Avocado Boats (2 Ways)

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Plates of delicious Avocado Boats for a simple vegan dinner

Any time you can turn your fruit into a vehicle for delicious toppings and call it a “boat,” mealtime instantly becomes 50% more fun.

It’s science.

Perfect avocados for making Avocado Boats

After making these gorgeous papaya boats, I couldn’t let the fun stop there.

I’ve been an avocado fiend lately – as in I eat half of one almost every day! So I couldn’t resist the urge to turn them into a complete meal. I’m absolutely smitten with this buttery green fruit (yes fruit!). Avocados are beautiful, nutrient-rich, loaded with healthy fats, and wonderfully versatile.

Let’s not only make them into guacamole or smash them on toast, friends! Let’s dream bigger.
Bowl of chickpeas with spicesCooking Easy Spiced Chickpeas in a cast-iron skillet for adding to avocado boats

This recipe has two options! The first is inspired by both Indian and Mediterranean cuisines with crispy, masala-spiced chickpeas and a maple-lemon tahini sauce.

The second is influenced by Mexican cuisine with spicy black beans, taco-inspired toppings, and salsa or hot sauce. Serve this version with tortilla chips for a hearty meal or side dish.

Plates of our Mediterranean- and Mexican-inspired avocado boat recipes

I think you guys are going to LOVE these boats, no matter which style you choose. They’re:

Quick (30 minutes)
Easy
Flavorful
Relatively heat-free (and summer-friendly!)
Filling
Nutrient-rich
Plant-based
& Absolutely delicious

If you give this recipe a try, let us know what you think! Leave a comment and rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We love seeing what you come up with. Cheers!

Plate of our Mexican-inspired avocado boats for a simple gluten-free plant-based meal

Avocado Boats (2 Ways)

Easy Avocado Boats 2 ways! Fill with seasoned black beans and taco-inspired toppings, or crispy chickpeas and tahini sauce! A simple, flavorful plant-based meal.
Author Minimalist Baker
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Plate of our Mediterranean-inspired Avocado Boats for a healthy vegan dinner recipe
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 (as a side, half as an entrée)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, Mexican, Vegan

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe avocados (halved // pits removed)

CHICKPEA TOPPING

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (rinsed, drained and patted dry)
  • 3 Tbsp tandoori masala spice blend*
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 batch tahini sauce (or green chutney)
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 6 baby tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 medium red onion (diced)

OR

    BLACK BEAN TOPPING

    • 1 15-ounce can black beans (slightly drained // if unsalted, add 1/4 tsp sea salt per 1 can)
    • 1/2 tsp each cumin, garlic powder and chili powder
    • Lime juice
    • Fresh cilantro (chopped)
    • 1/4 medium red onion (chopped)
    • 3-4 Tbsp salsa (or sub hot sauce)
    • Tortilla chips (optional)

    Instructions

    • FOR CHICKPEAS: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. While it heats, add drained/dried chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with sea salt and masala spice blend.
    • Once skillet is hot, add oil and chickpeas to pan and sauté, stirring frequently, until slightly crispy and browned - about 8-10 minutes. If browning too quickly, turn down heat.
    • Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside to cool. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt or masala spice as desired.
    • Prepare desired sauce at this time (see recipes / instructions by following the links above).
    • To serve, halve avocados and remove pits. You can either scoop out the avocado or leave it in the skin (removing it from the skin is a little more messy, but it does make it easier to eat).
    • Top avocados with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, chickpeas, parsley, tomatoes, onion and desired sauce. Serve immediately - best when fresh.
    • FOR BLACK BEANS: Add slightly drained black beans to a small saucepan and season with cumin, garlic powder and chili powder. If unsalted, add 1/4 tsp sea salt (amount as original recipe is written // if altering batch size, use 1/4 tsp per can of beans). Stir to combine.
    • Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until bubbly and warm.
    • While beans are cooking, prepare any desired toppings.
    • To serve, halve avocados and remove pits. You can either scoop out the avocado or leave it in the skin (removing it from the skin is a little more messy, but it does make it easier to eat).
    • Top avocados with a generous squeeze of lime juice, black beans, cilantro, onion, and desired sauce (I went with salsa and hot sauce). Serve immediately as is or with tortilla chips - best when fresh.
    • NOTE: Both styles of avocado boats are delicious on their own, but they would also go well atop a green salad.

    Notes

    *I bought my Tandoori Masala blend at Whole Foods and it was spot on and delicious! If you can't find it, make this DIY Tandoori Masala Blend: 3 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 2 Tbsp paprika, 3 tsp ginger, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cardamom. Multiply as needed.
    *Chickpea method and tahini sauce adapted from my Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl.
    *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with beans and vegetables and without any sauce.

    Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

    Serving: 1 (side servings) Calories: 267 Carbohydrates: 21.1 g Protein: 5 g Fat: 20 g Saturated Fat: 4.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 485 mg Fiber: 10.4 g Sugar: 3.4 g

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    1. Yolande Willink says

      HI is there any way I can archive the recipies I like and wanna make, on this site? Would be a great option. Best Yolande

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Yolande, pinning photos on our site with pinterest is a good option for that! Hope that helps!

    2. Sumitra Nanjundan says

      I don’t even know how many times I’ve made this! Love it!
      Sorry for not rating/reviewing sooner! Love it and have been preparing chickpeas in the same way for so many other dishes (or just eating them like that! YUM!)

