I Learned the Hard Way That You Can't Actually Freeze Avocados

If you've ever wondered, "Can you freeze avocados?" please read this cautionary tale.

May  4, 2021
Photo by Studio52

An excess of avocados can be a very good thing—after all, who doesn't want a bigger batch of guacamole or creamy green slices on their sandwich or burger? But when you have more of these creamy green gems than you can reasonably consume before they inevitably over-ripen and turn brown, you may find yourself asking a question so many have asked before: Can you freeze avocado? And not only can you, but should you?

That's the question my Food52 colleagues asked when they saw me mummifying avocado halves in plastic wrap to prepare them for life eternal in the freezer.

"Because I can!" I shot back.

Can You Freeze Avocado?

The short answer is no, you can't freeze avocado. The notion that you might freeze a perfectly ripe avocado, preserving it in a state of suspended animation until the day you're ready to bring it back to life and smash it onto toast, is nothing more than a fantastical daydream. To put it less dramatically, "the concept of them waiting in the freezer for me completely ripe is appealing," wrote caninechef on the Food52 Hotline.

Perfectly ripe avocados ready to be frozen in time.

Many readers responded with enthusiasm and encouragement, attesting that they do it all the time, and with great success! It was described as a small miracle. And The Huffington Post corroborates. Their 2012 article on the tip was called "Freezing Avocados: You Should Definitely Do This." I'm afraid that after my (very brief) testing, I have a rebuttal: "Freezing Avocados: I Couldn't Recommend, in Good Conscience, That Anyone Do This."

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“The reason you failed and others haven't is because of the time it takes for your particular freezer to freeze food. All freezing isn't the same. If a food's temperature is lowered slowly so that eventually it becomes frozen, this creates larger ice crystals and those particles distort the texture of your food. It's more noticeable in something soft like an avocado. If the food is flash frozen (frozen very quickly like the people in that movie Day After Tomorrow), the ice crystals are small enough to not distort the texture of the food. That's why commercially frozen food is always better than the stuff you freeze in your refrigerator's freezer. If you have a deep freezer, try putting them in the bottom of that. If your freezer has a power freeze option, try using that to speed up the time it takes to freeze the avocados. I haven't tried freezing them myself, but I know a little about commercially frozen food.”
— Monica Y.

Here's how I did it: I wrapped avocado halves tightly with plastic wrap and tucked them into a sealed plastic bag. I mashed a few others and scooped the chunky pulp into another bag. I froze everything overnight, then thawed it slowly in the refrigerator.

This was the result:

No one said thawed frozen avocado halves were going to be pretty (and they're not).
I'm so sorry.

I admit that I neglected to counter the discoloration from oxidation with lemon or lime juice (though to be fair, in past avocado experiments, I haven't found citrus juice to be much more effective than doing nothing, anyway). But it was the thawed avocados' texture, not their unappetizing superficial hue that was the real issue: Simultaneously mushy, slimy, and spongy. I would not eat them scooped or mashed. Blended might be fine, but they certainly didn't taste fresh.

Some swear by vacuum-sealing before sealing to ensure the avocados' flesh is protected, but after seeing what happens to the interiors of frozen avocados (not just their exteriors), I'm not confident that's the solution. Due to avocados' high water content, freezing them causes ice crystals to form, and when those crystals melt, that signature creamy texture all but disappears—never to return.

Let's get a closer look, shall we?

I'm not alone in my failure. Yes, you'll find reports of triumphant freezing, but very few pictures of the fruit post-thaw. A coincidence? I think not. But Serious Eats called Trader Joe's frozen avocado halves a fail, citing a writer who deemed the guacamole he made with them "a pasty, gritty, flavorless, and textureless blob of shame."

So yes, you can technically "save" an avocado in the freezer for later, but I'd argue that you're condemning it to certain doom. If you've had success freezing avocados, tell me: Where did I go wrong? Had I given the avocado sufficient lemon juice, might the results have been different? How could this have solved the texture dilemma? Have you used a vacuum-sealer to great effect?

