiment comes together in under 5 minutes.
Pesto is a luscious Italian sauce made using basil leaves, nuts, garlic, olive oil, even cheese, and it is served as a sauce with pasta or as a dip too. Pesto originated in Italy and its name is derived from the word ‘Pesta’ which translates as ‘to pound’ or ‘to crush’.
Avocado Pesto is a healthy and delicious variation of classic pesto that uses ripe avocado, basil, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese as its main ingredients. It is prominently used in Italian cuisine and adds a fantastic flavor to Italian recipes.
This avocado pesto sauce can be easily made dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan by doing simple alterations to the main recipe.
Avocado is full of potassium and fiber, they even reduce cholesterol levels. Moreover, avocado even helps in the reduction of weight. So what are you waiting for? Make this healthy, simple, and tasty avocado basil pesto sauce, store it in the fridge and use it to make different recipes.
This Avocado Basil Pesto is,
- Full of flavor
- Easy to make
Avocado – Use good quality ripe avocado to make the pesto. If it’s not ripe, the pesto will taste bitter. To check if the avocado is ripe, press it lightly, if it’s soft then the avocado is ripe and ready to cut.
Basil – Basil adds a nice authentic pesto flavor to this recipe. I have used basil, but you can other greens such as spinach, kale, or arugula too.
Walnuts – I have added walnuts to add a nutty taste to this pesto. If you have pine nuts, you can add it too. Even cashews work well.
You can also add pistachios for a different flavour, and it also adds to the green colour.
Garlic – Garlic adds a flavor that no ingredient can match. So if you are making an Italian dish, do not miss garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil, which makes a difference in the taste.
Parmesan Cheese – This is optional, but if you do not have any vegan restrictions do not miss this. Grate the parmesan cheese and use it in this pesto.
Salt & Pepper – For added taste, spice it up with pepper and salt. You can also add lemon juice and lemon zest for a tangy kick in the pesto.
How to make an Avocado Pesto?
Start by cleaning the basil. Take out the leaves from the stem and discard the stems. You will need 2 packed cups of basil leaves. Wash the leaves with water.
Cut 2 avocados into half and discard the seeds. Take out the flesh using a spoon and add it to the medium size jar of a blender. Discard the skin.
Add the basil leaves, ¼ cup walnuts, 5-6 peeled cloves of garlic, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste, 1.4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, and ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese to the jar of the blender.
Blend to make a slightly coarse paste. Scrap the sides of the jar once while blending. Use as required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing a perfect avocado is one problem that many people face and end up getting raw avocados that are not fit to use in their recipes. If you are going to buy avocados, just make sure that the avocado is slightly soft when you press it and not very mushy.
You can see the color of the avocados too. Ripe, ready-to-eat avocados are usually darker in color but the color can sometimes vary, so it is more convenient to press and see the avocado if it is gentle or mushy.
Also, if you get a raw avocado, you can ripen it at home. Just put the raw avocado along with a banana in a brown paper bag. Check it the next day, you will find a ripe avocado. Ripe avocado has to be used the same day, otherwise, it will become mushy.
You can also make a dairy and oil-free recipe if you have certain dietary restrictions. To make an oil-free and dairy-free avocado pesto, you need ingredients such as fresh basil, ripe avocado, garlic, cashew nuts, water, and sea salt.
To make the vegan pesto, add all the ingredients to a blender, except water. Blitz everything unless you get a coarse paste.
Now blitz it again and add little water at a time, till you get a creamy texture. Once done, take it out in a bowl to use in the dish or take it out in an airtight container and store it in the fridge.
You can use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese too, it gives the pesto a salty cheesy flavor without using cheese.
To make nut free pesto, you can use roasted sunflower seeds instead of nuts.
I have used basil, but you can other greens such as parsley, spinach, kale, and arugula too.
Pesto is one of those condiments that can be used in various ways. You can use it to make pasta of course, but you can also use it as a spread in sandwiches, wraps, and open toast. You can also serve it as a dip along with crackers and biscuits for your party starters.
Avocado pesto also makes a great marinade to make delicious healthy grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp recipes. Also, use it to make a healthy and quick avocado pesto pasta salad, and you will definitely love it.
Toss some in cooked quinoa, slather it over bruschetta, serve it over sauteed vegetables or use it as a mayo substitute.
One of the best ways to use it is to make a zucchini zoodle pasta. It is healthy and gluten-free. If you want a vegan recipe, you can also use a vegan and oil-free Pesto to make this Pasta.
You can store this avocado basil pesto for about a week in an airtight container. Pour some water over the pesto to avoid it from turning black. Then drain it just before serving.
If you want to increase the shelf life of homemade pesto, you can freeze it in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags.
The best way to freeze it is in ice trays and then can store the pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags for about 6 months.
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Avocado Pesto Recipe
- 2 ripe avocado
- 2 cups fresh basil (packed)
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Start by cleaning the basil. Take out the leaves from the stem and discard the stems. You will need 2 packed cups of basil leaves. Wash the leaves with water.
- Cut 2 avocados into half and discard the seeds. Take out the flesh using a spoon and add it to the medium size jar of a blender. Discard the skin.
- Add the basil leaves, ¼ cup walnuts, 5-6 peeled cloves of garlic, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste, 1.4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, and ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese to the jar of the blender.
- Blend to make a slightly coarse paste. Scrap the sides of the jar once while blending.
- Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use as required.