This avocado pesto recipe packs a huge flavor punch! It's delicious on pasta, tacos, quesadillas and veggie burgers. Plus it's super easy to make and it's suitable for vegans and nut allergy sufferers.
While we're all familiar with basil pesto, did you know that pesto can be made using other ingredients? It's true! There are many delicious variations on this classic sauce, but this avocado pesto is my new favorite! Creamy, heart-healthy avocado blends with zesty lemon and spicy basil to make a vibrant, fresh sauce. I've made this recipe using sunflower seeds in place of the traditionally used pine nuts, so it's also suitable for nut allergy sufferers.
The piquant, zesty nature of avocado pesto make it the perfect dip for crudites or seeded crackers. Spread it on dark rye bread and top with radishes and pickled onions for a taste sensation. Or, use it as a topping for my Ultimate Vegan Tostadas. The possibilities are endless!
Ingredients You'll Need to Make Avocado Pesto:
- Avocado: Of course! Make sure your avocados are ripe for the creamiest pesto possible. It should yield to gentle, but firm pressure. It will feel slightly soft, but not mushy.
- Basil: Basil is a key ingredient here. It's subtly sweet, yet peppery flavor gives this pesto its oomph. I like basil so much that I buy plants and keep them on my windowsill all year round.
- Sunflower Seeds: Typically pesto is made with pine nuts, but I've used sunflower seeds in this recipe. Soaking them beforehand will ensure that your pesto is as creamy as possible (see the recipe below for instructions.)
- Lemon: Lemon is avocado's favorite sidekick - the acid keeps the its flesh from turning brown. Plus, lemon's zesty taste contribution can't be underestimated!
- Garlic: Is pesto really pesto without garlic?
- Chilli Pepper Flakes: Adds a nice pop of heat. Adjust the amount depending on how much heat you like. I've written the recipe so that the heat is a nice background note, but not too overwhelming.
- Olive Oil: Use an extra-virgin olive oil for the best taste.
- Salt and Pepper: Seasoning your food properly magically transforms it. Don't skip it!
- The first step is to soak the sunflower seeds in a small cup of boiling water. Soak them for about 10 minutes, while you get on with chopping the rest of your ingredients.
- Now, drain and rinse the sunflower seeds and put everything into a food processor and mix until a everything is blended and creamy.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time to thin to your desired consistency. That's it. Now tuck in and enjoy!
All Your Avocado Pesto Questions Answered:
You should try to use it immediately, but it will stay fresh in the fridge for up to four hours. However, be aware that fresh avocado starts to turn brown the longer it's exposed to air.
Yes, you can! You can freeze it in an ice cube tray and pop out a few cubes to use when you're ready.
I'd suggest pine nuts if you aren't serving it to someone with a nut allergy
If You Liked Avocado Pesto, You Might Also Like These Vegan Sauces:
Creamy Avocado Pasta
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup (20 grams) basil
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ⅓ cup (73 ml) olive oil
- ¼ tsp chilli pepper flakes
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
- Soak the sunflower seeds in a cup of boiled water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
- Combine all the ingredients except the water in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Fold the avocado sauce into the pasta gently and enjoy!