12 Recipes You Can Make with Overripe Avocado
Everyone knows the feeling of waiting days and days for an avocado to ripen until suddenly… it's too soft. Too soft to dice and put on a salad, slice and layer on top of a burger, or make the star of the show in a bowl of chunky guacamole. Too soft to do anything but move it from the counter into the trash can, right?
Wrong. There are a variety of dishes that can be made to perfection using avocados that are a bit past their prime. The key: Choosing recipes that highlight avocado's luscious, creamy texture or feature big-flavor ingredients like chocolate or blueberries. Here are 12 recipes that will turn your overripe avocados into something delicious and crave-worthy.
Avocado Salad Ranch Dressing
Creamy ranch dressing is perfect for pouring over salad or dunking crudites, and adding avocado makes this classic dressing even smoother and more luscious. This version gets its ranch flavor from buttermilk, dried parsley, dried dill, garlic powder and onion powder.
This simple, good-for-you dressing blends avocado with yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, a bit of hot sauce, and salt and pepper. The result is a smooth dressing or dip that is also easy to modify with herbs and spices. Home cook Michelle exchanged the hot sauce for cumin and used the dressing to top a tasty taco salad.
Rich and Gooey Avocado Brownies
Cocoa powder and chocolate chips provide such an intense chocolate flavor that there's no chance you'll notice if your avocados are overripe. In these brownies, the avocados take the place of a fat like oil or butter and provide a fudgy, gooey texture to every bite. Some of the sugar is even replaced with honey to provide additional health benefits.
Avocado Irish Cream Fudge
"Although avocados seem like a strange ingredient for fudge, they give a great creamy texture to a decadent treat," says home cook Sarah, who shared this unique recipe. "I often give it as a gift for the holidays and no one can ever believe it's made with avocados!" The key: Making sure the mixture is perfectly blended and uniform at each step in the recipe to ensure the finished fudge is smooth and indulgent.
A common treat in South America, this simple smoothie is delicious at any time of day. The sweetness provided by the vanilla yogurt and honey perfectly balance out the mild avocado. It's also a cinch to modify, with home cooks adding ingredients like bananas and frozen mango or swapping out the milk for almond or soy milk.
Coconut Avocado Smoothie
"Please make sure that you use cream of coconut. It is thick like sweetened condensed milk," writes home cook Heather Reis, who shared the recipe for this ultra-thick sip. "Using coconut milk or coconut water will dramatically affect the outcome and should not be used." This truly decadent smoothie, which also features an avocado, yogurt, and milk, can even be enjoyed as dessert — Heather freezes it and scoops it like ice cream.
Avocado Blueberry Smoothie
For a smoothie in which the avocado is completely hidden, look no further than this one, which will cover up the overripe fruit with sweet frozen blueberries. "I followed the recipe exactly except I had ½ an avocado left about to expire. So I just used the whole half," says home cook Holiday Baker. "It gave the smoothie a silky like texture. It was a filling meal replacement and worked fine for me."
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
The combination of pureed avocado and chocolate makes for a surprisingly decadent pudding or mousse. This version also features coconut milk, so the treat is even dairy-free. "We make this a lot," shares home cook AlphaZed. "In our house we like it better than chocolate pudding!! There's a lightness to the flavor and mouth feel that is so fresh but still chocolaty and yummy."
Chocolate Pudding Popsicles
A healthier twist on the classic fudge pop, this recipe blends an avocado and a banana with cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and milk, plus a bit of sugar, cinnamon and vanilla before freezing. The result is a never icy, fun-to-eat dessert perfect for every member of the family.
Avocado Cream Sauce
Similarly to the way it's used in dressings and dips, avocado can also be the base for a luscious cream sauce. This one, which home cook KSANFORD77 likes to drizzle over grilled chicken and pasta, features avocados, heavy cream, garlic, green onions, lime juice, tarragon and cilantro for a sauce bursting with fresh, herby flavors.
Texas Tomatillo Avocado Sauce
Almost like a smooth and creamy salsa verde, this tomatillo sauce is delicious on tacos, burritos, or fajitas. But you don't need to stop with Mexican food. Home cook T Graveley writes, "I think that it will be great on fried eggs & greens/onions. I was even thinking of adding it to a chicken alfredo casserole for a different twist. The heat was just right too."
Avocado Lime Cheesecake
This unique dessert does require an ice cream maker (though some home cooks have reported stellar results without one), but if you have one you'll make quick work of it. The tanginess of the cream cheese will mask any overripe portions of the avocado, allowing its mild, slightly sweet flavor to shine in the finished slice. "I served it in champagne glasses, sprinkled it with extra-dark chocolate shavings and a dab of whipped heavy cream," says home cook Susie Q. "I used fresh edible flowers and mint leaves for garnish! It looked beautiful and tasted even better! Great dessert!"