Avocado Salad

4.92 from 35 votes
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This fresh avocado salad recipe makes a healthy side dish that pairs nicely with barbecued foods. Chopped fruits and vegetables are tossed in a tasty cilantro lime dressing. Everything comes together in just 30 minutes!

Bowl of avocado salad recipe.

Are you tired of drenching lettuce with dressing to get your daily quota of vegetables? Time to switch things up! This salad lets creamy chunks of avocado be the star of the dish. All of the components come together in a snap! Just chop the produce, whisk the vinaigrette, and have a fresh and flavorful side salad ready to eat.

The base flavors are inspired by those irresistible bowls of pico de gallo but amplified to salad form. The fruits and vegetables are cut into hearty pieces to catch the zesty cilantro lime dressing. I love how the natural creaminess of the avocado coats and adds extra richness to each bite.

Picking avocados

I like to use Hass avocados as they have a creamy flesh and light nutty flavor. They have dark, pebbly skin with a bright green interior. Other avocado varieties like Zutano or Fuerte work well. However, they may have slight texture differences due to their fat levels.

Make sure to pick ripe avocados, but firm enough that it has a slight give when squeezed. Also, if you remove the small stem, the area underneath should be green. If brown, then it’s too ripe. If the interior flesh is too soft, it won’t hold its shape when mixed. It’s okay for some breakdown on the surface to create a creamier salad, but we aren’t going for guacamole.

Avocado size for the salad

Person cutting open an avocado and spoon out the pieces.

Cut the avocados into big chunks, about ¾-inch in size. Because the flesh is exceptionally soft, it will start to break down even with gentle mixing. Therefore, make large pieces to still get a nice creamy bite. Wait to cut the fruit until just before serving.

The avocado flesh is prone to oxidation (oxygen exposure), so it will turn from green to brown if exposed for too long to air. If preparing ahead, use plastic wrap to prevent the avocados from turning brown. The natural acids and antioxidants in the citrus juices of the dressing prevent browning, but only temporarily.

Salad mix-ins

Diced avocado and sliced red onions and tomatoes in a bowl

I like adding various mix-ins that give contrasting textures to create a colorful and flavorful salad. I chop English cucumbers into bite-sized pieces to provide a nice crunch. Ripe cherry tomatoes add sweetness and some acidity to the salad.

Sliced radish and red onion give some peppery and spicy flavor. For a bit of heat, I add finely minced jalapeno peppers.

Tangy vinaigrette dressing

Whisking a bowl of avocado salad dressing.

An excellent sweet and tangy vinaigrette brings all of the salad components together. I felt lime juice naturally complements the creamy avocado for the dressing. This first step is to grab a medium bowl and whisk together the lime juice, zest, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, mustard, fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper.

This allows the seasonings to infuse, the sweeteners to dissolve, and emulsifying agents like mustard to be incorporated to help keep the dressing stable. Slowly drizzle in the avocado or olive oil, constantly whisking to break the fat into tiny droplets. This creates a thickened, emulsified dressing.

How to make avocado salad

Pouring cilantro lime salad dressing into a bowl of avocado, tomato, and cucumbers.

Add diced avocado, cucumber, tomato, onion, and chili peppers in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the ingredients and very gently stir to combine. You’ll notice that the avocado will make a light creamy coating over the components as it’s being mixed.

Do not over-mix, or the fruit will break down too much. I recommend serving the salad the same day for the best texture. Otherwise, if you have leftovers, serve them with some tortilla chips for a dip the next day. It’s delicious!

What to serve this with

Close up of a spoon mixing salad ingredients together.

Keeping diced avocados green

Use acidulated water to slow the browning by combining 4 cups of cold water with 1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice. The natural ascorbic acid in the citrus acts as an antioxidant, interacting with the oxygen instead of the enzymatic browning enzymes in the flesh. Keep the soaking process under 10 minutes max, or the exterior softens too much.

Avocado Salad

Fresh avocado salad recipe with cilantro lime dressing. A healthy side dish in just 30 minutes that pairs nicely with barbecued foods and other proteins.
4.92 from 35 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican


Avocado Salad

  • 3 cups diced avocado, ¾" dice (about 3 large avocados)
  • 2 cups English cucumber, quartered, ¼" thick slices
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup radish, halved, cut into ⅛" thick slices
  • ½ cup red onion, 1" long, ⅛" thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper, optional

Cilantro Lime Dressing (about 1 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup avocado oil, or olive oil


  • Prepare the Avocados – Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, and twist to separate the halves. Remove the pits, then cut them into about ¾-inch dice. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or foil if not used right away.
  • Combine the Mix-ins – To the bowl of avocados, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, red onion, and jalapeno pepper. Cover and set aside.
  • Make the Salad Dressing – In a medium bowl, whisk together lime zest, lime juice, honey, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Slowly drizzle in the avocado oil, consistently whisking until a thickened dressing is formed. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  • To Serve – Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and gently toss to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Recipe Video

YouTube video


  • Recipe Yield: 6 cups
  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing.
  • Storing: Place in an airtight container, refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 12 servings
Calories 198kcal (10%)Carbohydrates 11g (4%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 18g (28%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Sodium 111mg (5%)Potassium 393mg (11%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 5g (6%)Vitamin A 226IU (5%)Vitamin C 15mg (18%)Calcium 15mg (2%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating

16 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Susan Laitin says

    This salad is fantastic–I’ve made it twice in the past week. The minced jalapeno adds just enough heat. The lime dressing is my new favorite vinaigrette. Thanks for another great recipe!

  2. Belinda Donner says

    I am in love with this recipe. I was looking for a yummy light salad (because it is so hot out) to go with my BBQ’d salmon. It was delicious, a big hit with my guests. Thank you Jessica for another winner.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for making the recipe and sharing it on your blog! Pairing the avocado salad with salmon sounds perfect!

  3. Michael Kraemer says

    I am trying to push salads for lunch as an alternative to what I have been eating. As my wife will not touch cilantro, the dressing has lasted for days. To boost the protein I have added egg, and smoked turkey breast (packaged lunch meat, thinly sliced). Very tasty.

  4. Chefjeff says

    Excellent dressing! Nice and light pairing well as you said with bbq and also with Mexican / Southwest dishes. I sub Splenda in for honey at 1.5x

  5. Jennifer says

    This is a perfect side salad dish, fresh and bright flavors and would be perfect with so many meals. I served with sautéed shrimp in a lime sauce, the two dishes together were so tasty, served with flour tortillas and ended up with clean plates! I followed exactly with the exception of substituting celery for the radishes, which worked well to my taste. Thank you Jessica, this one’s a keeper!!🌟