Quick and easy Avocado Dill Pesto Pasta with Poached Salmon. A delicious seasonal recipe loaded with good-for-you ingredients. Dairy free and perfect for the whole family!
This post is sponsored by Vital Choice your best choice for sustainably harvested wild seafood from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. I'm so thrilled to partner with Vital Choice over the next few months to bring you mouthwatering healthy seafood recipes. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Abra's Kitchen. As always, all opinions are my own.
Summer is time for pesto at my house. I adore it any which way, but when combined with pasta and perfectly poached salmon, YUM! Now, this is a combination that I'm excited to share! This was a simple summer supper that I whipped up this week, not originally intended for the blog, but it was so stinking good that I had to make it a second time, photograph it, and share!
Not only does it pack a ton of flavor, but it's light and totally satisfying.
I eat seafood several times a week, especially in the summer. Some of my other favorite seafood recipes are Icelandic Fish Soup (Fiskisupa), One Pot Mediterranean Cod, Lemon Roasted Sole and Asparagus, and this easy Korean Tuna Power Bowl.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS PESTO SALMON PASTA:
While these aren't all of the ingredients needed, these are a few of the key ones to add to your shopping list.
- Wild Salmon – Wild is key when it comes to salmon as salmon is sadly one of the most contaminated foods in our food supply. Farmed salmon is high in many contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which has been strongly associated with cancer and other health problems (study found here).
- Fresh Dill – Fresh dill offers such an amazing flavor. Buy a huge bunch, make extra dill pesto and pour it on everything you eat all week long!
- Almonds – Heart healthy raw almonds. You can substitute any nut you like honestly, but I think almonds are fantastic in this dish.
- Avocados – Make certain that they're ripe and ready to go. You can tell an avocado is ripe by the feel. If it's got a little “give” when you squeeze, it's tender and ready. If it's hard as a rock, you'll need to let it ripen more before use.
- Green Peas – Frozen peas work perfectly here.
WILD VS. FARMED SALMON
Wild salmon is a non-negotiable in my house. The nutritional difference between wild salmon and farmed salmon is vast, beyond the issue with contaminants (which is my greatest concern) farmed salmon is also much higher in fat. Many environmental toxins are lipophilic or fat loving, meaning the higher the content of fat in the food the higher the level of contamination.
Wild salmon is caught in natural environments like oceans, streams, rivers, and lakes. In their natural habitat salmon eat other organisms like plankton, shrimp, squid, and eel.
Whereas farmed salmon are bred in controlled environments and fed processed high fat, high protein fish feed to produce larger fish.
The general recommendation is to eat wild salmon 3+ times per week, but farmed salmon no more than 1x per month. My recommendation is to eat farmed salmon never and wild salmon as often as you can.
MY FAVORITE SOURCE FOR WILD SALMON
Here's the problem, I don't love the taste of all wild salmon. Since it is lower in fat it can be quite dry. Farmed salmon is fatty and luscious and in many cases tastes better. I have been on a mission to try as many different varieties of wild salmon that I can get my hands on, to find one that I like.
Vital Choice sources their wild salmon from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. They have several varieties of wild salmon, you can even try their wild salmon box to sample them all!
In this recipe, I used their Wild Pacific King Salmon and LOVED it! I poached the salmon (you can watch my poaching video in my Instagram highlights here) so it was incredibly moist.
I trust Vital Choice, I trust their sourcing and I trust their quality and I am a serious seafood snob. You can order a mixed wild fish box (that's what I received and loved it), or custom choose what you order. The fish arrives frozen and each individual portion is vacuum sealed. They easily defrost in the fridge in a few hours.
If you use this link to purchase seafood from Vital Choice you will receive 15% off their Fraser River Sockeye Salmon (I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link).
HOW TO MAKE DAIRY-FREE AVOCADO DILL PESTO
Traditional Pesto is a sauce originating from Italy that is typically created using pine nuts, basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt. If you want to try a traditional pesto recipe, here is my Perfect Every Time Basil Pesto recipe.
For this recipe, I whipped up an avocado-based pesto using almonds and fresh dill. This pesto you will want to eat with a spoon, and I give you full permission to do so.
Making your own pesto is so easy that I honestly beg you to try it just once, and you will never again use store-bought.
For this dairy-free avocado dill pesto, you will simply combine avocado, lots of fresh dill, lemon juice, almonds, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to add a bit more liquid to get it going (water is fine or more lemon juice) but the end result will be a thicker pesto that when stirred into starchy pasta water will blow your mind!
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PESTO IS TOO THICK?
I actually prefer to make my pesto thicker, I find the flavors are more concentrated. You can thin it out by adding more olive oil or a splash of water or vegetable stock, or when you are ready to toss with your pasta reserve some starchy pasta cooking liquid and toss the pasta, and pesto together with that salty starchy water for the perfect consistency.
HOW DO YOU STORE LEFTOVER PESTO?
The best thing about homemade pesto is the many many ways you can use leftovers! Simply add your leftover pesto to a sealable container and keep it stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can pour leftover pesto into ice cube trays, freeze, and then store the pesto ice cubes in your freezer for up to 6 months. When you feel like pesto simply grab a pesto cube and melt in a pan, toss with pasta, grains, or veggies, and VOILA! Pesto! 🙂
WHAT OTHER FOODS WOULD GO WELL WITH PESTO?
Because of its versatile flavor, you can add pesto to rice, potatoes, roasted vegetables, as a spread on sandwiches, dollop on top of hard-boiled eggs (OMG so good!), or even spread some on toasted bread for a quick afternoon snack.
If you love this Avocado Dill Pesto Pasta with Poached Salmon recipe, you will also love these recipes!
Light and Healthy Summer Themed Recipes You Will Love!
I hope you love this dairy-free poached salmon pesto pasta! If you make it be sure to tag me @abrapappa on Instagram so I can see your masterpiece!
Poached Salmon Pesto Pasta
Vegan Avocado Almond Pesto
- 2 medium avocados
- 2 cups fresh dill
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pound radiatore pasta or any pasta you like
- 1 cup green peas
- In a large pan with high sides combine water, wine, lemon, vinegar, onion, bay leaves, fresh dill, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to concentrate. This is you poaching liquid.
- Remove cover, add salmon, increase heat to a rolling simmer, partially cover and cook for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes turn off heat, cover completely and allow salmon to rest for 2 minutes. A salmon filet that is 1-1 1/2" will be cooked perfectly. If your salmon is thicker increase cooking time by 2 minutes and then check.
- Set salmon aside while you prepare other ingredients.
Vegan Avocado Almond Pesto
- In the bowl of a food processor combine avocado, dill, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water or a bit more lemon juice to get things going.
- Taste for seasoning, add more salt or lemon juice if needed.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Be sure to boil in well salted water. In the final 2 minutes of cooking add peas to pasta water. Drain the pasta and peas reserving some of the starchy cooking liquid. Toss hot pasta and peas with 1-2 cups pesto (as much as you like) and flaked salmon.
- Top with additional fresh dill and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy immediately.
- You can use any type of pasta you like. Radiatore (like little radiators) is one of my favorites, but any small pasta (ideally with ridges) would work well.
- You can eliminate the peas if you don't like them.
- You will have extra pesto leftover, store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- The nutritional analysis includes the entire portion of pesto.
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