Avocado Pesto Recipe

This Avocado Pesto Recipe takes just 5 minutes to throw together and is vegan, gluten-free, AND oil-free! It’s packed with fresh herbs, roasted pistachios, creamy avocado, and more!

Jar of avocado pesto held

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    <li class="nav-heading">General</li><li><a class="" href="#ingredients">Ingredients</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_make">How to make</a></li><li><a class="" href="#recipe">Get the recipe</a></li><li><a class=" watch-video" href="#recipe_video">Step-by-step video</a></li><li class="nav-heading">Frequently Asked Questions</li><li><a class="" href="#is_pesto_healthy">Is pesto healthy?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#dried_vs_fresh_basil">Dried vs fresh basil</a></li><li><a class="" href="#hot_or_cold">Hot or cold?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#variations">Variations</a></li><li><a class="" href="#pairing_suggestions">Pairing suggestions</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_store">How to store</a></li><li><a class="" href="#nutrition_info">Nutrition information</a></li></ul></div>

The first time I tried avocado pesto, I was at a friend’s house for dinner. They were serving pork chops with pesto and zoodles. Um, yum! The pesto was soooooo creamy and I needed to know why. I was BLOWN AWAY when they informed me that the pesto was made with avocado. What?!

Creamy, fresh, and delicious FLAVOR BOMB? Yeah, I knew I needed to make my own avocado pesto recipe immediately.


I love using a combination of fresh herbs in pesto. You’re not just limited to the classic basil!

  • Basil and Cilantro – the perfect blend of herbs for this recipe. Both are so fresh and add such different flavors. Feel free to use parsley or all basil if you’re not a fan of cilantro.
  • Garlic – adds a nice nutty taste.
  • Pistachios – I used roasted and salted pistachios.
  • Avocado – makes the pesto extra creamy and allows us to keep this recipe oil free.
  • Lemon Juice – provides the pesto with a bit of tanginess.
  • Nutritional Yeast – gives the pesto that salty “cheesy” flavor like parmesan does, just without the cheese!
  • Water – more or less depending on your preferred thickness.
  • Salt – more or less to taste. I like more. 😉
Pro tip
I LOVE bulking up my pesto with an herb other than basil. Where I live, basil is $4 for a tiny pack whereas I can get a huge bunch of cilantro for under a dollar!

How to make

  1. Place all your ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth!avocado pesto ingredients in food processor
  2. Serve and enjoy!Blended avocado pesto in food processor spoonful being taken out
Pro tip
You could also use a high powered blender, like a Vitamix, but it’s harder to scrape out, because the base is so narrow, which is why I prefer using a food processor.

Is pesto healthy?

This avocado pesto recipe is definitely healthy! This is a lightened up version of a classic that’s packed healthy fats and fresh herbs. No oil, no cheese, but plenty of flavor!

1/4th of the entire recipe has only has 124 calories, 9 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein.

Traditional pesto is made quite a bit of oil and parmesan cheese. So it’s not the worst thing ever, but not the healthiest thing ever either, which is why I LOVE this avocado pesto.

Can you use dried basil instead of fresh basil?

I don’t recommend using dried basil for fresh basil. It won’t create the same flavor or texture. If you can’t find basil or it’s too expensive, simply replace with equal parts cilantro, parsley, spinach, or even kale! You’ll likely need to play around with the seasonings.

Then, if you’d like to add in a little dried basil for flavor, that’s fine.

Do you eat pesto hot or cold?

Pesto is great hot or cold. It depends on what you eat it with. Serve it cold on a fresh green salad or hot on a bowl of pasta with roasted veggies. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it:

Jar of avocado pesto next to half avocado above


You can use just about anything in pesto as long as you have an herb, a nut, and a fat!

  • Herbs. Try parsley, less or more cilantro, or less or more basil. You can even try spinach, kale, arugula, or mint. The flavor will be different but they’re all so good.
  • Nuts. Try toasted walnuts, pine nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, etc.
  • Citrus. Use lime juice instead of lemon!
  • Nutritional yeast. If you’re not vegan, feel free to use parmesan cheese.
  • Fat. If you’d like to bulk up your pesto even more, try adding in a few swigs of extra virgin olive oil.

If you want to experiment with different pestos, try out these recipes: basil pesto, cilantro pesto, pistachio pesto, arugula walnut pesto!

What to serve with avocado pesto

I LOVE this avocado pesto served over a bed of zoodles (zucchini noodles) or regular pasta, but it’s really good with anything. 😉

Here are some of my all time favorite recipes to serve with this healthy avocado pesto sauce!

It’s also delicious on grilled chicken, pork chops, and even mixed into mashed potatoes!

Avocado pesto on zoodles

How to store

Store this avocado pesto in a mason jar or an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months!

Pro tip
If freezing, store in ice cube trays to thaw and serve later!

Jar of avocado pesto

Creamy, fresh, and healthy deliciousness! Eat up!

– Jennifer


Avocado Pesto Recipe

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This Avocado Pesto Recipe takes just 5 minutes to throw together and is vegan, gluten-free, AND oil-free! It's packed with fresh herbs, roasted pistachios, creamy avocado, and more!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword avocado sauce, gluten free, oil free, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 124kcal
Author Jennifer Debth


  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves about 2 (3/4 oz) packages
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios
  • 1 (5 1/2 oz) avocado
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoons water or more if you want a thinner consistency
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)


  • Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth, adding more water/salt, as necessary.
  • Store, covered, in the fridge.



*I served these with “zoodles” that I just cooked in a preheated skillet until tender. Throw them in a colander after they’re cooked if you want to drain them.


Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 12.9mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 0.9mg

This post was originally published June 5, 2017 and has been updated to provide more detailed content.

The post Avocado Pesto Recipe appeared first on Show Me the Yummy.

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