This healthy pasta with avocado pesto has a creamy texture and crunchy buttery Panko topping. Delicious served hot or at room temperature.
Avocado, basil, lemon, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts are the core ingredients. Hard to go wrong with that. Cheese lovers can add as much Parmesan as they want (just thin the sauce as needed with the pasta liquid). Non cheese lovers or those with dairy restrictions can leave out the Parmesan altogether. The lemon zest and juice give the dish a nice zip. Garlic lovers can, of course, increase the garlic and those of you who can’t eat anything without heat, go ahead and add some chili flakes.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Vary the amount of garlic, cheese and lemon you like.
- Instead of avocado pesto, try our classic basil pesto.
Make Ahead Pasta with Avocado Pesto
- The pasta dish can be made a couple hours ahead and served at room temperature. If you want to warm it in the microwave, add some water, microwave for a minute or so (without panko topping), then add the Panko topping just before serving.
Pasta with Avocado Pesto Recipe
- 6 oz pasta, about 190g (I use capellini or spaghettini)
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- 2 cup fresh basil, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (toast in dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking around until lightly brown - about 3-4 minutes)
- 1 lemon - both juice and zest
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- MAKE THE PESTO: In a food processor, add avocado, basil, lemon juice and zest, , pine nuts, salt, garlic. Blend. Slowly add oil in steady stream while machine is running.
- BOIL THE SPAGHETTI: Boil spaghetti in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta liquid.
- MAKE THE BREADCRUMB TOPPING: While the spaghetti is boiling, heat butter in a small pan on medium heat. Add Panko crumbs and stir for 2-3 minutes until buttered crumbs are golden brown. If desired, add 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and mix in with crumbs.
- ASSEMBLE THE PASTA: Add the pesto to the pasta and mix well over medium-low heat until heated through. Add as much pasta liquid as need to get a smooth, silky consistency. Add Parmesan cheese (if desired) or salt to taste. Pour into serving bowl. Sprinkle Panko crumb mixture on pasta and serve immediately.
Other easy vegetarian pasta dishes you might like: