Avocados are a versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of dishes. Their rich, creamy texture and mild flavor make them a perfect addition to both sweet and savory foods. When selecting ingredients to pair with avocado, there are a few key considerations:
Look for ingredients that will accentuate the natural creaminess of avocado. Foods with some acidity like citrus fruits, tomatoes, or vinegar will provide contrast to the avocado’s richness. Herbs and spices like cilantro, basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes will also enhance the avocado flavor. Smoky, salty flavors from ingredients like bacon, olives, cheese, and nuts make great avocado companions as well.
Pairing avocado with crunchy, crisp ingredients helps highlight its smooth, creamy texture. Vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and radishes add a nice crunch. Toasts or crackers also supply a great textural contrast.
The green color of avocados means they look appealing next to ingredients with contrasting hues. Vibrant red tomatoes, purple onions, bright yellow corn, and orange citrus fruits make excellent color complements. Herbs like cilantro and parsley also help brighten up avocado dishes.
Common food pairings
Here are some of the most popular and delicious options for foods that pair beautifully with avocados:
Avocado is a fantastic addition to all kinds of salads. It pairs well with mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, cucumbers, corn, beans, chicken, shrimp and citrus dressing. Avocado adds richness and healthy fats that help absorb nutrients from vegetables.
Sandwiches and wraps
Sliced or mashed avocado can be added to sandwiches and wraps for extra creaminess. It’s excellent with turkey, ham, roast beef, tuna salad, chicken salad and egg salad. Cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and roasted peppers also complement avocado in sandwiches.
Salsa and dips
Avocados are often used as the base for creamy dips like guacamole. They also pair well with tomato salsa and bean dips. Try mixing in avocado with Greek yogurt for a tasty, protein-packed dip.
The smooth, mild flavor of avocado works well with eggs. It can be used in omelets or scrambled with eggs for a creamy texture. Avocado also pairs nicely with poached or fried eggs on toast for breakfast or brunch.
Adding sliced or mashed avocado to a hamburger adds moisture, flavor and healthy fats. Other great burger toppings to pair with avocado include cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and barbecue sauce.
Creamy avocado sauce makes a delicious pasta topper. Avocado can also be diced up and added to pasta salads with vegetables. Pair it with tomato sauce, pesto or alfredo sauce for extra richness.
The mild taste of avocado complements many rice-based meals. It’s excellent in sushi rolls paired with fish, shrimp tempura and vegetables. Avocado also adds nutrition and texture to rice bowls topped with grilled meat or fish.
The texture and flavor of avocado works well with seafood like shrimp, crab and lobster. It can be used in seafood cocktails, salads, and rolls. Avocado is also great in ceviche paired with raw fish and lime juice.
Avocado adds moisture and flavor to chicken in dishes like sandwiches, salads, wraps, and tacos. It also pairs well with grilled, baked or sautéed chicken topped with an avocado sauce or salsa.
The rich creaminess of avocado balances nicely with savory grilled steak. Top meat with an avocado chimichurri sauce or garnish steak salads with sliced avocado for added nutrition.
Blend avocado with your favorite fruits like banana, strawberry, mango, pineapple and oranges for a thick, creamy smoothie. It adds healthy fats and nutrients that help you feel satisfied.
Believe it or not, avocado works well with chocolate! Try making chocolate avocado mousse for a dairy-free dessert. You can also add avocado to your favorite chocolate milkshake, pudding or ice cream.
Tips for pairing avocado with other foods
Follow these simple tips for getting the most flavor when pairing avocado with other ingredients:
- Add acid – A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice prevents the avocado from turning brown and adds brightness.
- Use herbs and spices – Cilantro, basil, garlic, salt and pepper boost the mild avocado taste.
- Pick produce at peak ripeness – Ripe fruits and crunchy vegetables offer the best textures.
- Drizzle with oil – Olive, avocado or nut oils contribute richness to avocado dishes.
- Season meat and seafood – Well-seasoned protein enhances the creaminess of avocado.
- Toast bread – Warm, slightly charred bread provides crunch next to the smooth avocado.
- Roast veggies – Charred peppers, onions and mushrooms complement avocado.
- Balance sweet and savory – A touch of honey balances avocado’s mild flavor.
Here are some delicious recipes featuring avocado paired with ingredients that complement it beautifully:
This classic recipe calls for ripe avocado, ripe tomato and crispy toast for the perfect combo of creamy, juicy and crunchy.
With avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime and garlic, guacamole is the ideal party dip for chips and fresh veggies.
Shrimp and avocado salad
Shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, arugula and lemon vinaigrette come together for a light, summery salad.
