Image Dot Image Dot

How to Ripen Avocados

Have you ever picked your avocados for the week and are ready to make your favorite guacamole, only to find they’re not ripe yet? Don’t despair! We know how to ripen avocados. With a bit of know-how and a few days, you can transform your avocados in time for your Big Game party, taco night, or a good ’ole bowl of guacamole.

The good news is you don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment to ripen avocados — all three of these techniques use pantry staples or sunlight. Here are a few tips to speed up the ripening process, resulting in that soft, buttery flesh and delicious, nutty flavor we all love.

1: How to Ripen Avocados Using a Banana & Paper Bag:

Place your avocado in a brown paper bag, along with a banana. This trick may seem bananas, but it works! If you don’t have a banana, you can still place the avocado in a bag to trap its own ethylene gas, which will speed up the ripening process.

How do bananas help speed up avocado ripening?

Ripe bananas contain a natural plant hormone called ethylene, which triggers ripening in fruit. The paper bag traps the ethylene gas produced by the banana and speeds up the avocado’s ripening process. Depending on the avocado’s maturity, ripeness may be achieved overnight, so it’s important to check daily.

2: How to Ripen Avocados Using Rice:

Place your avocado in a bowl of raw rice and submerge it completely so it’s covered on all sides. Uncooked rice does an excellent job of trapping the ethylene gas produced by the avocado. Typically, this method will take a few days to reach ripeness perfection — be sure to check it daily.

3: How to Ripen Avocados Using Sunlight:

The easiest way to ripen an avocado is by placing it in a bright, sunny spot. Warmer temperatures ripen fruits faster, so move those unripe avocados to a windowsill or another sunny area of your home. How quickly your avocado ripens depends on its maturity, so check on it regularly to avoid overripening.

How to Soften Avocados:

If you’ve already cut open an unripe avocado, don’t throw it out! There are a couple of ways to soften the avocado so you can use it for guacamole or spreads. Technically, these techniques do not actually “ripen” the avocado, so the flavor may not be as creamy or buttery as a ripe avocado.

  • Oven: Wrap your avocado in aluminum foil and place it in an oven preheated to 200°F. Carefully check the avocado’s tenderness every 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the avocado, as it can dry and harden.
  • Microwave: Wrap each half of your avocado in plastic wrap. Microwave them in 30-second increments until they are soft enough to mash into guacamole.

Once your avocado has reached the desired softness, quickly submerge it in cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent potential hardening.

Related: Is your avocado ready for action? Check out our tips for safely slicing and dicing an avocado.

How to Choose Ripe Avocados:

What do you do if you just can’t wait a few days for your avocados to ripen? Maybe you’re hosting a last-minute dinner, or your guac craving came out of nowhere — hey, we know the feeling! Here are a few tips to ensure you get ripe avocados next time you’re at the grocery store.

Pro tip: Use your senses!

  • Color: Ripe avocados have dark purplish green to nearly black skin, while unripe avocados have a lighter green exterior. As the fruit ripens, the skin changes from green to purple to black, indicating its readiness.
  • Texture: The outside of a ripe avocado is much more textured and bumpier, whereas unripe avocados have smoother skin.
  • Firmness: As you’re assessing the avocados, don’t be afraid to pick them up and give them a gentle squeeze. Ripe avocados will yield to slight pressure, but be mindful of any dents or overly mushy texture as those avocados may already be past their prime. Firm avocados are perfect if you are planning on eating them in a couple of days.

Help! How do I make my ripe avocado last longer?

If the avocado you purchased is already ripe and you aren’t making guac for another couple of days, you can preserve your ripe avocado by putting it in the fridge. The low temperature slows the ripening process and can keep your avocado at peak ripe-ness for up to five days.

Now that you know how to ripen avocados, not one, but three ways, there’s no excuse not to make a delicious avocado meal from our recipe vault.


How do I know if an avocado is ripe?

Ripe avocados are dark purplish green in color, have a bumpy exterior, and yield to gentle pressure

Can I eat unripe avocados?

Technically, you can eat an unripe avocado. However, it will likely not have the soft, buttery flavor avocados are known for. Also, unripe avocados may not mash or slice very well and are not suited for guacamole and other dishes.

How can I ripen avocados?

There are a couple of ways to ripen avocados, but the most effective technique is to place the avocado in a paper bag with a banana. The extra ethylene gas produced by the banana and speeds up the avocado’s ripening process.

How do I prevent avocados from overripening?

Preserve your avocado at its peak ripeness by placing it in the fridge! Refrigerated avocados can maintain ripeness for up to five days. © 2024 All rights reserved.

Share On Twitter Twitter
Share On Facebook Facebook
Share On Pinterest Google+
Send Email Google+
Share On Share
Twitter Facebook Google+ Google+ Share