UPDATE: The comments are filled with avocado-freezing success stories, so if you're not already too skeptical to give this hack a try, head there for our community's best tips and techniques for freezing avocados.

9 Recipes to Use Up "Too Many" Avocados

1. Avocado Tartines With Banana & Lime From Apollonia Poilâne

Trust us, this avocado toast isn't like the others you've experienced before. Hear us out: it's got bananas, honey, lime, red pepper flakes, and zero salt—plus, it's 100 percent Genius.

2. Carrot Avocado Salad

This salad might seem simple at first, but its tangy-sweet dressing and combination of textures make it a delicious dish to pair alongside simple proteins like grilled chicken and fish.

3. Fried Avocado Tacos with Sesame & Lime

Take your tacos to the next level with fried avocado—a.k.a., the creamy-on-the-inside, crispy-crunchy-on-the-outside taco filling you didn't know you needed (until now). Nutty sesame and tart lime balance the flavors for a vegetarian dish that doesn't miss the meat.

4. Avocado Crab Rolls

Move over, lobster rolls. These savory, flavorful avocado crab rolls were crowned champion of our contest for "Your Best Avocado Recipe," and boast everything you could possibly want in a summer sandwich (including buttered buns).

5. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Avocado and chocolate—together? Yep, that's right. For the silkiest, smoothest chocolate mousse, bring a ripe avocado into the mix. The cocoa powder overtakes the avocado flavor, and the avocado's creamy texture contributes everything that dairy ingredients would (without the actual dairy).

6. Roberto Santibañez's Classic Guacamole

Any list of our best avocado recipes would be incomplete without a recipe for guacamole—and this Genius-approved recipe, which calls for just six ingredients (and no tomato), is one of our all-time favorites. You'll need some homemade tortilla chips, and we can help with that.

7. Avocado Cornbread

This is not your average cornbread—there's way more personality in this pan to love. The avocados retain their shape and creaminess during baking, and serve as the perfect contrast to the warming cumin and coarseness of the cornbread itself.

8. Deviled Avocados

Fans of deviled eggs and avocados will rejoice in this creamy, savory, vegan hybrid that packs the best parts of each one into an Instagram-worthy snack or light meal. Sub out the egg yolk for silky turmeric-hued hummus for a visual effect that can't be beat.

9. Avocado Toast Salad

Avocado toast meets panzanella in this refreshing salad mashup we'll be making all spring and summer long. Serve on its own for a light lunch, or as a first course to a delightful dinner al fresco.

What's your best avocado-freezing advice? Let us know in the comments below!

This article was updated by the Food52 editors in May 2021.

Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Alexandra Abelha
    Alexandra Abelha
  • JJ Woolman
    JJ Woolman
  • Food52Mel
  • Cindy
  • Allie.cat
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Alexandra A. March 20, 2024
Hello you all
I live in Portugal and i buy deepfreeze avocado all the time at my local grocer when can't find fresh. At home deepfreeze Fast😘
JJ W. September 5, 2022
I’m another successful avocado freezer, and I’m extremely kitchen challenged. My freezer is usually around 5 degrees Fahrenheit when working right.

I just mash the avocados with some lemon juice and then put about half a Haas avocado’s worth in a zip snack or sandwich bag and flatten them out to the edges of the bag (can help get rid of air if you wait until done to completely seal the zip). Then seal the bag and freeze flat horizontally. Once frozen you can also stack them vertically. Thawing a package doesn’t take long while preparing the rest of your meal, just set on the counter for a short time. If impatient, I have just broken off still-frozen chunks to eat or to put directly on crackers.

