From salads to spreads to pasta sauces, our best avocado recipes will help you find creative new ways to cook with this amazing ingredient.

Avocado and tomato salad, shrimp and avocado salad, guacamole, and avocado egg toast.

Native to Central and South America, avocados are a delicious fruit with a buttery flavor and creamy texture.

They make a wonderful addition to all types of dishes and we’ve shared a few of our best recipes here along with some tips on choosing, ripening, and storing avocados.

How to pick an avocado

Select a plump avocado with the button of the stem still in place. Ripe avocados will yield to slight pressure. Avoid fruit with blemishes and dark spots.

There are hundreds of varieties of avocados, but the California-grown Hass (pictured above) is the most popular and widely available. Its peak season runs spring through fall and they have a distinctive, pebbly skin that turns from green to greenish-black when ripe.

The Fuerte, also grown in California, is another common variety. Harvested from late fall to spring it has a smoother skin that darkens slightly but remains green when ripe.

How to ripen an avocado

Unripe (firm and green) avocados can take 4 to 5 days to fully ripen at room temperature. To speed this process, place avocados in a brown paper bag along with a banana or apple. The ethylene gases produced by these fruits should shorten the avocado’s ripening time to 2 to 3 days.

How to store avocados

Uncut, ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Cut fruit should be drizzled with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container. Use within a day or two.

Ripe avocados can also be mashed or puréed with a little lemon juice and frozen for up to 3 months.

Best Avocado Recipes