If you’d like to eat healthier but you’re having trouble finding time to make healthy food, try making this Avocado Pesto, which is easily made from scratch without even using a blender!
Another recipe that I accidentally created as a student with very limited cooking equipment, I really believe this is a great recipe to have up your sleeve for rushed weeknight dinners or a super easy lunch. This avocado pesto is honestly so quick and easy to make and you don’t even need a blender! As long as they’re fairly ripe, all you need to make the avocados perfectly smooth and creamy is a simple piece of cutlery: the humble fork.
Once you’ve finished mashing the avocado into a luxuriously creamy sauce, all you need to do is add a squeeze of tangy citrus, a handful of fragrant basil leaves, and a smattering of pine nuts and you’re good to go! A little drizzle of good quality olive oil isn’t a bad idea either, neither is a touch of cheesy nutritional yeast, but the sauce will taste just as good without it.
And what’s great about this super easy avocado pesto is that it’s really healthy, and also highly customisable. As I’ve just pointed out, you can make it oil-free, you can use whatever type of pasta you want (I used brown rice penne), and you can add whatever vegetables you want. I like to kill two birds with one stone by adding some frozen green peas when boiling the pasta, and you can also add greens like broccoli, spinach, or kale too. I then topped it off with some thinly sliced raw veg like peppery radishes, crunchy purple cabbage, sweet red peppers and nutty sugar snap peas.
You can also add chickpeas for extra protein, and if you’re not vegan, you could add anything like parma ham, salmon, bacon, chicken or poached or boiled eggs.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 portions pasta of choice (I used brown rice penne)
- Two handfuls green peas (either fresh or frozen)
- Greens of choice e.g. broccoli, spinach, kale
- 2 ripe avocados
- Handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped (or sub 1 tablespoon dried basil)
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Optional: 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- Sweet red peppers
- Purple cabbage
- Sugar snap peas
- Boil the pasta according to instructions on the packet (add the peas and other greens too, so you can cook them with the pasta and save energy/time/washing up)
- Meanwhile, scoop avocado flesh out of the skins into a bowl and mash with a fork until a smooth paste forms (the riper they are the easier this will be)
- Add the lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper, (and olive oil and nutritional yeast if using), and mix well
- Drain the pasta and peas once cooked and take off the heat
- Add the avocado pesto, to the pan and mix well
- Serve up and scatter over the pine nuts and fresh salad and chickpeas if you like