Avocado pesto zoodles with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes is a super quick, easy, and healthful meal, and comes together in under 30 minutes. This whole30, paleo and vegan dinner recipe is perfect for any night of the week.
This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission.
^^^I know, right? Zoodles never looked so sultry.
It has been ages since we’ve enjoyed a good zoodle on this blog. We visited the topic with my Mediterranean Zucchini Noodle Pasta way back in 2014, followed by Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes and Lemon-Garlic Sauce, and haven’t heard from them since. You guys, we were ghosted by the zoodle.
Truthfully, the reason we haven’t zoodled for so long is I went a little hot out of the gates when I first bought my spiralizer, and needed to take a hiatus thereafter. The great news is, we’ve rekindled our relationship with vegetable noodles, and we’re ready to dive back in full-force with this avocado pesto zoodle dish. It’s so great, I’m just going to have to bulletpoint out the features.
These zoodles are:
- Vegan and paleo
- Dairy-free, yet creamy
- Easy to throw together on any weeknight
- Require just 30 minutes to prepare
- …and a few basic ingredients to make
Made with California avocados in place of oil, the pesto sauce comes out ultra luscious, creamy, and flavorful. If you’ve never made pesto using avocados, I recommend it! It’s a great oil-free approach and yields such a silky-smooth texture for all those times you’re craving something decadent but don’t want to overload yourself with overly rich food.
Simply spiralize your zucchini squash, whip up the pesto, and toss everything together in a big skillet. When all’s said and done, this is only about a 30 minute time commitment, which makes it ideal for those evenings you just want food fast and don’t have a plethora of time to spare.
This creamy zucchini noodle dish is one of those unicorn recipes in the sense that it is everything you could possibly want and more in a silly simple weeknight meal. It satisfies your palate and belly while being quick, nutritious, and inexpensive.
Having grown up on the border of California and Nevada, I’m naturally drawn to California cuisine, which to me signifies meals that are produce-centric yet big on flavor. This simple dinner recipe has that iconic California flair, in all its light and zesty glory. The meal is fresh, vibrant, and feels comforting-yet-healthful, just the way classic California cuisine should be.
With the produce-heavy lifestyle comes the risk for waste during those times you don’t get to your crisper fast enough. We’ve all seen the memes on avocados and how they can be rock solid one moment, then overripe the next, but the good news is there are plenty of options for using up ripe avocados, this dish being one of them.
Blending overripe avocados to smithereens with other ingredients helps mask any flavor and texture issues, ensuring your avos get put to good use even when they aren’t in any condition to be eaten sliced or chopped.
The same concept can be applied to spinach and zucchini. This is an awesome way of using up a great deal of less-than-crispy spinach or squash (perfect for those of you with a CSA box or grow a vegetable garden) in one fell swoop.
I try to maintain a low-waste household, using up pantry and produce items before they go bad as my way of being mindful and conscious. Food waste is a huge problem in this country , so I try to be a part of the solution, whether that means cooking in versus eating out to use up refrigerator items, keeping tabs on my grocery inventory and having a weekly plan before I go grocery shopping, or simply inviting friends over to help chew through leftovers.
In case you’d like to make this recipe your own, here are some ideas for customization:
- Looking for some protein? For vegan protein, add chickpeas. If you’re a carnivore, grilled or baked chicken and salmon pair nicely with this meal.
- If you aren’t dairy-free, serve the zoodles with grated parmesan, gouda, or gruyere.
- Sprinkle the zoodles with nutritional yeast (or add 1 to 2 tablespoons to the pesto sauce) for some added cheesy flavor.
- Replace sun-dried tomatoes with fresh cherry tomatoes.
- Use yellow squash or any of your favorite summer squash in place of zucchini.
And now, we zoodle!
Avocado Pesto Zoodles
Prepare the Avocado Pesto
Add the ingredients for the pesto to a food processor and process until creamy. Taste for flavor and add more lemon juice, garlic, and/or sea salt to taste
Make the Zoodles
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spirallized zucchini noodles and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, cover the skillet, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking until zucchini noodles reach desired doneness (I like mine al dente).
Add the avocado pesto to the skillet with the zoodles and stir well to combine. Serve zoodles with lemon wedges and toasted pine nuts.