If we could eat the avocado piñata hanging in our office, believe me — we would. Unfortunately, we aren’t that lucky and will have to settle for the normal-sized, edible ones instead.
So why does the Greatist team love these magical green fruits so much? First off, they’re clearly delicious. But they’re healthy, too! Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat (which can improve cholesterol levels, decrease risk of heart disease, and benefit brain activity), vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), and vitamin B6 (promotes healthy skin and serves as a back-up fuel) Reducing saturated fat intake is associated with increased LDL receptors on mononuclear cells in healthy men and women. Mustad, V.A., Etherton, T.D., Cooper, A.D. Graduate Program in Nutrition, Pennsylvania State University. Journal of Lipid Research, 1997 Mar;38(3):459-68. Dietary fat and heart failure: moving from lipotoxicity to lipoprotection. Stanley, WC, Dabkowski, ER, Ribeiro, RF JR., et al. Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland. Circulation Research, 2012 Mar 2;110(5):764-76. Monounsaturated fatty acids prevent the aversive effects of obesity on locomotion, brain activity, and sleep behavior. Sartorius, T., Ketterer, C., Kullmann, S., et al. Diabetes, 2012 Jul;61(7):1669-79 . Plus, they’re just darn delicious (Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies or Kale Salad with Avocado and Grapefruit, anyone?). And while avocados are a great addition to just about any healthy recipe, just remember not to overdo it — this fruit can be fairly high in calories for those watching their intake.
Here are 39 of our favorite delicious, at least semi-healthy avocado recipes. Try one of them today!
1. Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza
Pizza for breakfast? Yes, please! A whole-wheat Naan bread or other flatbread makes a great hearty base for a breakfast pizza. Top with avocado mash and an egg cooked any style. Throw on some extra veggies (we like arugula and tomato) for even more flavor and nutrients.
2. Kiwi Avocado Smoothie with Lime and Honey
Two of our favorite superfoods — avocado and kiwi — take center stage in this take on a green smoothie. You get healthy fats and vitamin E from the avocado, plus a megadose of vitamin C and fiber from the kiwi!
3. Avocado Buckwheat Pancake
Avocado in pancakes? Yep, you read right. Adding in some avocado purée means cutting out most of the butter or oil in this recipe. Plus, there’s the added nutrition, too.
4. Breakfast Tostada
Instead of carb-heavy eggs benedict, try this take on an open-faced breakfast sandwich served on corn tortillas. Fresh veggies and lots of spices lend tons of Mexican-style flavor without heavy sauces or lots of cheese.
5. Avocado Watermelon Salad
Not only is this salad nutritious and delicious, it’s beautiful, too! Chunks of watermelon (superfood alert — they’re packed with vitamins A and C, and the amino acid citrulline), avocado, radish, and feta topped with mint and chives make for a light, nutrient-packed lunch or side dish.
6. Avocado Egg Salad
Avocado and eggs — a winning pair. In this egg salad, the addition of avocado means cutting back on the amount of mayo while also adding some awesome flavor. Not into mayo at all? Try subbing plain Greek yogurt!
7. Mayo-Free Avocado Chicken Salad
No need for mayonnaise in this chicken salad. Mashed avocado and mustard bind a combo of lean chicken breast and chopped veggies (choose whichever ones you like!). Serve on whole-grain bread, crackers, or cucumber slices.
8. Avocado n’ Tuna
Yet another perfect instance to use avocado as a substitute for mayo! Mash avocado together with a can of tuna, season with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you’d like. Serve in the avocado peel and eat with a fork, or enjoy in lettuce wraps for an easy carb-free lunch.
9. Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Salad Sandwich
For a vegan alternative to chicken, egg, or tuna salad, nothing beats mashed chickpeas! Avocado keeps the cilantro and green onion together while providing a great creamy texture.
10. Avocado, Strawberry, Goat Cheese Sandwich
It may sound like an unlikely combination, but these three ingredients — and, of course, two slices of whole-grain bread — come together for a decadent and healthy lunch. Strawberries are rich in fiber and vitamin C, and a few tablespoons of goat cheese is a great way to get that rich, cheesy flavor without having to pile on the calories.
11. Avocado Mango Chicken Salad
Try this topical twist on traditional chicken salad served right in an avocado skin for lunch this week! Greek yogurt replaces mayo and mango adds a little extra sweetness to this recipe for something a little different.
12. Raw Avocado Soup
This one’s great to keep on the docket for summer. Fresh green peas, avocado, cucumber, and mint make this soup as green as can be, and tahini and lemon add even more flavor.
13. Grilled Chicken with Mango, Bell Pepper, and Avocado
Mashed avocado is a great substitute for less-than-healthy mayo or a few too many slices of cheese to make any sandwich just a little bit healthier (and more delicious). On this sandwich, the avocado helps hold together mango, red onion, peppers, and dandelion greens on whole-grain bread. The fiber-filled combo is sure to keep you full all afternoon long.
14. Peach Basil Avocado Balsamic Wrap
Try this for an interesting lunchtime wrap variation. Fill an herb wrap with peach and avocado slices, basil leaves, and a splash of homemade balsamic dressing (follow the link for this recipe, too!) for a vegetarian-friendly lunch packed with flavor and color.
15. Avocado-Shiitake Spring Rolls
Sometimes, the classic soup, salad, or sandwich just seems too boring for that mid-day meal. Enter homemade spring rolls. These fresh rolls are easy and make the perfect lunchtime meal. Stuffed with avocado, rice noodles, cashews, mushrooms, and bell pepper, they’re super healthy and versatile. Add some cooked shrimp or chicken, more veggies, or different nuts to customize them.