When I can’t pick out my own avocados and don’t trust other shoppers, a satisfactory substitute is to get frozen diced avocados. For example, Kroger’s have them in 1 lb bags. They have lemon juice and some other ingredients added to them. I do weigh them out in eight 2-ounce zip snack bags and after filling the bags and sealing them, I spread them out in one layer inside the bag with my fingers as I do when freezing fresh blueberries, cherries, sliced strawberries or bananas, etc. Try to freeze them horizontally at least initially so they stay spread out, in case they have thawed a little while transporting and processing them. This prevents them freezing together in one big clump. They don’t thaw as quickly as my thin layers of mash, but they get to the edible stage and even can be sliced in half soon enough for me just on the counter while I’m getting other food together or fighting off the cats. I either eat them by themselves or pile them on crackers or chips. If you like them on salads, it would be easy to just add them as-is, just give them enough time to thaw a bit before diving into the greens.

I ran into a hidden stack of my mashed avocado in zip sandwich bags (which make a very thin layer) that might have been in the freezer for a year or so (had missed my yearly opportunity for defrosting the upright freezer). They were still fine to eat. They may have been a little darker in a few spots than usual when you eat them up in a sensible time frame, but I’m not that fussy.

A more expensive alternative is to get those 2-ounce sealed little cups of mashed avocado, plain or with the Everything seasoning added. Kroger has those from Simple Truth; there are other brands. The little cups can be successfully frozen, I just opened up one frozen a few months ago and was able to start scraping off avocado with a cracker pretty quickly. Usually I just take a frozen little cup and set it in the refrigerator overnight, that works also.

Don’t know why you had such trouble with yours, maybe you didn’t add enough lemon juice? Or your freezer is set too high? Or you left it out on a counter to thaw too long? It should have worked just tossed into a bag like that, others have certainly frozen several avocados mashed together on a single much bigger bag before, but you need to thaw them in the refrigerator for that (unlike my avocado sheets). Never tried freezing halves or while, but definitely others have done it. The instructions I followed for mashed avocado was to just add lemon juice and not something like tomatoes, which would make them too watery. So if you want to make guacamole, wait until they are thawed to add the other ingredients.
Food52Mel September 1, 2022
I have success for smoothies.

I just don't do it often because it's extremely hard to hit the right day for cutting and preserving them in bulk and I hate throwing them out when they brown, even while I think I'm being vigilant.

Step 1. Put avocado pulp into something that's going to make step 2 easiest.

Step 2. With a potato masher, mash all those pieces up into a semi-smooth, but still slightly lump consistency. This is my preference because it's easy not because it can't be blended or something.

Step 3. Take some lemon juice and shake it a few times over the avocado mash and stir it in.

Step 4. Get some ice cube trays and fill them with the avocado mush and freeze them.

Step 5. Once frozen, put in a gallon sized baggie for use in smoothies.

I usually take all my frozen stuff outta the freezer for smoothies and let it thaw some in the mason jar I am gonna blend it in.
Cindy May 6, 2022
I still freeze them , and make a green salsa or put in a protein smoothie
Allie.cat April 16, 2022
Try it without cutting them in half first and then defrost them after freezing :) the oxidation going to ruin the avocado no matter how you try to seal it
Chris H. February 17, 2022
I make what is called Taco Shop Guacamole and freeze it in a silicon ice cube tray. Freezes and thaws out perfectly. I've been doing this for years with great success. The beauty of the cubes is you can easily pull out just a handful for Taco Night and leave the remainder for another meals
Gurleygirl December 2, 2021
Even though I froze them ripe, thawed them in the refrigerator and they looked good; the flavor was different!
MaryMary October 1, 2021
Can avocados be used frozen sliced or chunked for smoothies?
cookinalong August 8, 2021
In literally seconds of googling, I found this https://californiaavocado.com/how-to/how-to-freeze-california-avocados/. In less time than it took the writer to pen this inaccurate post, not to mention the wasted avocados, she could have done a bit of research. I'll save you a bit of time following the URL. According to the California Avocado Commission, you most definitely CAN freeze avocados. The website gives clear, complete info about how to do so. I expect better from the NYT. Food52 isn't some one person amateur blog.
erunuevo May 8, 2021
I'm gonna stop you right there..... frozen avocado has saved me MANY times! When all I can find are hard avocados and I need them asap ( I like them as a spread/dip so....mushy) I freeze them whole. When they thaw the cell walls will have been pierced by ice crystals and they will be soft. Is it perfectly green? Maybe not. I don't really notice. It tastes good.
Michelle A. May 5, 2021
I freeze avocados all the time - I do cut them into chunks and add lime juice. They’re ok on toast or for guac, but in all honesty if I have a good fresh one, that’s my preference. I mostly use my frozen avos for my morning green smoothie though, it’s absolutely perfect for that.
Angela H. May 28, 2020
I just finished a previously frozen avocado on a bagel and it was perfect!

