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!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 488kcal
Author Erin Henry


  • 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


  • 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!!


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!


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