    3. Flit says

      I love avocado boats and these look like a couple of yummy options! I usually grill the avocado halves cut side down with lemon and salt, then stuff them. Then I put them back on the grill to warm the other ingredients. So delicious!

    4. Alejandra Burdiles says

      Well definitely skin must be removed if not is not well presented and for that purpose avocados must be just Ripe not too much and once you scoop out do a little cut to make it flat. Sprinkle lime juice to avoid darkness as well, you called them boats but the common name either in Peru or Chile is stuffed avocado or to say it right “Palta rellena” ( we called PALTA to the avocado in Peru and Chile only) is an staple in our gastronomy in Peru and could be stuffed either with tuna salad, chicken salad or cooked mixed veggies with mayo. As a chef
      I use avocado a lot and it’s the best fruit you can ever enjoy. Thanks for your recipe because I love chickpeas or tomatoes as well
      Alejandra Burdiles
      Chef and Restaurateur

    5. Berlyn Dinosaur says

      I had a mashed up avocado with no idea what to do with it, when I suddenly remembered how I’ve been wanting to try this recipe. I went the black bean route and added green and red peppers for more of a avocado scramble and it was delicious! Thanks for the simple yet always tasty recipes!

    6. Kathy says

      I think I’ll try the Mexican inspired recipe…only with chickpeas toasted with the Mexican spices instead of black beans. Yum!

    7. Sarah says

      OMG!!! I have to make these, especially the black bean ones! My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures. Time to go to the store to get some avocados!

    8. William says

      Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland! We’ve prepared your Mediterranean Sweet Potato recipe twice in that last two weeks. Love it! Bravo!

    9. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says

      I still haven’t tried avocado boats yet, but oh man, these look SO tasty!! Need to action this over the weekend!

    10. Sarah @ Sarah Cooks the Books says

      LOVE avocados (I’ve got a avocado recipe on my own blog today!)

      I tried to roast chickpeas once, and they just turned into gross little singed nuggets, so maybe I’ll give them another shot for these.

    11. Kristina says

      This looks like a fun avocado party :) I absolutely love avocados and the idea of avo boats is fantastic–these look delicious!!

    12. Dawn @ Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness says

      You’re so right. Boats definitely do = more fun! I’m so inspired now! What else can I turn into a boat? Cantaloupe? Cucumber? Zucchini? The options are endless! Love how super simple these are. I might try a za’atar version too!

    13. Michele @ Two Raspberries says

      O-M-G I’ll eat avocado anythinggg! these look SO amazing definitely going to try these black bean ones soon! ;-)

    14. Susan Pantle says

      I went right out and bought some avacados!! This looks so good!! Going for the black bean recipe!!

    15. Jillian at Yoga Pants Kitchen says

      So simple yet so fancy!! I don’t usually eat chickpeas but I may start with this recipe! :)

      Jillian

    16. Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness says

      Woah! These are beautiful and totally my new favorite way to make avocados.. I love it when you do two in one recipes because then that means both we too good to just choose one! Love! Pinned!

    17. Gluten Free Babe says

      I love this recipe. I’m actually hungry and I have avocados and a can of chickpeas and tikka masala spice blend. I’m going to make them now and post a photo for you! I don’t have tomatoes – but I do have cilantro and hot sauce :) I love this idea. It’s awesome!!!! Photos are amazing – as always :)

    18. Cristina @ I Say Nomato says

      Sooo I’m going to have to try both! I’m also on an avocado kick lately, I somehow manage to put them into everything (even chocolate stuff!)

    19. Cady | Wild Heart of Life says

      I always scoop a dollop of smashed ago and another of hummus on my salads to make them creamy and wonderful. This spice blend is upping the game! I’ll be sure to give this a try.

    20. Kathryn says

      Lady, these are gorgeous! My guy is wild about avocados–he eats at least one a day. These little boats look just perfect for us! Can’t wait to set sail. ;)

    21. Sydney | Modern Granola says

      Both versions sound so good, I have a hard time choosing which one I’ll try first! I’ve never actually eaten an avocado boat before, so I have a fun project now:) Thanks for the cool and refreshing recipes!
      xx Sydney

    22. Lane | Modern Granola says

      You are so right about boats! I totally flipped over your papaya boats, and this is really no different. What a fun, gorgeous, easy summer eatable! I’ve been eating so many avocados (probably because of their media hype, but I’ve also always loved them, especially in the summer), so this recipe sounds so good to me. Beautiful pics!
      xx Lane

    23. Ana | Espresso My Kitchen says

      This looks fantastic Dana! Love the combo of flavors you used in this. Can’t wait to try them out :)

    24. Sarah | Well and Full says

      From one avocado fiend to another, these avo boats look fantastic, Dana! The timing of this post is funny to me because just last night my boyfriend and I were eating plain avocados with a spoon, and commenting about how weird we are in general for doing so. However, after seeing this recipe, we will definitely be upping our avo game next time ;)

    25. Tom ~ RYG says

      Can I get a toot toot? I love these boats and my doctor is going to love these boats for me. Cholesterol STILL too high. But I know that avocados are super good for high cholesterol. My wife doesn’t want me to go on any drugs from the dr. Ok, I think she’s probably right. And I can’t be the only guy out there who eats dinner and feels like I’m starving 20 minutes later. Like how this is filling……honk, I see another boat going by.