Go gorgeously green with this dairy-free pesto pasta, made with creamy avocados and gluten-free pasta. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Pesto pasta is delicious, but all the dairy in pesto makes my tummy rumble since most pesto is loaded with parmesan cheese.
Inspired by the vegan Oh She Glows cookbook, which I highly recommend, I created this gluten-free and dairy-free pesto pasta recipe. Unlike most pesto sauces that are made with pine nuts, my healthy version of pesto pasta is completely nut-free and therefore accessible to those with nut allergies.
Homemade Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce
Making dairy-free pesto sauce requires only a few simple, clean ingredients.
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, washed and larger stems removed
- 2 garlic cloves
- Zest of 1 lemon (zest the lemon before juicing it)
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Start by combining the basil leaves and garlic cloves in your food processor and pulsing 10-12 times until the ingredients are broken down. Add the avocado, lemon juice and olive oil and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and then combine the pesto sauce with the cooked pasta and top with lemon zest just before serving.
Pasta: There are many good store-bought gluten-free pasta brands today, and you simply need to find one you like. You’ll need about 8-10 ounces of pasta for one batch of dairy-free pesto sauce.
I enjoy the brown rice spaghetti from Tinkyada. Tinkyada pastas have a wonderful texture and have been a long-running favorite gluten-free pasta in my house.
Chicken: I also like to top my pesto pasta with chicken thighs to make it a more complete meal. Don’t overthink how you prepare the chicken.
I simply season the chicken thighs with a little Italian seasoning, garlic, onion powder and salt and pepper, then pan-fried it in a little oil. You could also grill the chicken if the weather is nice.
In my family, we don’t mix meat and milk, so I love that I’m able to enjoy chicken on top of pesto pasta since the pesto I use is completely dairy free.
I also love the simplicity of this recipe. With just a few ingredients, I created a delicious dairy-free pesto sauce filled with good-for-you ingredients. This recipe should be the poster child for clean and healthy eating!
Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta (gluten-free, nut-free)
- 1 Food processor
- Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, add the garlic cloves and basil leaves to a food processor and pulse together 10-12 times until the ingredients are broken down. Add the avocado, lemon juice, and oil and process until smooth or to the desired texture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Combine sauce with pasta and top with lemon zest and cooked chicken (optional)