Creamy Avocado, Cilantro, & Pistachio Pesto



For Mother’s Day, John put together a gorgeous potted herb garden for me; and with all of the rain we’ve been getting here in MA, the plants are growing at lightening speed. The cilantro plant in particular proliferated while we were on vacation last week, so I needed to use a few handfuls in a recipe to reign it in a bit.

Pesto came to mind… so pesto it was!

We had a bag of unsalted pistachios on hand, and since the unsalted variety isn’t nearly as delicious to eat by hand as the salted, that was my nut of choice for the pesto. I also had half of an avocado leftover from my lunch, so I decided to toss that in for creamy consistency and rich flavor.

Lime juice maintains the vibrant green hue and lends a hint of fresh tartness, and grated Parmesan adds a necessary salty kick.

If you’ve been hesitant to try a pesto recipe that calls for ingredients other than the typical basil and pine nuts, here’s a great opportunity to branch out a bit!




Creamy Avocado, Cilantro, & Pistachio Pesto

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (1 small jar)

  • 1 packed cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • flesh from 1/2 ripe medium-sized avocado
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more if you prefer a thinner consistency)
  • kosher salt, to taste


Place the cilantro and shelled pistachios in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; process until finely minced and combined.

Add in the Parmesan, avocado, and lime juice; process until fully combined.

With the processor running, stream olive oil in through the feed tube until incorporated and desired consistency is reached.

Salt to taste.

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17 thoughts on “Creamy Avocado, Cilantro, & Pistachio Pesto

  1. this certainly sounds fabulous- i love pesto’s with an avocado base :) and it’s been awhile since I’ve purchased pine nuts, so I’m definitely throwing in whatever I have around. this last time it was pumpkin seeds! yum :)
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  2. A great healthy-packed pesto combo I am going to try! The cilantro is such a great heavy-metal detoxer and the lime is full of vitamins and very cleansing. And anything with avocado is on my radar. Thanks so much!

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