Avocado paneer tikka masala
Avocado and tender paneer cheese are bathed in a creamy, lightly spiced tomato sauce.
Crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado join forces between slices of toasted bread for BLT heaven.
Avocado chocolate mousse
Creamy avocado purée is blended with melted chocolate, dates and cocoa powder for a dairy-free treat.
Avocado egg rolls
Avocado, chicken, carrots, cabbage and cilantro get wrapped in wrappers and fried for handheld flavor bombs.
Avocado Alfredo sauce made with avocado, Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic and herbs coats hot pasta noodles.
Blended frozen banana, avocado, milk and honey create a frosty, refreshing beverage.
Diced raw fish, avocado, tomato, onions and citrus come together in this bright marinated dish.
Choosing and storing avocados
To get the most out of avocados and any dishes you make with them, it’s important to select ripe avocados and store them properly to prevent spoilage. Here are a few tips:
- Select avocados that feel slightly soft when gently squeezed but are not mushy.
- Avoid avocados with cracks, dents or dark spots.
- Let firm avocados ripen at room temperature before refrigerating.
- Store ripe avocados in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- Leave the pit in sliced avocados to help prevent browning.
- Sprinkle cut avocados with lemon or lime juice to inhibit oxidation.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap to limit air exposure.
Nutrition benefits of avocados
Avocados are valued for more than just their delicious flavor and texture. They offer many important nutritional benefits. Here’s what makes them so good for you:
- Healthy fats – Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that may lower cholesterol.
- Fiber – Each avocado provides around 10 grams of fiber for digestive and cardiovascular health.
- Potassium – Avocados offer more potassium than bananas to support muscle, nerve and heart function.
- Antioxidants – Compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes and fight cell damage.
- Vitamins – Avocados are packed with B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Minerals – You’ll get iron, zinc, magnesium and manganese from each nutrient-dense avocado.
The healthy fats, fiber and micronutrients found in avocados make them a smart addition to your diet. Enjoy them in moderation as part of an overall healthy way of eating.
Potential downsides of eating avocados
Avocados have a lot going for them when it comes to nutrition and taste, but there are a couple potential downsides to consider:
- High in calories – Avocados are relatively high in calories, with about 240 calories in a medium-sized fruit. Be mindful of portions.
- Contains fat – While it’s mainly healthy monounsaturated fat, avocado is high in total fat at around 24 grams per fruit.
- Low protein – With only about 4 grams of protein per avocado, they are not a very high protein food.
- May trigger migraines – Some people report getting headaches or migraines after eating avocados due to the tyramine content.
- Allergies – Avocado allergy is possible and can cause symptoms like itching, hives, runny nose or upset stomach in sensitive individuals.
For most people, avocados can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. But it’s best to eat them in moderation and be cautious if you have migraines, food allergies or are watching your weight.
Frequently asked questions
What are some sweet foods that pair well with avocado?
Avocado’s creamy texture works well in many desserts. Try using it in chocolate pudding, ice cream, smoothies or milkshakes. Avocado also pairs nicely with bananas, strawberries, coconut, honey, vanilla and cocoa powder in sweet applications.
Can you eat avocado with eggs every day?
There’s no harm in enjoying avocado with eggs regularly. In fact, using avocado in place of less healthy fats like cheese or sausage can make your eggs much more nutritious. Just be mindful of total calories, as avocado and eggs are energy dense.
What spices go with avocado?
Seasonings like sea salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, chili powder, cumin and taco seasoning can all complement avocado’s mild flavor. Cilantro, basil, dill, garlic and onions also enhance avocados beautifully.
Is avocado good with salmon?
Rich, buttery salmon pairs exceptionally well with creamy avocado. The avocado adds moisture and balance to the fish. Try topping grilled or baked salmon fillets with thin slices of avocado before serving.
What oil goes well with avocado?
Olive, grapeseed, sunflower, avocado, walnut and pecan oil all make great partners for avocado recipes. They add monounsaturated fats and antioxidant benefits without overpowering the delicate avocado flavor.
With its smooth, creamy texture and mild taste, avocado complements a wide variety of sweet and savory ingredients. Foods that offer contrasting flavors, colors, and textures help highlight the best qualities of the avocado. Some particularly delicious pairings include citrus, tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggs, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds and even chocolate.
Avocado adds nutrition, healthy fats and creaminess to sandwiches, burgers, salads, tacos, salsas, dips, pastas, smoothies and more. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as avocados are relatively high in calories and fat. When chosen carefully and enjoyed in moderation, avocado can be a nutritious and tasty addition to a well-rounded diet.