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Basil Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado

Enjoy this easy Basil Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado in less than 20 minutes!  It’s a flavorful and healthy dish to make again and again!

Pasta in a bowl with pesto, spinach and avocado. [1]

Basil Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado

Basil Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado is wonderful as a main dish or side. This is such a simple, summery recipe with endless possibilities. Give it a try!  We think you’ll LOVE it!

But don’t limit this flavorful and healthy dish to just summer, it’s good year round!

Serve it with meat or dish up a big bowl and go meatless.  It’s totally up to you! If you haven’t made a basil pesto recipe before, you’re in for a treat.

Related:  Easy and Healthy Chicken Pesto  [2]

What is Pesto Sauce Made Out Of?

Good question. Pesto is a traditional Italian recipe consisting of garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino, all blended with a good quality olive oil.

To make your own, take the following ingredients and blend them in a food processor:

Instructions to make:

  1. Pulse the basil and pine nuts first.
  2. Then, add the parmesan and garlic and pulse.
  3. Now, drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is going.  Once finished season with salt and pepper.

How to Make Pesto Pasta

Step 1:  Cook the Pasta

First, bring a large pot of salted water (3 quarts water, a tablespoon of salt) to a boil. Add your dry pasta (12 ounces) after the water is boiling. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Cook pasta until al dente (cooked through, but firm to the bite). Cook time will vary depending on your variety of pasta, but it will take approximately 7-12 minutes.

Step 2:  Mix Pasta + Spinach

Place your chopped spinach (2 packed cups) in a large bowl. When the pasta is done, take out about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside to use later.

Chopped spinach in a bowl. [3]

Drain the pasta and place in the bowl with the chopped spinach. Mix together. The heat from the pasta will help wilt the spinach leaves a little and this is exactly what you want.

Cooked Fusilli Pasta in a bowl [4]

Step 3:  Stir in Pesto + other Ingredients

Now, stir in the prepared pesto (6-8 tablespoons), either from the recipe above or from a store bought bottle, so that the pasta is well coated.

Next, add in a little of the pasta cooking water you set aside to moisten the pasta a bit. You may not need it all, but add it until the pasta is nice and moist. The starch in the water will help the sauce cling to the pasta.

Basil pesto being mixed in a bowl with pasta. [5]

Add in 1 tablespoon of the red wine vinegar, a half teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well.

The red wine vinegar pairs so well with the pasta and pesto!

Step 4:  Add Avocado 

Finally, gently fold in the chopped avocado (1 whole). Taste and add more salt, vinegar, and or pepper if needed.

This recipe is best served slightly warm or at room temperature and is completely delicious!!

Which Pasta is Best with Pesto?

Well, any pasta, but the best ones to hold that delicious, delicate pesto sauce are:

These pastas all have some sort of twist that perfectly holds the pesto sauce so they make the best options.

Close up photo of pesto pasta in a bowl. [6]

Can Pesto Pasta Be Eaten Cold?

Absolutely, Pesto Pasta can be eaten cold, but for best results for this recipe, enjoy it slightly warm or at room temperature.

Tips for Making Basil Pesto Pasta

If you make this Basil Pesto Pasta or any other recipe on Suburban Simplicity [7], then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK [8], TWITTER [9], INSTAGRAM [10] and PINTEREST [11] to see more delicious food, fun crafts + DIYs and what we’re up to on a daily basis!

Close up photo of pesto pasta in a bowl.

Basil Pesto Pasta

Enjoy this easy Basil Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado in less than 20 minutes!  It's a flavorful and healthy dish to make again and again!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 488kcal
Author: Erin Henry [15]

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of fusilli pasta
  • Salt
  • 2 cups packed (chopped fresh baby spinach leaves)
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 whole ripe avocado (peeled and chopped)

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water (3 quarts water, a tablespoon of salt) to a boil. Add the dry pasta (12 ounces) after the water is boiling. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook pasta until al dente (cooked through, but firm to the bite). Cook time will vary depending on your variety of pasta, but it will take approximately 7-12 minutes.
  • Place your chopped spinach (2 packed cupin a large bowl. When the pasta is done, take out about a half cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside to use later. Drain the pasta and place in the bowl with the chopped spinach. Mix together. The heat from the pasta will help wilt the spinach leaves a little and this is what you want.
  • Stir in the prepared pesto (6-8 tablespoons) so that the pasta is well coated. Next, add in a little of the pasta cooking water you set aside to moisten the pasta a bit. You may not need it all, but add it until the pasta is nice and moist. The starch in the water will help the sauce cling to the pasta.
    Add in 1 tablespoon of the red wine vinegar, a half teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well.
  • Gently fold in the chopped avocado (1 whole). Add more salt, vinegar, and or pepper to taste if needed.
    This recipe is best served slightly warm or at room temperature and is completely delicious!!

Notes

Tips for Making Basil Pesto Pasta

  • Make sure you salt the water you're going to cook the pasta in.  Salted water creates tastier pasta!
  • Cooking the pasta al dente, until it's almost done, results in the best texture because the pasta keeps cooking a little once it's away from the heat. 
  • Definitely reserve some of the pasta cooking water.  It contains the starch that will make the pasta nice and creamy and make the sauce stick to each one!
  • Add your avocado at the very end so that it doesn't get smooched or start to turn brown.  
  • Because the recipe includes fresh avocado, it likely won't keep until the next day. 
 
Nutritional information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1935IU | Vitamin C: 9.2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suburban_Simplicity [16] or tag #suburbansimplicity [17]!

You May Also Like These Easy Recipes:

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitaa [18]

One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken and Vegetables [19]

Cobb Pasta Salad [20]

 

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