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June 13, 2022

by Alyssa

Raw Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles

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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!

Creamy pesto zucchini noodles being stirred with a wooden spoon

While winter has us craving things like hearty lentil dal and creamy broccoli soup, in the summer, our appetites turn to lighter dishes. For me, one of my summertime favorites is zucchini noodles.

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?!

Raw zucchini, avocado, garlic and the rest of the ingredients on a kitchen countertop

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!
  • Avocados
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • 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!

A bowl full of avocado pesto zucchini noodles with a fork lifting up one bite

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. 

A collage of two images showing the sauce ingredients beside the blended sauce

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.

An image of zucchini noodles beside an image with the pesto sauce being spread over the zoodles

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.
A close-up shot of avocado pesto zucchini noodles swirled around a fork

Serving Suggestions

Want to add some protein? Maybe up the veggie factor even more? Here are some additions to consider:

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.

A serving of pesto zoodles in a shallow bowl with a second serving beside it

More Healthy Zucchini Recipes To Try

Raw Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles are tossed in a creamy raw avocado pesto for a healthy dinner perfect for hot summer days!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 280kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer

Equipment

  • Food Processor
Print Pin
Creamy pesto zucchini noodles being stirred with a wooden spoon
5 from 9 votes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Video

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a day.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 1080mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1235IU | Vitamin C: 62.3mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3.6mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I made a batch of this as directed for my husband and another batch with brown rice noodles instead of the zucchini noodles for my children. Both were delicious, and everyone devoured it. This will be in my biweekly recipe rotation, for sure! Thank you!

  2. In the video she claims that it tastes just like regular pesto but it’s not true!!
    It jus tastes like avocado!

    • I would say that might depend on your tastebuds. I’m not someone who can really taste avocado that much, but my fiance can. So maybe it’s just a taste preference!

  3. I just made this for a late night dinner and let me just say that I am so glad that I have this in my life! It is so delicious! I made it with pine nuts, but I did top it with hemp seeds, chopped tomatoes, and nutritional yeast. Thank you, Alyssa!

  4. Looks great I plan on making this tomorrow, if you save this for the following day will the avocado pesto brown the way guacamole does? Thanks.

  5. Considering the Raw Vegan Diet? Here are 5 Tips, Expectations, and Benefits (Including Burning Stomach Fat and Clearing the Skin) • Au Naturaleaf says:

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  7. Hi Alyssa,
    We tried this recipe tonight and it came out bitter and too lemony. Any idea what I did wrong? Or how I can correct it if I try the recipe again?

    • Hmmm have you made pesto before? Maybe it was the garlic? I’ve never found this pesto to be bitter. Another thing you could try is to actually cook everything together!

  8. I made this tonight… yummy! I added Parmesan and walnuts olive oil. Delicious!! I love the avocado!!great recipe!

  9. […] Raw Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles […]

  10. Quick question – in the little video about this recipe on Facebook it shows adding nutritional yeast, but I can’t see that anywhere in the recipe re how much. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try this one 🙂

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  15. Yum! I love to saute the noodles a little bit before eating them…this looks delicious.

  16. I say it’s never too early for zucchini! Nothing’s better than avocado pesto sauce. I absolutely love the fresh crunch of zucchini noodles, so I’m sure the combo is out of this world. I’m OBSESSED with your YouTube channel!

  17. This looks delicious! I love how you added avocado to the pesto sauce. This is one mean, green dinner 🙂

  18. Just got my Inspiralizer upon your suggestions — and bought the zucchini’s last night so there’s nothing stopping me now! 🙂 I think I’m going to love this.

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