Insider asked chefs to share their thoughts on the best and worst avocado dishes and cooking hacks.
You can soften your avocados by baking or frying them.
Avocados can elevate a chocolate mousse or milkshake.
Although the fruit is a great base for mousse, avocado ice cream can be bland and flavorless.
Popular for its creamy texture and green hue, avocado may be the trendiest fruit in the produce department — but professionals say not every avocado recipe is a winner.
To narrow down the options, Insider asked chefs for their favorite and least favorite ways to eat avocado.
Read on for some of the best and worst avocado dishes you can make.
Baking your avocados can make them even creamier.
Chef George Pitchkhadze of Thrive Cuisine told Insider that he recommends baking avocados to maximize their creaminess.
"Few people know this, but baking avocados really softens up the fibers in the fruit and make them extra-buttery," said Pitchkhadze.
For toppings, Pitchkhadze suggested adding a dash of kosher salt and a drizzle of lime juice.
Guacamole is a classic and delicious way to use avocados.
"Handmade guacamole is a non-intimidating dish with lots of healthy fats and fiber," said Harrington. "All you need to do is mash avocado with salt, pepper, lime, and maybe a little red onion."
For extra heat, try adding red chili flakes or a few slices of fresh jalapeño.
Ripe avocados can elevate chocolate mousse.
Institute of Culinary Education chef Seamus Mullen told Insider that avocado is a rich non-dairy base for chocolate mousse.
"Avocado gives chocolate mousse an incredibly luxurious texture and plenty of richness without being too heavy," said Mullen.
To make a simple avocado chocolate mousse, blend two ripe avocados with 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Add milk, salt, and sweetener to taste.
Vegan avocado milkshakes are easy and delicious.
Pitchkhadze shared that one of his favorite ways to use avocado is in a raw, vegan milkshake that tastes like dessert.
"Blend a whole avocado with about 250 milliliters of oat or coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and sweetener to taste," he said. "It tastes like a fast-food milkshake, but healthier."
If you prefer a thicker shake, you can add a tablespoon of uncooked oats or use slightly unripe avocados.
Use your unripe avocados to make avocado fries.
Transforming the fruit into fries is the perfect solution if you just can't wait for your avocados to ripen.
"Avocado fries are a great way to take advantage of slightly firmer avocados, as the heat softens them up," said Mullen.
For crispy avocado fries, dust them with chickpea flour or tapioca flour before frying, Mullen recommended.
Adding avocado to pasta sauce can make it creamy and light.
Adding avocado purée to tomato- or oil-based pasta sauces is an easy way to add creaminess to your Italian-inspired meals.
"Avocado gives pasta sauce a creamy texture without feeling overly rich," said Harrington. "It's great when you want something light but more substantial than a pesto."
Add a tablespoon of puréed avocado to your pasta sauce at a time to achieve a good balance of flavor and richness.
You can substitute avocado for sour cream on chili.
A dollop of sour cream can be a yummy topping for chili, but a scoop of avocado can be a lighter alternative.
"Avocado is a great substitute for cream on chili," Harrington said. "It gives the same type of cool creaminess as dairy-based sour cream."
Avocado ice cream sounds sweet, but can be bland.
Some dairy-free ice creams use avocado as their creamy base — a vegan alternative Harrington said she tends to avoid.
"To be blunt, avocado ice cream shouldn't be a thing," said Harrington. "It tastes bland and feels like a vain attempt to make ice cream 'healthier' or 'guilt-free.'"
Harrington said if you want to cut down on your sugar or calorie consumption, you may want to just have a smaller portion of regular ice cream rather than going out of your way to make or buy the avocado alternative.
Using both banana and avocado can ruin a smoothie.
Avocado and banana are both creamy fruits, so it may seem like they'd pair perfectly. But Pitchkhadze cautioned against mixing the two in a smoothie.
"If you use both avocados and bananas, you'll need a lot of water or milk to get them liquid enough for a smoothie," said Pitchkhadze. "This dilutes the taste of both ingredients and gives you a bland, unremarkable paste."
Salad with mashed avocado can become soggy.
Mullen said the texture of mashed avocado can make your greens slimy and soggy.
"I'm a fan of sliced avocado on salad but not necessarily salad with an avocado mash," he said. "When avocado is turned into an amorphous mush, it makes for an unappealing salad."
Instead of mashing up avocado for a salad, consider slicing it to avoid ruining the texture of your dish.
Avocado and potatoes can be an unsatisfactory combination.
According to Mullen, cooked potatoes are too soft and fluffy to provide enough contrast to the creamy texture of avocado.
"I tend to stay away from dishes that combine avocados and potatoes," said Mullen. "The idea of topping some french fries with guacamole or avocado purée doesn't sit right with me."
Avocado toast can be unappealing if not done right.
Toast loaded with mashed or sliced avocado is a trendy brunch option, but Harrington said the dish often doesn't live up to its reputation.
"Depending on how the avocado is prepared, it can have an odd texture," said Harrington. "Avocado toast can also be bland if eggs or exciting seasonings aren't included."
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