These raw avocado pesto zucchini noodles make a satisfying swap for traditional pasta thanks to a creamy avocado sauce loaded with flavor, protein, and healthy fat!
You might recognize this particular dish from my latest What I Eat in a Day video; they’re the avocado pesto zucchini noodles that you guys have all been asking about.
There are so many ways to enjoy zucchini noodles (or zoodles, if you prefer), but because they’re so light, I think they pair especially well with a creamy sauce, which is how this recipe for raw avocado pesto zucchini noodles was born.
The creamy pesto is full of satisfying healthy fats, but it also has an herbaceous note from the basil and the brightness of lemon, which makes it so summery.
And those aren’t the only reasons it’s perfect for summer! You don’t need to cook this dish (hence the “raw” in the recipe name), and it comes together in 10 minutes—because who wants to be inside making dinner for an hour on a beautiful summer evening?!
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Zucchini – Medium zucchini is best for making noodles. Large zucchini has bigger, tougher seeds and a more squash-y flavor, while small zucchini are a pain to spiralize!
- Fresh basil
- Hemp seeds or pine nuts – Hemp seeds are a great way to add some extra protein to this dish!
- Sea salt + red pepper flakes
What Are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant—yes, that hemp plant, but they don’t have any psychoactive effects! They’re high in protein and essential fatty acids, making them a great addition to any diet.
I love using hemp seeds in this dish because they do double-duty: in the pesto, they blend up creamy and smooth, but sprinkled on top of the zucchini noodles, they’re reminiscent of grated Parmesan!
How to Make Raw Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles
Ready for a light and healthy summer dinner? Here’s what you’ll need to do!
Prep the zucchini. Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles and place them in a large bowl.
Make the sauce. Add the remaining ingredients to a food processor and process on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Finish. Pour the pesto over the zucchini noodles and toss to coat. Serve immediately or store the zucchini noodles in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Garnish with hemp seeds or nutritional yeast, if desired.
Can I Make Zucchini Noodles Without a Spiralizer?
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can still make this dish! Just use a julienne peeler or a sharp knife to cut the zucchini into thin noodles. Alternatively, you can use a regular vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini into ribbons; consider it zucchini pappardelle!
Tips for Success
Here are a few hints and tips for avocado pesto zucchini noodles:
- Make sure your avocado is ripe. This is key for a creamy sauce! It should feel firm, but yield slightly with pressure.
- Nailing the perfect consistency. If the pesto is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Not a fan of raw zucchini? To cook the zucchini noodles, I suggest quickly sautéing them in a skillet with a splash of oil for about 2 to 3 minutes, then stirring in the pesto. Don’t overcook the zucchini noodles, though, because they can get a little mushy on you, especially with such a substantive sauce.
Want to add some protein? Maybe up the veggie factor even more? Here are some additions to consider:
- Herb Crusted Baked Tofu
- 5-Ingredient Sauteed Garlic Green Beans
- Quick Cured Salmon
- Crispy Chickpeas
- Perfect Vegan Meatballs
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover avocado pesto zucchini noodles can be stored in the fridge for up to a day. You’ll find that as this sits in the fridge, the zucchini noodles will soften, but simply drain off any liquid and give them a quick toss to redistribute the pesto before serving.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
This isn’t a good recipe for freezing, but if you’re looking for a zucchini recipe that does freeze well, try my 5-Ingredient Healthy Zucchini Fritters.
More Healthy Zucchini Recipes To Try
- Quick & Easy Garlic Sesame Zucchini Noodles
- Pad Thai Zucchini Noodle + Quinoa Salad
- Avocado Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles
- Zucchini Noodles with Vegan Lemon Cream Sauce
- Ginger-Scallion Egg Drop Zucchini Noodle Soup
Raw Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles
- Food Processor
- 3 – 4 medium zucchinis
- 2 avocados
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds or pine nuts
- Sea salt + red pepper flakes to taste
- Spiralize the zucchinis and break/cut the noodles into smaller strands. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Pour pesto over zucchini noodles and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Enjoy with a sprinkling more of hemp seeds and/or nutritional yeast and enjoy!
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