Traditional recipes

Avocado Salsa with Pan-Roasted Cumin

Avocado Salsa with Pan-Roasted Cumin

Avocado Salsa with Pan-Roasted Cumin

This salsa is a fusion between Mexican and Indian flavors — a merging that’s exotic but works marvelously. Pan-roasting the spices before making the salsa makes this simple dish truly spectacular.


Note: The salsa can be made up to 30 minutes ahead.


For the pan-roasted spices

  • 1 Teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coriander seeds

For the salsa

  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 ripe avocados


Calories Per Serving196

Folate equivalent (total)83µg21%

Creamy Avocado Salsa

Creamy Avocado Salsa. Or maybe I should call this sauce. A green sauce. Or avocado sauce? I’m not sure what exactly to call it. But whatever you want to call it, just know that it is pure magic.

This is the perfect creamy green sauce to drizzle on tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, anything you want. It’s also an amazing salad dressing. If you’re like me you may feel conflicted about salad dressing on a taco salad. is the solution to that dilemma!

Plus, to my children’s dismay and my amazement, it’s wonderful smothered all over zoodles (spiralized zucchini) So many uses. So much amazing flavor. Best part? It can be made in about 5 minutes.


For the salsa, in a mixing bowl, gently stir together avocado and salsa until well blended.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the burgers, combine black beans, bulgur, sour cream, scallion.

Add the parsley, cumin, hot pepper sauce, salt, and black pepper in the bowl of the food processor.

Process until mixture is chopped but not pureed.

Divide and form mixture into 4 burgers.

Wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Fry burgers in hot oil for about 5 minutes on each side or until brown and crisp.

Place slices of cheese on burgers during the last minute of cooking time.

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I'm making this tonight. It will be about the fourth time. Its so simple, each time I make it I have to look it up because I can't believe it is so simple. Its a great week night meal. Its sum is more than its parts.

This is a staple dinner recipe. The salsa is what makes the dish. It gets my raves for being so simple yet delicious. The chicken by itself is only so-so, but with the avocado salsa to punch it up, is quite nice. Do try this one! And if you can't grill, just pan-fry or bake the chicken.

My husband loves this meal. I add an equal amount of chili powder to the cumin and rub that on the chicken to give it that extra kick. I serve with sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and red onion which are tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and roasted in the oven. End the meal with a very cold caesar salad. Yum!

This was so easy and so tasty. I used avocados fresh off the tree for the salsa and served with Cuban style black beans. Can't wait to make more.

Very tasty! And easy to prepare-will be a regular for our dinner table. I made the chicken in the skillet as the BBQ is buried under mounds of snow! Avocado salsa is excellent. Be sure to be liberal with salt and pepper when seasoning chicken before cooking.

I thought the chicken needed something more (or less). But I loved the salsa and have made it several times.

Delicious and moist chicken! This was a very easy recipie for a weekday dinner. I also added tumeric to the chicken and cooked it stovetop and found it to be just fine. The avacado salsa is going to be one of our new favorites!

This was a great simple chicken recipe! I made just the breasts to accompany black bean soup and cornbread. There was a lot of cumin in the soup recipe, so the flavors were harmonious. I squeezed fresh lime juice on the breasts after they came out. The only suggestion I have is to make sure cooks add enough salt (to their taste). Next time I'll try the avocado salsa.

Very basic. Nothing special.

I have been making this recipe for years. Don't change a thing. It is simple and very tasty. Everyone loves it.

A big thank you to the cooks who reviewed this recipe with a "thumbs up". I thought it was fabulous, delicious and easy to make, even though it did consist of "chicken and one spice", to quote another reviewer. By the way, the avocado salsa is an integral part of the recipe, so I wouldn't discount that particular ingredient as not being a part of the spices required. The avocado salsa was terrific by the way, and a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. I added cilantro, garlic powder & a dash of cayenne to the salsa to spice it up a bit. I used Kosher boneless, skinless chicken breasts, at the recommendation of a friend, which are pre-brined, delicious & moist (I never knew!). Also, I cooked the breasts in olive oil on the stove-top, which worked out very well & I topped them with sautéed onions, then the salsa. Divine!

It was a hit, i will be making this again. The salsa needed a bit of salt and black pepper.

I agree with other cooks, I substituted the simple cumin recipe for the posted Cuban Mojo Chicken recipe (only the marinade) but made the salsa. I liked the salsa only I would definately cut down on the amount of salt and a little less fresh lime juice (but just a little less). GREAT salsa.

