5 Minute Avocado Salad – Oh Sweet Basil

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This avocado salad is bright and fresh and only takes 5 short minutes to make! Creamy avocados topped with a simple tangy dressing, toasted pine nuts and chunks of manchego cheese. It’s just a lovely salad!

Avocado is one of my love languages. They are pretty much the best little fruit ever. I mean, how many foods out there can you eat for any and every meal? They are healthy and satisfying. They are beautiful and so creamy. Throw them on some toast, mash them into guacamole, add them to a taco, wrap them with bacon, blend them into a dressing, or in this case, make them the base of a salad. Winning, winning, winning!

Ingredients for Avocado Salad

I love coming up with new salad recipes and this one is a little out of the box (i.e. I didn’t find another salad quite like it out there on the interwebs) but it seriously just works! All you need is a few avocados, a couple of simple ingredients for a zesty dressing and a few fun add-ins that just make dish come alive! Here is what you will need:

  • Avocados: you’ll want ripe hass avocados, see my section below on how to pick ripe avocados
  • Lime Juice: fresh is best, like by far the best
  • White Wine Vinegar: combined with the lime juice, this is just the acid you want to balance out of the creamy richness of the avos
  • Manchego Cheese: a semi-hard Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk that is buttery in texture and similar in flavor to pecorino romano
  • Pine Nuts: toasting the pine nuts gives them a little crunch and enhances their flavor
  • Salt: adds and enhances flavors
  • Cilantro: adds a fresh herby pop of flavor and is my favorite herb to pair with avocados

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Possible Substitutions:

Ok, I realize that some of these might not be common ingredients to have on hand, so here are some possible substitutes, but I highly recommend hitting the grocery store and trying the original recipe.

Avocados – no substitutes here because nothing can replace the heaven of an avocado

Lime Juice – you could try lemon juice, but lime and avocado just belong together

White Wine Vinegar – try red wine vinegar or rice vinegar (not seasoned)

Manchego – pecorino romano, asiago or monterey jack are ok substitutes

Pine Nuts – pistachios, toasted almonds or chopped cashews

a photo of a white serving bowl full of sliced avocados mixed with toasted pine nuts, manchego cheese and a simple vinaigrette dressing.

How to Pick a Ripe Avocado

There are few things better than a perfectly ripe avocado and there are few things worse than an over- or underripe avocado! To pick a ripe avocado, gently squeeze the avocado in the palm of your hand. If it indents slightly, but does not remain indented, it is ripe. If it remains indented or feels mushy, it is overripe. 

If it is as hard as a rock, then it is underripe. Underripe avocados will ripen over time so you can buy them but keep in mind that they will need a few days to ripen up.

Another fun trick is to remove the tiny stem. If it is green underneath, it is ripe. If it is brown, then it is overripe. You can also gently push on the stem, if it slightly pushes into the avocado, it is ripe. Now you are an avocado picking expert!

a photo of a white serving bowl full of bright green avocado salad topped with toasted pine nuts, manchego cheese and cilantro.

How to Slice an Avocado

I have a whole post on how to slice an avocado, so head there for all the details, but here is the quick version…

  1. Hold the avo in one hand and slice into it lengthwise with a knife until you hit the pit. Then continue to slice around the pit until you come back to your first incision point.
  2. Grab each side of the avo with each hand and twist it open.
  3. Hold the half with the pit in the palm of your hand with the pit facing up and firmly strike the pit with the blade of the knife so that the knife sticks into the pit (BE SO CAREFUL HERE!). Then twist the pit out.
  4. You can scoop the avocado out of the skin using a spoon and then slice or slice it in the skin and then scoop it out. Totally up to you!
a photo of an avocado salad topped with a shiny vinaigrette and mixed with pine nuts and manchego cheese.

What to Serve with Avocado Salad

This is a salad recipe that can go with just about anything. We had it the other night with grilled chicken. It would also go great with steaks, carnitas, meatloaf, or chicken milanese. Seriously, taken any main dish, and this avocado salad will be a great side dish.

How Long Will Avocado Salad Keep?

Probably the only complaint I have about avocados is that they start to brown so quickly. The lime juice in the dressing will help stave off the dreaded browning, but an avocado salad should be eaten within 3 or 4 hours. If you have leftovers, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two but know that the avocados won’t look as appetizing.

a photo of a bowl full of avocado salad containing toasted pine nuts and large shreds of manchego cheese.

You can give me an avocado in any way, shape or form, and I will be a very happy girl, but give me one sprinkled with a simple but bold dressing, mixed with some manchego and toasted pine nuts, and I’ll be ecstatic! All my avocado lovers, you must give this avocado salad a try!

More Avocado Recipes:

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


This avocado salad is bright and fresh and only takes 5 short minutes to make! Creamy avocados topped with a simple tangy dressing, toasted pine nuts and chunks of manchego cheese. It’s just a lovely salad!

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat and set aside.

    2-3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

  • Whisk juice from lime and vinegar. Sprinkle over avocados.

    1/2 Lime, 1-2 teaspoons White Wine Vinegar, 3 Avocados

  • Add the cheese and pine nuts with a pinch of salt and gently fold everything together. Add the cilantro as a garnish.

    1/4 Cup Manchego Cheese, Salt, Cilantro

Calories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 54mgPotassium: 770mgFiber: 11gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 265IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 1mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 100 + Salad Recipes to Obsess Over

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