You’ve probably tossed more than a few avocados into the trash after missing that (very slim) window between being perfectly ripe and turning brown, mushy and gross. And avocados are expensive, so that’s good money you’re throwing away.
Here’s a little secret, though: As long as there’s vibrant green meat somewhere inside (just scrape away the brown spots), that brown avocado can still be seriously yummy.
Never again will I toss an avocado just because it’s past prime guacamole-making texture. In my never-ending quest to save money on groceries and reduce food waste, I’ve discovered a few overripe avocado recipes, and lemme tell ya’, they’re delicious.
What to Do With Overripe Avocados: 11 Recipes to Try
Sauces, dressings, desserts and even drinks, we’ve got your overripe avocado needs covered.
Sauces and Dressings
The easiest way to fancy up any meal (and use up those avocados) is by making a simple sauce or dressing. Five minutes, a food processor and voila!
1. Magic Green Sauce
This sauce from Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum is made with all green foods — right down to the pistachios. It’s a delicious velvety sauce you can use as a veggie dip, salad dressing or marinade (think creamy chimichurri), or spread it on a sandwich for an extra-fresh kick. Magic, I tell you.
2. Creamy Avocado Vinaigrette
I knew about yogurt-based avocado dressings, but they’re always a little overwhelming with nothing to cut the rich, yogurty, buttery taste. This recipe from Chef Emeril himself is my new thing. It’s light and refreshing, and it has worked on every salad I’ve put it on so far.
Appetizers and Snacks
Arguably the best types of foods.
3. Avocado Nut Bread
In the same way you would turn your brown bananas into delicious banana bread, try making this avocado nut bread from Food with your overripe avocados. I love any version of veggie bread, but the added bonus here is that the bread turns out green. (I think maybe I never outgrew the whole funny-colored foods fascination — purple ketchup, where you at?)
4. Corn and Avocado Fritters
If you’re one of those people wrapped up in a sordid love affair with avocado, try dipping these corn and avocado fritters from Give Recipe into the magic green sauce for a seriously avocado-y snack. Snacks on snacks on snacks.
Lunch and Dinner
Even in a main dish, the diva avocado manages to take center stage.
5. Avocado Egg Salad
For this one from All Recipes, you want to let the avocado go an extra day or two past peak ripeness anyway because it will be softer and creamier. So it’s perfect for those of us who aren’t able to time an avocado intentionally.
6. Avocado Pasta
7. Blackened Chicken With Avocado Cream Sauce
This one from Popculture is a winner winner chicken dinner (um, yeah, I did have to say that). Again, that avocado cream sauce is the perfect place for a mushy avocado because it all gets smoothed out in the food processor anyway.
I know, I know… healthy foods and desserts shouldn’t mix. But just hear me out: I promise only good things lie ahead with these dessert avocado recipes.
8. Chocolate Caramel Avocado Brownies
Chocolate? Yes please. Caramel? Keep it coming. A healthier spin on my favorite food group? Done and done. (Wait — brownies are a food group, right?)
9. Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Since chocolate by the spoonful is never not a good idea, I commend to your attention to this offering from All Recipes. It has just six ingredients — five if you hold the cinnamon — and is ready in 30 minutes.
What’s next, an avocado cocktail?! Um, yes, actually.
10. Avocado Margarita
The thing is, I’ve never met a margarita I didn’t get along with — for the evening, anyway. But I think this light and creamy margarita from Bon Appetit is about to set the bar (pun intended) pretty high.
Smoothies might just be the easiest way to disguise the texture of a mushy brown avocado. And while there’s no wrong way to make a smoothie, this recipe from Real Simple has the added bonus of using up your not-so-perfect apples, too. But really, avocados go well with just about any smoothie ingredients given their buttery, almost nutty flavor.
Bonus Round: Avocado Face Mask
If you still can’t handle the thought of eating an avocado that’s past its prime, you could try a do-it-yourself avocado face mask. Over at Natural Beauty Tips, you’ll find a few different versions that all call for basic pantry ingredients, so you won’t have to make an extra trip to the store.
Consider this the beginning of the rest of your avocado-filled life — no more throwing your grocery budget in the trash.
Grace Schweizer is the email content writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.