Vegan Avocado Pesto Pasta

by Tess Donelon

In honor of World Vegan Day, it’s only appropriate to highlight this delicious and simple avocado pesto pasta recipe. The creator? Yumna Jawad, a home cook, recipe developer, brains behind Feel Good Foodie, and most recently, TikTok star.

After sharing a few of her recipes on this skyrocketing platform, she realized that she had acquired a loyal following that returned for every new post, tuning in for whatever she was making next. 

When asking why Yumna chose TikTok as her platform of choice, she answered, “It's less about clicking links or swiping to get more information, and more about entertainment and inspiration. I love sharing recipe ideas there to inspire followers to make something similar without having to know the exact ingredients.”

Her energetic and engaging personality, combined with her to-die-for recipes, make viewers want to toss on their aprons and get to work right alongside her. Luckily for us, pasta, pesto and avocados aren’t hard to come by, so this mouthwatering recipe couldn’t be passed up.

Yumna is a big advocate for lightening up meals and simplifying the process. Her inspiration behind the pesto pasta came from the desire to ditch oils and get back to the basics. “While I do add a tablespoon of oil to the pesto, the fat all comes from the avocado!," she says. "Then I use ingredients common in pesto while punching up the green color using spinach instead of basil, which is more traditional.”

At first, the flavor profile and undeniably addictive nature of this pesto pasta begs the question to vegan-skeptics: is it really vegan? The answer is a hearty yes! Vegan foods, if prepared properly, can have just as much flavor and satisfaction as anything else. Take it from Yumna herself, “The taste is like a mild-flavored pesto that is creamy, rich and slightly tangy.” She goes on to say, “The pesto is nut-free, dairy-free and almost oil-free, making it a great option for vegans and anyone looking for the pesto flavor in a lighter way compared to my traditional pesto sauce.”

The recipe is clear, concise and perfect for any at-home chef. It’s all about blending everything together and tossing it with your pasta of choice. Delish!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta or other short cut pasta
  • 1 ripe avocado peeled, stone and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup frozen corn thawed
  • Fresh basil for serving

Dressing

  • 2 ripe avocados peeled and cored
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions but reduce cooking time by 2 minutes so pasta is al dente; drain well. You can thaw the frozen corn in the pasta cooking water in the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time.
  2. To make the avocado dressing, combine the avocados, spinach, almond milk, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, add olive oil slowly until dressing is emulsified, smooth and creamy.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the dressing, tomatoes, corn and avocados. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.

To see more from Yumna Jawad: https://feelgoodfoodie.net/about-me/

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