Avocado Pesto Pasta With Chicken & Cherry Tomatoes

April 13, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Test Kitchen Notes

In this riff on classic pesto, California Avocados bring a creamy, rich texture while soaked cashews and nutritional yeast stand in for the traditional pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The finished sauce coats the pasta beautifully—just check out that gorgeous green hue. Even better, the whole dish can be made vegan-friendly if you leave out the chicken breasts. This meal makes for a delicious weekday lunch or dinner, since it comes together in well under 30 minutes.

This recipe is shared in partnership with California Avocados. —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Avocado Pesto Pasta With Chicken & Cherry Tomatoes
  • For the pasta:
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 large California Avocado, ripened
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 large handful fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup cashew pieces, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened nut milk
  1. Boil the spaghetti according to the package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before straining. Set aside the strained pasta and reserved pasta water.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, slice the chicken breasts and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Once pasta is done, make the pesto: Add all pesto ingredients to a blender, starting with 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Blend on high, adding more pasta water as needed, until smooth.
  4. Add cooked spaghetti to a large bowl and toss with the avocado pesto, sliced chicken, and cherry tomatoes to combine. Top with fresh black pepper and more salt, to taste, and serve.

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