Avocado Cashew Pesto

Marysia Wu
April 26, 2017

As you might already know, everyone here at Well-being Hawaii is obsessed with avocados. We just can’t get enough of this green gem. In fact, during avocado season one of our co-workers who has an avocado tree comes by with a bag full of them. We circle around her like a bunch of vultures waiting for our chance to get our pick of the delicious fruit. I take two or three of them at a time and hide them at my desk. Avocados have a ton of
health benefits and are loaded with nutrients. They help to lower cholesterol, reduce symptoms of arthritis, and can even help you to lose weight as part of a healthy diet.

Once they ripen, I like to eat avocados on toast, mix them in with my salad, and make guacamole. I always find myself making the same thing over and over. I could never get bored of them, but I know this fruit has more potential. Recently, I stumbled on this amazingly simple avocado cashew pesto recipe. It’s perfect. It’s easy to prepare, with simple ingredients and most importantly it’s deeeeelicious! What’s not to LOVE?!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Food processor
  • 3-4 servings of the pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup of raw unsalted cashews (the more cashews the thicker your sauce will be)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • A large handful of fresh basil
  • 1 ½ lemons (freshly squeezed)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of water
  • 3 to 5 large cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Red pepper chili flakes for some spice (optional)

Yes, spaghetti works best but I only had linguine! Depending on your sauce to pasta ratio, you can put in less pasta but I decided to just use the whole box this time around.

Start by cooking your pasta until al dente — about 15 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, add the rest of your ingredients into the food processor. Blend your ingredients until they’re smooth and creamy. Try your pesto throughout the blending process to ensure the taste and consistency is to your liking, but it should look similar to what you see below!

Depending on how big your avocados are and how much basil you use, your sauce might be a bit greener than mine. I had more cashews than normal, so the sauce is much lighter.

Once your pasta is done, make sure to drain it thoroughly. Add both your pasta and pesto concoction to a serving bowl. Stir everything together while your pasta is still hot until you have a nice even coating. Lastly, top it off with some extra basil leaves for garnish and voila — you’ve got yourself a quick, nutritious, and delicious meal!

Yup, it’s that easy!

Serving options:

  • If you want something less heavy or you’re watching your carb intake, you can substitute zucchini “noodles” for pasta.
  • Sometimes, I like to throw in some sliced cherry tomatoes to give the dish a little color.
  • Of course, if you need some meat in there, throw in some grilled chicken!
  • Throw some cashews into your food processor for a quick chop. Then, toast them a bit in a pan and sprinkle them on top of your pasta, for an extra crunch.

Please note that every time you make this, it could taste different from the last time, but that’s what makes this recipe so fun! The recipe itself is just the base; so you can tailor it to your liking. I found that the first time I made it, I added a lot more lemon juice, but I like it better that way! Add more basil or fewer cashews; it’s really yup to you!

If cashews aren’t your thing, don’t sweat it! Check out this Super Easy Carrot Top Pesto recipe.

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