Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Walnut Pesto


Before going plant-based I made white flour pasta smothered in pesto a lot. I’d serve this with a salad and assumed this was a healthy meal. It wasn’t.

First of all, white pasta is not good for you! It’s made from refined white flour, a food that has been stripped of its healthful nutrients. More than this, it’s a high glycemic food which means it quickly turns into sugar in your bloodstream. This may trigger health problems like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, inflammation, allergies, fatigue and weight gain.

With oils, cheese, salt and milk, the Classico brand of pesto I used was not a health food either. To find out why these foods are not good for you, click on the food(s) you’re curious about.

When my husband and I went plant-based, I switched to whole wheat pasta and topped it with home-made tomato sauce. I also added veggies to the pasta. This was much healthier, but now I have to change again.

I suffer from severe allergies, and I’ve cut out gluten and night shade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant) to see if this alleviates my symptoms. So, I can’t have wheat pasta with tomato sauce at the moment.

I don’t want to stop eating pasta, however; so I developed a healthy, gluten-free, nightshade free pasta dish. Even if you’re not worried about gluten or nightshade veggies, you’ll love this recipe inspired by Gluten Free Vegan Girl. It’s delicious and a cinch to whip up.

Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Walnut Pesto

Makes 2 servings


8 oz package gluten free pasta (I use DeBoles)

2 small zucchini, shredded

1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped (optional)

1 ripe avocado

½ cup walnuts

1-2 garlic cloves

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp dried basil

½ tsp oregano

¼ tsp salt (optional)

1 cup fresh basil


Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients, except zucchini and olives, to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Add zucchini, olives and two to three tablespoons of pesto to pasta. Mix well and serve.

There will be extra pesto, which makes a fab pizza sauce.


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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38 Responses to Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Walnut Pesto

  1. Vegetarian In Vegas says:

    I won’t lie. When I am out to eat I don’t always order the whole wheat pasta. I know I should but sometimes I want exactly what is bad for me. That being said, eating at home is another story. I am looking forward to testing this one out on the bunny. If he likes it, it could be a main stay. Looks yummy – and great photo too!

    • Trust me – I’m no saint either!! In fact, this recipe was inspired by a vegan junk food binge I went on a few days ago. Still, I try very hard to be good most of the time (such a challenge!). I hope you try this recipe, I think it’s the best pesto I’ve ever tasted. Celeste 🙂

  2. RMB Photography says:

    You might also give quinoa noodles a try. They have a really good taste to them and are gluten free as well. They don’t hold up quite as well as regular pasta, so you have to remove them from the boiling water more quickly! Pesto is one of those perfect examples of why people should definitely read labels. I’m glad there is a better (dairy free) method available! Good recipe!

    • Thanks so much for your comment Ryan! I don’t think I’ve ever had quinoa pasta, but I love quinoa so I’ll see if I can find some. Anyway, I hope you give this pesto recipe a try. I love this pesto so, so much! Celeste 🙂

  3. I just ate white pasta for dinner LOL… Not feeling so good about it right now though. I’m going to try this recipe out, looks delicious in the pic. Thanks for posting 🙂

    • Hey Monique! Oh well, it’s impossible to eat clean all the time (I certainly don’t!). I actually like the taste of DeBole’s pasta, however; so I don’t feel like I’m missing out when I eat it. I hope you have a fab week! Celeste 🙂

  4. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I’m thinking the kids will like it too. Yum!

  5. My brothers have just gone gluten free, so we’ve been trying a lot more of those recipes lately! I hope that it goes well for you(:

  6. What an innovative creation

  7. sophiazerg says:

    Love it, Celeste! We’re both thinking pesto today 🙂

  8. Lorrie Wenzler says:

    The recipe looks good. I’ll have to try it.

  9. Ally says:

    Yum! Great photo and delicious recipe.
    I love pesto but as you know even vegan pesto is often loaded with oil. I adore avocados with pasta and nuts, so I know I will love this.
    I hope you get some answers regarding your allergies.

    • You’ve got to try this pesto Ally – I love it soooooo much! And thanks for the concern about my allergies. Hopefully I’ll figure out what’s going on with me soon. Celeste 🙂

  10. Sophie33 says:

    I am severe lactose-intolerant & that’s why vegan foods make me smile & I don’t suffer from the bad animal’s milk & cheeses anymore! This pasta recipe is a really appealing one for me! I must try it with quinoa tomorrow ! Yum!

  11. Anna says:

    Excellent recipe, thank you Celeste.

  12. bloomlisa says:

    Sounds yummy…I am a sucker for anything with avocado! I am going to try this for sure:) Thanks Celeste:)

  13. SkinnyLunches says:

    Sounds and looks divine. Cannot wait to try it out.

  14. divamover says:

    You’ve got another winner here, Celeste!
    I have recently purchased some black bean pasta, which is GF and completely yummy. Good deal on http://www.drfuhrman.com, but you can also find it on Amazon.com and in a few grocery stores.
    I make pesto regularly, with no oil and no salt, but whatever fresh herbs are around. I’ve also made pesto out of spinach, arugula, and asparagus — just about anything green will whip up really well. Pesto is so versatile as a pizza topping, sandwich spread, pasta sauce — YUM.
    BTW — I am still loving my julienne peeler and have made zucchini “pasta” for some friends, to rave reviews. Thanks for all the fab foodie goodness.

    • Thanks for your wonderful thoughts and tips! I’ll certainly check out the black bean pasta – I wonder if they have that at Whole Foods. I’ll have to check. That’s great that you make healthy pesto a lot. You’ve given me some fun new ideas to try with the pesto like using spinach or other veggies in it. I’ve used zucchini completely in place of pasta a couple of times, and I like this too. I hope you’re having a beautiful day! Celeste 🙂

  15. SkinnyLunches says:

    Just made this for lunch. Tasted amazing. That pesto is something else!

  16. This looks amazing! And of course, I LOVE anything with avocado in it!

  17. Oh my GOSH how YUM is this? Thank you for sharing!

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