Avocado Lime Cilantro Pesto

Over the past couple weeks I’ve found myself seriously craving pesto. Not sure what brought on the craving but it’s one I haven’t been able to shake. And while there are plenty of paleo-friendly “vegan pestos” out there made without the parmesan cheese, they always have some type of nut in them (usually macadamia or pine nut) & since I’m still not eating nuts I can’t simply buy myself a container of the vegan stuff & call it good.

So last week one of my roommates Hannah & I decided to make our own pesto without the parmesan or nuts. And my oh my was it good. So good in fact that it had us both continually dipping our fingers into the bowl as we prepared the rest of the meal & contemplating what other herbs we could transform into pesto using the magical food processor & a few other simple ingredients. We are also both big fans of Mexican food. Hence how this recipe was born.

What I like a lot about this recipe is that it serves as the basic framework for a good cilantro-based pesto. You can play around with different amounts of the six simple ingredients to get a different version of the pesto or even add more ingredients such as garlic, onion, or cayenne pepper to change it up & add more flavor.


Avocado Lime Cilantro Pesto


Yield: About 1.5 cups


  • 2 bunches of Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 large Avocado or 1 small Avocado
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Food Processor
  • Spoon
  • Small container for storage


  1. Wash/rinse cilantro & lightly pat dry with paper towels
  2. Cut off ends/ bare stems of the cilantro & discard. Place both bunches in the food processor (it’s ok if stems with the leaves remain because they are thin enough that they will blend into a smooth consistency with the leaves)
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor on top of the cilantro (half of an avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and the juice from half a lemon and one whole lime)
  4. Turn the food processor on & allow the contents to blend together until a smooth pesto begins to form
  5. Stop the processor after about a minute to scrap down the sides of the container & then blend for another 1-2 minutes until the pesto is all blended together
  6. Taste the pesto with a spoon & adjust amounts of lemon juice, lime juice, and/or salt if needed!


IMG_4598 IMG_4599 IMG_4601IMG_4605

Pairs well quite nicely with some zucchini pasta!

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