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Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables


Creamy avocado pesto dresses this roasted summer vegetable pasta salad. Loaded with classic pesto ingredients like basil, garlic and parmesan cheese, the avocado makes it wealthy and smooth.

We are enormous fans of classic basil pesto, but it can be so fun to play around with modern flavor combinations. Sneaky kale pesto is one of our faves, as is pistachio mint pesto. We’ve even got a broccoli pesto recipe!

side angle view of avocado pesto pasta salad in a bowl

This avocado pesto is loaded with classic pesto flavors: basil, garlic, lemon, parmesan, and nuts. But it has a creamier texture, and is beautifully smooth and wealthy.

It’s great served on pasta, on zucchini noodles, as a condiment on pitas and sandwiches. It’s also fabulous used as a salad dressing for a summery pasta salad, which is what we’re doing today.

Reasons you’ll ♡ avocado pesto pasta salad

  • it’s loaded with healthy fats and infused with a ton of flavor
  • you can customize it based on what you have in your fridge
  • you can add protein and make it a full meal

Recipe video

Watch the video below to see exactly how I prepped this recipe. It’s so simple! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.

overhead view of labelled ingredients required to make avocado pesto and roasted vegetable pasta salad

Getting creative with this recipe

The ingredients listed above make for a great base to commence with, but both the avocado pesto as well as the roasted vegetable salad are quite flexible:

  • Parmesan cheese- swap for pecorino romano or asiago. Nutritional yeast may work for a dairy-free version but I have not tested.
  • Basil- swap for cilantro, parsley, spinach or your favorite greens.
  • Almonds- swap for pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Toast for extra flavor.
  • Lemon- swap for lime juice
  • Pasta- any shape will work, and you could try using chickpea or gluten-free pasta as well.
  • Vegetables- swap for what’s in season and what you have in your fridge. Try cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, radishes, butternut squash and more. Remember to adjust the cook time if you swap out the veggies

before and after of avocado pesto ingredients in a food processor

Making avocado pesto

For this recipe, you’ll need a food processor (find my favorite easy model in my shop). A Vitamix may also work but I have not personally tested.  Add your avocado, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, almonds, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to the food processor.

Blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times to obtain it all blended. Feel free to add additional olive oil if you’d like a thinner consistency.

Roasted vegetable pasta salad

Start by getting your pasta cooking. You can use 5 oz of your favorite pasta shape, which works out to roughly 3 cups of uncooked pasta.

While your pasta is cooking, obtain working on the roasted vegetables. Toss the veggies in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Remember that if you commute the vegetables, you will likely need to commute the cook time.

If you are looking to keep your oven off, you could try grilling the vegetables! I highly recommend investing in a vegetable grilling basket  (This is the one I own!). Grill over medium heat until vegetables are softened and cooked through.

Assembling the salad

Once pasta and vegetables are cooled slightly, toss them with the avocado pesto. Add fresh basil leaves if you’d like a kind garnish.

Once assembled, the pasta salad should keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. The lemon juice in the pesto keeps the avocados green, but the color may dull slightly.

If you’d like to prepare the salad ahead, you may want to pre-cook the vegetables and pasta, and make the pesto just before serving, as it’s flavor is the top just after making it.

bowl of avocado pesto pasta salad

Recipe tips

  • store in the fridge for up to 2 days. The pesto may begin to loose it’s color and flavor at this point.
  • pasta and vegetables may be prepped up to 4 days ahead
  • if you don’t have a food processor, an immersion blender or Vitamix may work
  • add more olive oil to lean out the pesto if you’d like a thinner consistency

More pasta recipes

Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Keyword: avocado, salad, summer

Calories: 127kcal

Author: Denise Bustard

Servings: 4

Creamy avocado pesto dresses this roasted summer vegetable pasta salad. Loaded with classic pesto ingredients like basil, garlic and parmesan cheese, the avocado makes it wealthy and smooth.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time35 mins

Instructions

Roasted Vegetables

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

  • Toss vegetables in olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

  • Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Notes

Storage Leftover salad keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days. Meal prep You may pre-cook the pasta and vegetables up to 4 days ahead. Avocado pesto is top prepared fresh. Variations For ingredient swaps, see the post section titled “Getting creative with this recipe”

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25batch avocado pesto | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg

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