This pasta with avocado sauce is a quick and healthy vegan main made with spaghetti and a creamy avocado, lemon, and chile sauce. Intrigue aplenty.
This is real fast food: Blend the avocado sauce while the pasta is boiling and you have a filling meal in no time. Toasted almonds bring a bit of luxury to the dish while adding both crunchiness and a nutty flavor. It’s also good served with fresh spinach and arugula. This recipe calls for nutritional yeast, which adds a slightly cheesy flavor to the pasta. If you don’t have it on hand, you can omit it. Or, if you’re not following a strict vegan diet, you can substitute Parmesan cheese.–Karoline Jonsson
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*WHAT TYPE OF PASTA SHOULD I USE?
Any dried pasta shape will do for this recipe, but spaghetti and linguine are favorites, along with any textured short pasta that has nooks and crannies to capture the smooth sauce.
Pasta with Avocado Sauce
- 1/4 cup (2/3 oz) sliced almonds
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces pasta (*see What type of pasta should I use? above)
- 1 medium lemon preferably organic
- 2 ripe avocados halved, pitted, and peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 1/2 fresh chile stemmed, or a few pinches crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons (1/2 oz) chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Handful arugula or spinach (optional)
- In a skillet over medium heat, toast the sliced almonds until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Toss in about 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and the pasta, stirring a few times to prevent the pasta from sticking. Adjust the heat, if necessary, and boil the pasta until al dente, using the timing instructions on the package as a guide.
- While the pasta is cooking, use a microplane to finely zest the lemon and reserve zest for finishing. Juice the lemon into a small bowl or cup.
- In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the avocados, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, fresh chile or crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and, if desired, add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
- Scrape the avocado sauce into a large bowl. Stir in the chopped parsley.
- When the pasta is ready, remove the pot from the heat and carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
- Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the avocado sauce, stirring quickly to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add reserved pasta cooking water, a little at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Stir in arugula or spinach, if using.
- Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl or divide between individual bowls. Sprinkle with lemon zest and finish by scattering the toasted almonds over the top. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I saw this pasta with avocado sauce recipe and it caught my attention. I’ve never used avocados as a pasta sauce. And besides that, I had almost all the ingredients, except for the nutritional yeast (which was a new ingredient for me too, but of course I’m not vegetarian). It was all a new adventure for me.
First of all, l had to research and learn about the “nooch,” a substitute for cheese, a big source of fiber and B12 vitamin. The flavor was a little bit strong but I liked it. Second of all, avocado as a pasta sauce! I always used avocados for salads or as a side, so the idea of blending it with olive oil and spices was another level.
The recipe instructions were very easy to follow and the process as well. Final results were delicious! The mix with the parsley, garlic, and red chile flakes with the lemon juice was WOW. My mom and I enjoyed our dinner (it was the first time for her to try the combination, too) and of course, I’ll do it again.
Amazing! LOVE this dish. The most exciting thing about this dish was that my kids (age 12 & 13) LOVED it! I am very excited about that.
The 2 servings were a good large size, filling for sure. I actually didn’t serve it with anything else. I was considering arugula but didn’t end up using it. The pasta was enough. The only reason I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 was the lemon. There seemed to be too much and it was strong in the flavor. Next time I would use less.
What a great new pasta option. As promised, this is fast, ready to serve as soon as the pasta is cooked through, and we appreciate that it’s also REAL food. The sauce indeed is gorgeous, and the creaminess of the sauce was a surprise, almost a mac ‘n cheese creamy.
We did not have sliced almonds so we pounded 4 tablespoons of whole almonds coarsely in a mortar, then toasted for 2 minutes—literally, 2 minutes and the nuts will be done. (We scorched the first batch.) We used quinoa spaghetti. Noticing that the avo-parsley sauce was a bit thick, we saved some of the pasta water, and added about a 1/4 cup to thin the sauce, which helped distribute the sauce to coat the pasta. After tasting the sauce on the pasta, we ended up adding another 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, and another sprinkle of salt.
Simple and delightful, we surely will make this again, and next time we will add arugula. We served the pasta as a meal for 3 people along with roasted delicata squash and good olives.
Originally published January 18, 2021