We Should All Be Pickling Our Avocados—Here’s How

Photo: Stocksy/ Nadine Greeff
As much as we love eating fresh avocado, this bright green fruit can be quite tricky to handle. One moment, it’s rock solid; the next, it’s a squishy mess. Although eating brown avocados probably won’t make you sick, it can feel like preserving their beautiful vibrant color and firm-ish texture is an unattainable goal.

We’ve tried countless techniques to hunt down the best ways to preserve avocados, from storing them in water (which we don’t recommend trying) to adding a squeeze of citrus juice to the surface of the cut-open fruit. However, we recently tried a brilliant method for keeping avocados fresher for longer that might be new to you, too: pickled avocados. Learn how this technique can help keep your avocados green for up to two weeks—plus, why pickled avocados are the dreamiest addition to paninis, pesto pasta, and tinned fish boards you'll find.

How to pickle avocados to keep them bright green for weeks

According to a blog post by The California Avocado Commission and Chris from The Café Sucré Farine, all you need to make a homemade batch of pickled avocados are: wedges or chunks of avocado, white balsamic vinegar, water, a bit of salt, honey, garlic, rosemary, and thin slivers of lemon.

First things first, prepare the brining liquid. This is done by boiling vinegar, water, salt, and honey until the ingredients are fully dissolved. Next, gather a clean pickling jar and add a few aromatics, like peppercorns, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Once the brine has thoroughly cooled, you’ll add wedges, chunks, or slices of avocados, along with fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon slices.

To better preserve the avocado and to allow the flavors to fully infuse, make sure to seal the jar well and store it in the refrigerator for at least six hours before serving. Once ready to serve, simply remove the avocados from the brine and enjoy.

How to ensure your avocados stay fresh for as long as possible

When pickling avocados, the vinegar brine helps keep them green and fresh for upwards of several days or even up to two weeks. But this depends on the state of the avocados before they were pickled. For best results, it’s recommended that you pickle them just before they reach their peak ripeness. This helps ensure they hold their shape while they soak up the brine and maintain their vivid color. Generally speaking, a batch made using almost-ripe avocados will last anywhere from a week to two weeks. Meanwhile, pickled avocados from already-ripe avocados might last a few days or a week if you’re lucky.

Ways to enjoy pickled avocados

Of course, you can eat pickled avocados straight from the jar—as you would with regular bread and butter pickles. However, you can also use them to make various other dishes, like guacamole hummus, “magic” anti-inflammatory avocado sauce, or magnesium-rich pasta sauce. And, because they won’t turn brown when exposed to oxygen, they make for the perfect party snack or charcuterie board addition to serve with a bowl of crunchy crackers or tortilla chips.

pickled avocados
Photo: California Avocado Commission

Pickled avocado recipe

Yields 4 servings 

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tsp peppercorns
1 1/2 Tsp dried crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 firm, ripe, Fresh California Avocados (quite firm; squeeze the avocado gently in the palm of your hand; you want only the slightest bit of "give")
1 (2-inch) sprig of rosemary
1 very thin slices of fresh lemon, halved

1. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt. Remove from heat and cool completely.

2. Place peppercorns, crushed red pepper, and garlic in a pint-size jar.

3. Cut avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove seed and peel, keeping halves intact. Cut into 1/2-inch wide slices, widthwise. Place avocado slices into prepared jar and cover with cooled brine. Tuck rosemary sprig and lemon slice into jar. Cover jar tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

4. When ready to serve, remove avocados from brine and enjoy.

An RD shares the *surprising* benefits of avocados:

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