I think it depends on the state your avocado was in when you freeze it, as I've seen too many rotten avocados when i cut them fresh. Obviously those ones, would freeze as rotten.

If you happen on a good bunch, then i recommend freezing a few whole. Let it defrost for an hr before consuming and it'll be perfect!
Corbbin G. September 13, 2020
You're just teasing us here at this point. What is your secret? How ripe must an avocado be? What other ingredients did you add?
Cinnamin February 11, 2020
Thanks for doing the work for us! Now I won't even bother trying
Jana E. February 4, 2020
I don't know that I'd freeze an avocado and try to use it in something like guac or on toast, but I freeze mine for sauces and they blend in great - same creamy effect.
Naschol June 10, 2019
I just toss them in my freezer whole and they thaw beautifully for guac. I have done this in both my regular and my frost-free freezer and they both work.
Jin J. April 3, 2019
I have tried freezing the avocado in a laboratory freezer at-25 degree Celsius. And it can out just as it went in. Thawing took over 1 hours in 74 degree Fahrenheit and the tasted did not change at all. In fact, I did not used any lemon juice or citric acid.
I think you can do the same with dry ice at home. Or if you have access to liquid nitrogen perhaps that will be better.
Lauren N. May 10, 2019
Yes, I think this is the way to do it as well. I'm going to attempt putting mine in the -80 and see how that goes.
Monica Y. March 26, 2019
The reason you failed and others haven't is because of the time it takes for your particular freezer to freeze food. All freezing isn't the same. If a food's temperature is lowered slowly so that eventually it becomes frozen, this creates larger ice crystals and those particles distort the texture of your food. It's more noticeable in something soft like an avocado. If the food is flash frozen (frozen very quickly like the people in that movie Day After Tomorrow), the ice crystals are small enough to not distort the texture of the food. That's why commercially frozen food is always better than the stuff you freeze in your refrigerator's freezer. If you have a deep freezer, try putting them in the bottom of that. If your freezer has a power freeze option, try using that to speed up the time it takes to freeze the avocados. I haven't tried freezing them myself, but I know a little about commercially frozen food.
Zach B. January 31, 2019
As a poor person who finds avocados an absolute luxury, you are one picky beyotch.
Monica Y. March 26, 2019
If you have an Aldi near you, try to find them there. I've seen them for 49 cents.
Lura July 18, 2018
Did anyone experience bowel problems after eating a thawed avocado in a smoothie?
Taylor M. July 17, 2018
You went wrong with a couple different things; not using lemon juice, not taking out the seed and not peeling the avocado. I'm not sure why but in my experience the avocado peel and seed just make for a disaster is the freezer. Peel and seed the avocado and then brush with a little lemon juice, make sure there is ZERO air in the bag when freezing (I crumple up some plastic wrap and put it in the divets where the seed was and it works great) and you'll do great! I use frozen avocados in guacamole and other recipes, I do not like avocado plain so I have never tried a frozen avocado plain before, so I can not tell you how it tastes but in the recipes I taste little to no difference. Hope this helps!
Smaug February 4, 2020
The pit may act as a heat sink and slow the freezing of the fruit considerably, particularly near the pit (see Monica Y's comments above). At $2 a pop, I don't have avocados to experiment with.