Avocado Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage – toss your noodles in a creamy avocado pasta sauce made with pesto for the simplest weeknight meal!
Several weeks ago, I had a wonderful conversation when I interviewed Nick Brown of Rincon Tropics for my Kitchen Confidante Podcast. Nick’s family has been farming in Carpinteria, California since 1871, and this beautiful coastal foothill location, it turns out, is perfect for growing avocados, cherimoya, passion fruit, and all kinds of subtropical fruit!
Remember those beautiful Passion Fruit Possets I shared a few months ago? They were grown, picked and sent by Nick!
If you listened to our podcast chat, then you know that we discussed all things avocado — if you love avocados as much as I do, then this episode is a must-listen! He offers so many nuggets of information and avocado inspiration.
I was especially curious about how he loves adding slices of avocado to his spaghetti! It may sound odd, but after experimenting in my kitchen, I understood. Avocado adds a wonderful creaminess and extra protein, and this inspired me to make an avocado pesto pasta with chicken sausage that is perfect for summer!
How to Make Avocado Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage
This avocado pasta might be the simplest creamy sauce imaginable! I always have a jar of pesto in the fridge, so I consider this a perfect pantry meal. But if you have homemade pesto, even better!
Give ripe avocados a good blend in the food processor with your pesto, making a smooth and creamy thick sauce. Do make sure the avocados you use in this recipe are ripe (see the next section for how to pick perfectly ripe avocados) for the perfect, creamy consistency.
Fully cooked chicken sauce just needs a few minutes to brown in a pan, and fresh tomatoes give it a pop of color. Then simply toss in the pasta and avocado pesto sauce! Use a little reserved pasta water to thin the sauce down to your desired creamy consistency.
I like to garnish the pasta with fresh basil, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and of course, some additional sliced avocado for good measure!
How to Select Perfectly Ripe Avocados
While it is tempting to try to find already-ripe avocados at the market, I highly recommend buying your avocados while they are still firm and giving them some time to ripen gradually on the counter. Here are three things I look for when determining ripeness:
- Color: Depending on the variety you select, the color can vary from light to darker green, and while darker avocados usually indicate ripeness with the Hass variety, color should not be the only factor considered. Again, this really depends on variety.
- Texture: Is your avocado smooth or bumpy? In general, Hass avocados have bumpier skin as it ripens, so keep variety in mind.
- Touch: The key to perfectly ripe avocados is by touch. A ripe avocado will feel lightly soft when you gently press the fruit, but not mushy.
Bottom line: go by touch. Gently press your avocado with your fingers, and if it yields to light pressure, your avocado is ready and ripe!
More Avocado Recipes
Avocado Cucumber Salad
Avocado Corn Tomato Salad
Citrus and Avocado Salad with Quick-Pickled Fennel
Grilled Fish Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
Lemony Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad
Artichoke and Avocado Dip
Avocado Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage
- 12 oz dry spaghetti or your pasta of choice
- 3 medium avocados divided
- 1/3 cup pesto sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 oz sweet Italian-style chicken sausage about 4 links, sliced
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season the water generously with salt and cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving a cup of the pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, pit the avocados. Scoop two of the avocados and place the avocados and pesto in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Peel and slice the remaining avocado, and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook the sausage for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook for an additional minute to give it a chance to soften.
- Add the pasta and avocado pesto sauce and toss until the pasta is coated in sauce. If the pasta seems dry, stir in the reserved pasta water in ¼-cup increments, until you reach your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with sliced avocado, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and basil.