16. Salmon Avocado Rice Balls
How’s this for a less technical way of making sushi? Rather than meticulously rolling ingredients into a log and slicing, try making sushi rice balls with filling in the center! Bonus: This way requires no special tools like a sushi roller.
17. Avocado Pasta
While it seems like an unorthodox combination, avocados actually make a fantastic creamy pasta sauce, too. Combined with lemon, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and basil, it’s like a healthier (and greener) version of the classic alfredo sauce. Use whole-wheat pasta and add some extra veggies to the mix to make it even healthier.
18. Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas
Avocados are pretty much crucial for South American dishes. So we had to include this one on the list! The creamy fruits are blended into a super smooth sauce to top chicken enchiladas filled with cheese, jalapenos, Poblano peppers, and onions.
19. Avocado Lime Salmon
Salmon is a favorite come summer time, but its tasty all year round (just make sure to choose safe salmon!). And as evidenced by the ever-popular salmon-avocado roll sushi, the two make a winning combination. Hot peppers and red onion round out the avocado salsa for an extra kick.
20. Stovetop Avocado Mac n’ Cheese
This recipe sounds super decadent and diet-busting, but we promise it’s not. Just make sure to savor every bite (and consume in moderation). Avocado makes it extra creamy, cilantro and lime kick up the flavor a few notches, and Pepper Jack cheese gives it a little kick. Go with whole-wheat elbow macaroni for some extra fiber and protein.
21. Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting
This slightly-spiced chocolate cake (hint: It has just a bit of cinnamon!) is brought to the next level with a creamy chocolate-avocado frosting. Both are naturally sweetened with agave.
22. Creamy Green Tea Avocado Popsicles
Mashed avocado and coconut milk give these pops a creamy texture, while vanilla extract and matcha powder give them a distinct green-tea f lavor. You can sweeten them (totally optional) with agave or honey, too.
23. Avocado Brownies with Avocado Frosting
Mashed avocado in both the brownie and frosting make this dessert the avocado Holy Grail. Make them a bit healthier by subbing in whole-wheat flour and cutting down on sugar.
24. Avocado Key Lime Pie
It’s the avocado filling that give this Key Lime pie it’s bright green color. Ground almonds and dates make a healthy crust, and honey adds a bit of sweetness.
25. 5-Minute Avocado Sorbet
All you need for this recipe is a few frozen avocados, some simple syrup, and a blender. Much like frozen bananas, tossing frozen avocados into a blender makes a simple, delicious, fruit-only ice cream.
26. Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Combined with coconut milk, some melted chocolate, and a few other ingredients, mashed avocado provides a great base for chocolate pudding. No one needs to know!
27. Greek Yogurt Avocado Ice Cream
Greek yogurt and ripe avocado make up the base of this ice cream, and just a bit of heavy cream gives it a decadent-but-still-healthy texture. Try one of these methods if there’s no ice cream maker handy.
28. Avocado Vanilla Cheesecakes
An almond and coconut crust give these single-serve cheesecakes some crunch and natural sweetness, while the maple-vanilla avocado filling lends the texture of traditional cheesecake without any of the dairy.
Snacks, Sides, and Extras
30. Avocado and Lime Bread
Avocados and bananas have very similar textures, meaning they work similarly in baked goods. Instead of making yet another loaf of banana bread, try this very similar avocado loaf using whole-wheat flour.
31. Avocado Naan
This traditional Naan recipe goes dairy-free by using mashed avocado instead of yogurt.
32. Avocado "Caesar" Dressing
Creamy dressings: We want to put on everything, but wish they were typically healthier. This recipe solves both of those problems. Tahini, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, garlic, and lemon give it flavor while avocado supplies the texture typically achieved by adding oil or mayonnaise.
33. Creamy Avocado Rice
This recipe would make the perfect base for a burrito bowl or side for chili. It’s simple, too: brown rice, mashed avocado, some lime, salt, and cilantro.
34. Avocado Deviled Eggs
Greek yogurt and avocado health-ify the filling for these deviled eggs. (Maybe these ones aren’t so devilish after all.) This recipe still uses the yolks but ups the nutritional value of the filling by adding yogurt and avocado instead of mayo.
35. Avocado Egg Rolls
These egg rolls may be a bit healthier — filled with avocado, onion, and tomato — but they are still fried, so take it easy on the portions! They’re basically egg rolls filled with guacamole. And anything stuffed with guacamole wins a gold medal in our eyes.
Avocado and tequila go together like peanut butter and jelly. This slightly savory, slightly sweet drink is a fun way to indulge in an adult beverage while getting at least some nutritional value from the green fruit (and cilantro)!
37. Avocado Smoothie
This simple smoothie is perfect for satisfying that sugar craving without actually overdoing it on the sweet stuff. The recipe calls for 2 ½ tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, but if you want to cut it down even further, use unsweetened condensed milk and use a tablespoon of honey instead to cut out the teaspoon of sugar.
38. Lemon Avocado Juice
This is a great avocado-focused take on the green juice trend. Simply blend the juice of 1 lemon, some water, cucumber, celery, greens (spinach would work well), avocado, and ginger until smooth.
39. Chocolate Avocado Banana Milkshake
The avocado-banana combo in this recipe makes for an extra-creamy and decadent smoothie appropriate for breakfast or dessert. Chia seeds and almond butter add even more essential nutrients like magnesium and iron (hey chia!), and fiber and vitamin E from the almond butter.