Spicy Avocado Pesto Pasta

I propose that all grocery clear a place on the shelf right beside the Frank’s Hot Sauce for Spicy Avocado Pesto: you are going to want this stuff on everything.

Super Food Avocado Pesto Pasta

Luxuriously creamy, lightly spiced, and packed with super foods avocado and arugula, this velvety green wonder sauce comes together in minutes and is lovely on everything from sandwiches to toast to pasta. I tossed ours with whole wheat noodles and plump cherry tomatoes for a bright, healthy dinner that was on the table in fewer than 20 minutes.

Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta

The base of the Spicy Avocado Pesto is a riot of green: creamy avocados, peppery arugula, sassy cilantro, lively lime, and zesty jalapeños. To control the spice level of the sauce, leave as much of the jalapenos’ seeds and membranes as you dare. The first time I made this avocado pesto, I removed both and found the jalapeño flavor a little too subtle, so the second time, I left about half and thought Goldilocks would approve: the heat was juuuuuuust right.

15 Minute Super Food Avocado Pesto Pasta

Easy Avocado Pesto

The cooking “directions” for avocado pesto are as simple as dump and go. A few whirrrrrs of the food processor transform the ingredients into a sumptuous sauce that tastes decedent but is entirely healthy, thanks to nutritious, naturally creamy avocado.

Super food avocado pesto

Add a few handfuls of nutty, lightly salty Parmesan cheese, and this avocado pesto skyrockets to become alfredo sauce’s sexy first cousin. Tossed with whole wheat noodles, it offers all of the comforting decadence of fettuccini alfredo, without an ounce of the guilt.

What avocado pesto you don’t use for pasta is perfect spread on sandwiches (we had some on grilled cheese last night for dinner—divine!), mixed with scrambled eggs, or drizzled over Mexican-inspired dishes like these 10 Minute Black Bean Tostadas.

15 Minute Avocado Pesto Pasta\

I’ve included the recipe for the avocado pesto pasta with tomatoes that we loved so much, and if you find new ways to use this green goodness, I’d love to hear all about them, and I’ll dedicate my third batch in 10 days to you too!

Spicy Avocado Pesto Pasta

A recipe for avocado pesto that tastes creamy and decedent, but is loaded with super foods. Try it with pasta, spread on sandwiches, mixed with eggs, and drizzled over Mexican dishes.

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 20 minutes (for pasta); 10 minutes for pesto only

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces rotini pasta (or any kind of pasta you like)
  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • 2 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cut into quarters (remove seeds and membrane for a mild pesto)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving (omit if vegan or to make dairy free)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, then toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Scoop the avocado into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the arugula, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth. Add the Parmesan cheese and puree again until incorporated. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Pour the avocado pesto over the pasta, then toss gently to combine. If the pasta seems too thick and sticky, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with additional Parmesan as desired.
Leftover pesto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It may brown, but will still taste fresh and delicious.

I’m sharing this recipe for Spicy Avocado Pesto for the May #EatSeasonal recipe round up, organized by my inspiring friend Becky of The Vintage Mixer. Every month, our group shares a tasty collection of recipes that highlight the fruits and veggies that are at their peak of freshness and flavor. Here’s what is in season for May. Stock up your grocery cart and let nature’s bounty (and this recipe collection) be your guide.

May Seasonal Produce Guide

You can join the #EatSeasonal celebration by posting photos of your own seasonal recipes, along with the hashtag #EatSeasonal. We’d love to see what you are making. For inspiration, check out the rest of May’s tantalizing #EatSeasonal recipes:

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

34 comments

  1. I’d buy out my grocery stores supply of this spicy avocado pesto if it was on the shelves!!  I’d love this on just about anything!

  2. Yummy!! This looks great!!

  3. Yeah, I want. I’l make your packaging and we can sell it to the world!

  4. I am so glad you had a wonderful birthday weekend! Now, this spicy avocado pesto needs to get into my belly! 

  5. Your description (and the gorgeous photos) make me want to run into the kitchen and make this for lunch.  What a great recipe, Erin!

  6. Avocado pesto = mind blown. Yes, I want that on everything for the rest of my life! Gorgeous dish, Erin!

  7. Holy yum. These photos are gorgeous, and that pasta looks just scrumptious. I can’t wait to try this one!

  8. I’m on a Pesto kick but have never made it w. avocado! This is so genius, and looks so pretty!

  9. WHAT?! I missed your birthday! Happy belated birthday dear :) Hope it was just as lovely as you are. Beautiful pasta. And LOVE the spice! 

  10. Avocados really are the best! This pasta sounds dreamy! And so my style!

  11. Erin, I am SO making this!  We love avocados and pesto and spice!  I am also imagining spreading it on a BLT sandwich (my favorite!).  I have some #EatSeasonal recipes I’d love to share!

  12. I’m OBSESSED with avocados so this pasta has my name written all over it. The pictures are beautiful too! I’m loving that background!

  13. Avocado pesto sounds like it may be my new favorite thing, and just looking at your recipe, I know I definitely need to make this ASAP!! It looks SO flavorful and delicious!! Pinned :)

  14. This looks amazing and I think my kids would eat it really well! They love avocado and I love a break from a traditional basil pasta. So clever!

  15. Maureen Quirk Reply

    Erin,
    My husband made the avocado pesto this evening. It is delicious!! I could have eaten the entire bowl. We can’t wait to have the leftovers with chilli  tomorrow night!

  16. uhnmm can you bottle this and sell it please? I want it on everything already!! Freaking yum!! 

  17. Love all of the green this month!!  Avocado pesto is one I haven’t tried.   I tried kale pesto recently and was a bit disappointed – too bitter.  But I bet avocado would be perfectly creamy and rich.  Beautiful dish Erin!

  18. Love the jalapenos and peppery arugula! So yum and you just can’t go wrong with pasta… or avocados!

  19. Happy belated birthday! Oh I can’t wait to make this – pasta is my ultimate craving food, and pasta with pesto is the bomb.com.
    I cannot wait to make this spicy pesto and mix it into, spread it on, spoon it over absolutely everything! This dish is sure to become a weeknight favourite in our house too!

  20. Love the sound of avocado pesto! I would put this on everything and then eat it by the spoonful! The  spicy kick from the jalapeno sounds perfect!  

  21. Wow! That avocado pesto looks and sounds so good!

  22. Happy belated birthday!!! And what a brilliant idea!?  Avocado, pesto and spice! Sounds amazing :)

  23. Looks delicious! I really enjoy using avocado to make dishes both healthy and creamy. I’m looking around for something to bring to a dinner next weekend, and this is definitely on my list! Pinned so I don’t loose track of it in the meantime. =)

  24. A healthier and SEXIER alfredo? I’ll take three. Why does avocado make everything better??!

  25. Mama Mia!! This couldn’t be any more lovely! I love the avocado twist!

  26. I love that you added some spice to this avocado pesto! I’d be a happy girl with this for dinner! :)

  27. Love the idea of using avocados for pesto. Gotta try the next time I make pasta. 

    http://www.ontherye.com

  28. Looks and sounds smashing…have never made pesto with arugula before…must have a nice bite..

  29. Perfect recipe Erin! The addition of the cherry tomatoes at the end complements the dish and it’s the ideal final touch.
    Kudos, great work.
    Panos and Mirella

  30. This was delicious!  My 14 month old devoured it. I have some left over that’s already mixed in with the pasta. Will it be good for a day or two if I refrigerate?  

  31. This sounds like heaven!  I can’t wait to try this! Creamy avocado with some spicy jalapeños …. You can’t go wrong!  Also, your photos are all gorgeous!  Thanks for the recipe!

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