Avocado Tarragon Pesto Pasta

avocado tarragon pesto pasta on a plate with sliced avocados and lemon

Avocado Tarragon Pesto Pasta is a healthy, vibrant, herbaceous, and beautifully creamy recipe that you can have on the table in a scant 15 minutes!



1 lb dried pasta (I used spaghetti)
kosher salt
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 C parsley (or a big ol handful, small, tender stems are fine)
¼ C tarragon, no stems
2 C baby spinach (or two big handfuls)
1 avocado, peeled and pitted, roughly chopped
¼ C plain yogurt
1 T lemon juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
12 T water
red pepper flakes
optional garnish: dukkah, grated parmesan or pecorino, chopped parsley, extra virgin olive oil, lemon wedges


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Then salt it aggressively (like a handful or so).

Drop your pasta into the boiling water and stir for about 30 seconds to submerge all the pasta and make sure it’s not sticking.

Meanwhile, in your food processor or big, scary, powerful blender, add the garlic, scallions, parsley, tarragon, and spinach.  Pulse until everything is chopped fine.

Add the avocado, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and kosher salt. Process until smooth, adding the water to thin it out as necessary. I used 1 tablespoon, but I think depending on how heavy handed you are with the spinach and how big your avocado might be, you might need another. When it’s done you should have a creamy sauce that’s a little thinner than hummus, but not quite pourable.

Reserve 1 cup of pasta-cooking water and then drain your pasta into a colander. Then return it to the pot, which is now off heat, and add the avocado sauce. Toss to combine, adding pasta water gradually to bring it to a saucier consistency. Toss for about a minute until you have a very creamy, very green pasta. Season to taste with salt.

Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and garnish as your heart desires.


*If the idea of making the sauce in the time it takes the pasta to cook fills you with molar-grinding anxiety, just make the sauce first (no need to multitask). Then you can give the pasta your full attention. In fact, the sauce has enough lemon juice in it that you could make it ahead and stash it in the fridge for a couple hours if you wanted.

Keywords: meatless meal, fast weeknight meal, avocado pesto, vegetarian pasta