Plus, an arugula walnut pesto kicks the flavor of this produce-packed recipe up a notch.

By By Nicole Crane
January 17, 2018
Photo: Nicole Crane

Avocado is pretty versatile-after all, you can have it on your avocado toast for weekend brunch and in your healthy avocado desserts (evidence: these decadent chocolate truffles). But the latest avocado trend that you need to hear about? Avocado salad cups. It's a fun way to reinvent a plain old salad into something more exciting, yet just as good for you-or better.

These Mexican-style avocado cups with an arugula walnut pesto also happen to work double duty as a great healthy appetizer (and crowd-pleaser) for the next big game or party you have on the books. And if you're looking for more creative avocado inspiration, check out these eight new ways to eat avocado.

Mexican Avocado Cups

Makes 8 halves


  • 4 packed cups arugula
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large avocados (not overripe)


  1. To make the arugula pesto: Combine arugula, lime juice, walnut pieces, water, olive oil, salt, and ground pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Finely dice red onion and bell peppers. Place in a bowl. Quarter cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl. Add black beans.
  3. Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove pits. Using a butter knife, cut and remove center of the avocados, leaving avocado flesh closest to the skins intact. Finely dice and add avocado pieces to the produce bowl.
  4. Add pesto to the produce bowl. Toss together until pesto is evenly incorporated.
  5. Carefully spoon veggie/fruit mixture into avocado halves.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips, rice chips, crackers, etc., and eat avocado cups with spoons. If you have any remaining veggie mixture, serve it in a small bowl for extra dipping with your chips/crackers.

Nutrition facts per 1 avocado half: 275 calories, 22.5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 17g carbs, 9g fiber, 2g sugar, 6g protein