Creamy Avocado, Cilantro, & Pistachio Pesto

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

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!

NameCreamy Avocado, Cilantro, & Pistachio Pesto
Prep Time15 minutes
Cooking TimeNone (Pesto is a no-cook sauce)
Total Time15 minutes
YieldAbout 2 cups of pesto

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

Estimated Nutrition per Serving (1/2 cup of pesto):

  • Calories:250 calories
  • Protein: About 6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Around 10 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugars: 1 gram
  • Fat: About 23 grams
  • Saturated Fat:4 grams
  • Cholesterol: Around 6 milligrams
  • Sodium: 150 milligrams

Please keep in mind that these nutritional values are estimates and can vary based on factors such as ingredient brands and portion sizes. It’s always a good idea to calculate precise nutritional information based on the specific ingredients you use if you have dietary concerns or restrictions.


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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