Healthy Meal Ideas

This Magnesium-Rich Creamy Avocado Pesto Sauce Takes Approximately 30 Seconds To Make

Photo: Stocksy/ Nataša Mandić
Raise your hand if you think that avocados deserve their own food group. *Raises both hands.* Few things are more satisfying than splitting open a perfectly ripe ‘cado ideal for making a presentation-worthy toast, spicy guac, or garnishing a salad.

But, every now and then, we might come across a slightly bruised one that might not be as easy on the eyes. Before you grimace at the thought of having to throw away your money—I mean avocado—we’ve got a genius way to spare yourself from wasting the expensive fruit just because it’s giving you the ick.

Fortunately, we’ve learned that eating a brown avocado is usually fair game, according to a food scientist who shared all the facts. So, what should you be doing with a slightly bruised batch (that’s perfectly safe to eat) that might be better disguised in something else? Aside from throwing it into a green smoothie or turning it into avocado bread, you can also use it to make a creamy avocado pasta sauce loaded with tons of RD-approved health benefits that’ll fulfill your every pasta dream. I mean, for crying out loud, it’s pasta *and* avocados all in one dish. Need I say more?

Why we're so obsessed with this creamy avocado pasta sauce

In a recent TikTok video by @growingannanas, Anna Engelschall shares her creamy avocado pasta sauce recipe that takes no more than a few minutes to make and is a genius way to salvage browned avocados. For starters, if you have a few picky eaters to feed (or perhaps even yourself), this avocado pasta sauce will easily disguise any bruised or browned bits, making it just as appetizing as when it’s in its vibrant green prime.

@growingannanas This is your sign to try CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA @Emilia ♬ About Damn Time - Lizzo

Next up, it comes together in just a blink of an eye using a high-power blender that turns this avocado-based sauce into creamy and dreamy heaven. And last but certainly not least, the recipe is made with tons of nutrient-dense ingredients like lemon, spinach, garlic, olive oil, and avocado.

The health benefits of this avocado pesto sauce recipe

Where to begin? Lemons, a staple among some of the longest-living people in the Blue Zones, are one of the best foods for boosting longevity, according to Kristy Del Coro, MS, RD, a registered dietitian. The tangy and lip-puckering fruit is filled with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps support immune function and helps protect the body from free radicals, she previously told Well+Good.

Meanwhile, olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, helps add healthy fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties to this delicious dish. And if you're worried about a little garlic breath, trust us: It’s well worth it. This pungent allium supports the immune system and is full of vitamins and minerals that boost brain function.

And, onto what makes this recipe the perfect shade of pastel green: the spinach and our beloved avocados. Spinach, for one, is the perfect leafy green to add to a sauce without overpowering the flavors of the other ingredients. It adds tons of folate to this recipe, which can help protect against breast cancer, plus potassium, which is essential for muscle activity and keeping blood pressure in check. Lastly, spinach is packed with sleep-, mood- and digestion-boosting magnesium (78 mg per 1/2 cup of cooked spinach), a nutrient most adults are typically deficient in.

Finally, avocados, the star of the show, are high in healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients that help protect vision. They’re also full of magnesium, a mineral that can help the body fall and stay asleep, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, previously told Well+Good. Avocados also have about 58 milligrams of magnesium per fruit, a healthy serving that contributes to the recommended amount you need daily (310 to 420 mg for adults over 18). Needless to say, are you sprinting to the kitchen to make this delicious avocado pasta sauce yet?

Creamy avocado pasta sauce recipe

Yields 2 servings

1 avocado, pitted
1 cup spinach
1 lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pasta water, or more as needed
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups rotini pasta, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

1. In a high-speed blender, combine the avocado, spinach, lemon juice, garlic, pasta water, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, and add additional pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.

2. Ladle over cooked rotini pasta, and serve immediately.

Need an excuse to love avocados even more? Watch this:

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