5 ways to use avocados besides guacamole

Photo: Danny Kim

So you’ve perfected your guacamole game, you’re Instagramming expertly-crafted avocado toast, and you’ll never eat a brown rice bowl without a few slices on top. You’re now ready to start incorporating your favorite year-round wünderfruit into everything you make, from smoothies to salad dressings to desserts. Think of this as a 300-level course in how to make everything you cook even better.

Upgrade Your Smoothies

Many smoothies get their creamy texture from yogurt or soft fruits like bananas. But if you’re trying to go dairy-free or want to avoid that “banana-y” flavor that can sometimes overpower other ingredients, swapping in avocado will give smoothies a similar creaminess with a milder flavor. You can add avocado to any smoothie that lacks a little body, but it works especially well in green smoothies, because it acts as an emulsifier that brings together bits of blended raw greens that can sometimes have a grainy mouthfeel without a creamy element. Try subbing avocado for either the peanut butter or banana in this smoothie. But we wouldn’t dare call this avocado sea salt shake from Portland’s Perierra Crêperie a smoothie, but it is green. Just sayin’.

Get the Recipe: Avocado Smoothie

Replace the Dairy in Your Salad Dressings

Dairy-rich dressings like Caesar and green goddess rely on ingredients like buttermilk, mayonnaise, or egg yolks for that well-emulsified, thick consistency. Dialing back slightly on the dairy and adding some avocado will lighten up your salad while adding even more of that silky-smooth texture you’re going for. Like all heavier dressings, use avocado-based dressings to coat sturdier greens like kale or cabbage (delicate greens will wilt).

Charred Romaine with Tomatillo Dressing 

Recipe by Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Washington, D.C.

Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

Serves 4.


Tomatillo Dressing

  • ¼ medium white onion, quartered

  • 1 small tomatillo, husk removed

  • 1 jalapeño, sliced, seeds removed

  • 1 garlic clove

  • ¼ avocado, chopped

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad And Assembly

  • 1 small poblano chile

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, halved lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 avocado, chopped

  • ¼ medium white onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 2 oz. Cotija cheese, finely grated

  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro stems


Tomatillo Dressing

Bring onion, tomatillo, jalapeño, garlic, and 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until onion is very tender, 6–8 minutes; let cool. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.

Purée onion mixture with avocado and cilantro leaves in a blender. With motor running, gradually add oil and 2 Tbsp. cooking liquid and blend until combined. Add lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

Salad And Assembly

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Grill poblano, turning occasionally, until charred and blistered, 6–8 minutes. Let cool. Peel and finely chop.
Drizzle cut sides of romaine with oil; season with salt. Grill, cut side down, until charred, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill just until warmed through, about 30 seconds.
Spoon dressing onto plates and top with romaine, charred side up, avocado, onion, and poblano. Drizzle with lime juice; season lightly with salt. Scatter Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro stems over.

Add It to Soups and Sauces

Add a creamy element to herby condiments and sauces like salsa verde and pesto by adding some puréed avocado. This will create a more spreadable sauce that you can use as a substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches. Or serve it as a dressed-up guac, with warm pita for dipping. If you’re already an avocado smoothie fan, you’re halfway to falling in love with chilled, savory avocado soup.

Turn Your Dips Into Alt Guacs

Stir mashed or puréed avocado into a savory yogurt dip to balance out the tangy flavor. Or try it stirred into hummus and other bean-based dips for extra creaminess. As a general rule, experiment with cold or room temperature dips, as adding avocado to hot dips will cause it to break down and turn to an unappealing, gloppy mush. As with guacamole, you can add an extra squeeze of citrus to your newly avocado-fied dip to prevent it from discoloring.

Get the Recipe: Avocado and Yogurt Dip with Jalapeño and Cilantro

Have Avocados for Dessert

We’re on a permanent quest for healthy(-ish) desserts that taste awesome. Avocado can hold its own in creamy desserts like ice cream, chocolate puddings and mousses, and chocolate truffles.

More from Bon Appétit:

A Caffeinated Old-Fashioned

2015 Food Lover’s Cleanse

5 New Ways to Make Avocado Toast