light & creamy avocado pesto pasta

Today wasn't much of a busy day. I woke up, made coffee for my brother and myself, watered the garden (always my favorite part of the day), and then dove right into doing homework. I also spent some time editing my blog and hanging out with the pets, (but that's unproductive so I pretend those things didn't happen, haha.) I knew I wanted to make something really good for dinner tonight because I wanted to get a recipe up for you guys. When I was making coffee, I looked around the kitchen and noticed that the lemon I had was very ripe, as was my avocado, and that's when I knew this recipe would be perfect for so many reasons. First- it's EASY. And as a close second- it's SO GOOD. It's also healthy for you :) If you like avocado, garlic, lemon, and basil, then you will fall in love just like I did!

Inspired by Giada & Oh She Glows

Yield: about 2 servings (could stretch to 3, but Lisa and I usually clean the bowl between the two of us)

  • 1 average-sized, ripe avocado (see bottom of post for a quick tip!)
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juice & zest (for garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove (2 if you're a garlic lover)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil (can probably substitute for baby spinach)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, plain, Greek yogurt (optional)**
  • 1 can of white beans (cannellini or great northern), rinsed and drained (optional)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to your liking
  • 2 servings/aprrox. 4-6 oz of whole wheat spaghetti
**I use Greek yogurt, however you can substitute 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil if you'd rather use that. Both work fabulous, keep it creamy, and taste delicious.


1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Once water is boiling, add a few pinches of salt. This will flavor your pasta. Add the whole wheat spaghetti (or pasta of your choice), and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Goal when cooking pasta: cook it until it is Al Dente (still has a slightly firm bite to it.) Watching Food Network 24/7 teaches you some stuff ;)
             -In Italian, Al Dente literally means "to the tooth"

2.  While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a food processor, add garlic clove, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt. Process until smooth and garlic is finely chopped. Cut open the avocado, take out the pit, and scoop out the green flesh into the processor. Add basil leaves and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

3. Strain pasta, place in your serving bowl, and add avocado sauce and white beans. Toss together and garnish with lemon zest and black pepper.

..And that's it! Simple, easy, delicious!

Whole wheat/ whole grain pasta has 5g of fiber in it. That's 20% of your daily value of fiber! A year or so ago I switched to whole wheat pasta and never looked back :)

You can certainly use olive oil in this recipe. I used it the first time and it tasted perfect! This time I chose to use Greek yogurt for a couple of different reasons. Avocado already contains the "good fats" that you need, and earlier today I had snacked on some pistachios and used almond butter in my green shake, which also contain the "good fats." I figured between both of those, I was probably good-to-go with my daily value of fats. I decided to leave out the olive oil (also a source of good fats), and replace it with fat-free Greek yogurt. It makes it slightly creamier and very healthy also. 


Cannellini/White beans are also optional. I didn't add them this time, but they are so creamy and go very well with this dish. 

Tip for unripe avocados
If you can't wait for the avocado to ripen on it's own, place it in a brown paper bag. It should become soft within a day or so.

On another note, it's so satisfying to go outside to my garden and pick fresh basil. I just love it!

It's reasons like this why I do love it so much-
I was taking that picture of the basil when all of a sudden this butterfly flew right in front my lens and would not leave my flowers alone! She was loving being photographed also! (or at least I like to think so) :)

Oh, and hello fuzzy caterpillar. Lisa spotted him while I was telling her about the butterfly!


  1. Great pics!!! Grandma says next time you come back to FM your cooking dinner for us. Dessert too, lol :)

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  3. Hey Ashley this looks great. Gonna make it for your Mom and G maybe this week. Any. Recipes to help people with a thyroid condition? My thyroid is a slug which makes weight loss a nightmare. I'm always looking for something to help speed up my metabolism without racing my heart, oh getting old is a real b&$(/. Well I will be following your blog so proud of you, looking for more yummy recipes.

    1. Cletus, don't you worry lol. I will help you with all those recipes. You make them and Gianna and I will eat them! Heheee, then we hit the gym and tanning. Yogurtliciousss too :))

  4. Hi Yvonne, thank you! I found this article that may be helpful for you: http://www.livestrong.com/article/390126-what-foods-help-with-low-thyroid/. Also, I'm going to post a recipe soon for a smoothie that I like to drink every day. It has different berries and a banana in it, which I read was good for hypothyroidism. I'm glad you are interested in trying this recipe because I also read that avocados were good to eat, too. They are a good source of the amino acid tyrosine, which joins with iodine in the thyroid to produce the hormone thyroxine. :)

  5. Ashley, this looks so delicious! I'm definitely trying this when I'm back home!! Your blog is amazing!

  6. Who left such a nice avocado recipe lying around for the taking. Mashes, Toppings, Side Dishes and Main ingredients are all the things that Avocados can be used for. I see that the above food blog ingredient for avo covers it all for me.

    There are two things that I like about a recipe. The simplicity of the recipe and two the quality pictures that make it worth while to look at. Simple recipes provoke one to try it out. They also make you taste the food in advance. So lets all dig in.
    Many more recipes to come RIGHT? GREAT!

    Avocados, Avocado,

    Keep posting! LOVE IT ...