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If you’ve never put an avocado to the fire, you are missing out. Grilled avocado takes something that is already delicious (an avocado) and somehow makes it even better. A little bit of crispy char stripes across the almost-molten flesh, and the richness gets infused with a background smoky flavor. Extremely worth it.
Grilling success begins with using a perfectly ripe avocado. When holding the avocado in your hand, its outer layer should give way slightly when gently pressed. If it barely moves, it’s not ripe enough – but if you can easily squish it, that is a sign of over-ripeness and won’t hold up well over the flames. Rub your thumb over the stem at the top of the fruit. If it’s easily flicked off, then it’s ripe and ready to eat. The Hass avocado, the most common type in supermarkets, is great on the grill – but so are the dozens of other varieties available that range in size and flavor profile. If your grocer or farmers market offers the Fuerte, Gwen, Bacon, Pinkerton, Reed, Choquette, or Zutano avocados, they’ll all work.
There are impressive health perks that can come with scooping up flame-licked avos more often. Avocado is a nutritional treasure trove full of heart-benefiting monounsaturated fat, dietary fiber, and a swath of essential micronutrients including folate, potassium, and the vitamins C, E, and K. Eating more avocado has been linked to reduce risk for diabetes, a big boost in brain function, and a host of other benefits.
How to Grill Your Avocado
Heat a gas grill to medium (400-450°F) or build a medium-hot fire on a charcoal grill.
Slice as many avocados as you want to grill in half lengthwise, remove the pits and brush flesh with oil and season with salt. At this point, you can also squirt on some lime or lemon juice.
Place avocado halves on the grill grate, cut side down, and cook until tender and a few dark char marks have appeared, about five minutes. Be careful not to char the entire surface of the flesh. If you do, you can simply scrape this away with a spoon.
Once grilled, you can mash the avocado into the best guacamole ever (this also makes a killer veggie burger topping), cube and add to salads or tuck into tacos, smash the flame-licked flesh onto toast, blend into a green goddess dressing, or follow the recipe below, where we stuff the halves with flavorful chickpea salad for a hearty plant-based meal.
Masala Chickpea Salad Stuffed Grilled Avocado
4 grilled avocado halves
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
2/3 cup plain yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Scoop out some of the flesh from the center of each grilled avocado half to create a bigger cavity for stuffing. Chop the removed flesh.
Place chickpeas, yogurt, garam masala, cayenne and salt in a food processor container and pulse until you have a chunky mixture. Stir in reserved avocado flesh, mango, almonds, green onion and cilantro.
To serve, scoop chickpea mixture into each avocado half.
Makes 4 Servings
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