I made this dish in a hurry for dinner with family and it was a total hit! I served it with tortillas for wrapping. YUMMY!

How can you can call something a "recipe" that consists of chicken and one spice?! I tried it based on the reviews and it tasted as I expected it would: chicken with a lot of cumin on it. I did like the avocado salsa.

Unbelievably easy and delicious - what a concept. I used bonelss and skinless chicken breasts, and the rub worked just fine, resulting in a moist and flavorful outcome. I didn't do the salsa, instead made curried basmati rice and ratatouille as accompaniments, but this recipe leaves itself open to many possibilities. This will become a staple on my main course list.

Yum yum yummy! This meal was soooo tasty. I'm glad I have enough for leftovers for lunch! I didn't really bother with measurements for the cumin the chicken breasts. So easy to make! For the avocado salsa (guacamole, really), I left out the oil (avocado's rich enough!) and the jalapeno. we ate this with a turmeric-flavored rice and a spinach/orange/red onion/goat cheese/walnut salad.

This was quick and easy and delicious! Served with new potatoes and a salad, it made a great summer dish

Amazingly simple and so good. My husband says it is the best chicken recipe so far. High praise!

Very tasty. We've actually had a similar dish with the salsa, accompanying cajun blakened swordfish steaks. Add a little (1-2 tsp) Cilantro to your salsa for extra flavor.

I love this recipe and it is always a hit with guests. The avocado and cilantro really make it! I've been making this for years!!

The Best Avocado & Tomato Salsa

A simple diced avocado, tomato, red onion and cilantro salsa dressed with olive oil, lime, salt, and pepper. This flavor-packed salsa is great on tacos, burrito bowls, grilled meat, or simply with tortilla chips.
Lately, I&rsquove had a serious obsession with avocados. Their rising prices haven&rsquot stopped me from eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don&rsquot know if it&rsquos the creamy buttery texture or the fact that they&rsquore so good for you, but I&rsquom in love.

Today we&rsquore making this mouthwatering flavor-packed avocado and tomato salsa. This salsa and EVERYTHING you want in a salsa and more. The flavors of the cilantro and lime paired with the avocado tomato and onion are just amazing. This creamy zesty salsa is great with grilled chicken, salmon or steak. It&rsquos also great on tacos or burrito bowls!


    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    2. Have an ice bath (a bowl of ice water) ready. Using a vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of carrots from half of the carrots. Place in the ice water to chill (the ribbons will curl after a while in the water).
    3. Place the remaining whole carrots on a baking sheet drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the edges start to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside at room temperature. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
    4. Toast the pine nuts in the oven for about 10 minutes or in a small pan on the stove top over medium-low heat, shaking constantly, until brown and fragrant pour into a bowl to cool and set aside. Toast the cumin seeds in a small sauté pan over medium heat, tossing or stirring constantly until fragrant, and then pour quickly into a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind into a powder. Alternatively, use ground cumin.
    5. For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk the cumin with the lemon and lime juices, salt, and pepper slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil.
    6. Remove the carrot ribbons from the ice water and pat dry with paper towels. Peel, pit, and slice the avocado.
    7. Divide the avocado slices and roasted carrots among 4 salad plates. In a bowl, toss the carrot ribbons and greens in the dressing, and divide among the plates.
    8. Sprinkle a few pine nuts on each salad and serve.

    Reprinted with permission from Cooking off the Clock: Recipes from My Downtime by Elizabeth Falkner, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

    Elizabeth Falkner is the founding chef and owner of Citizen Cake and Orson in San Francisco and is currently opening a new restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. She was a finalist and runner-up on The Next Iron Chef in 2011, competed on Top Chef Masters and has judged Top Chef Masters and Top Chef. Elizabeth was Bon Appétit's pastry chef of the year in 2006. Her first book, Demolition Desserts, was published in 2007.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper, or more to taste
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
    • 1 fully ripened Avocado from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed
    • 1 cup chopped tomato
    • ½ cup diced cucumber
    • ¼ cup diced red onion
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice

    In small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cumin and pepper rub on chicken.

    In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken cook, turning occasionally, until no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine Avocado, tomato, cucumber, onion, cilantro and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

    Serve over cumin-rubbed chicken with whole grain couscous or rice, if desired.

    Cumin-Rubbed Steaks with Avocado Salsa Verde

    While cumin-rubbed steaks sizzles in the skillet, a fresh, flavor-packed salsa comes together.

    While cumin-rubbed steaks sizzles in the skillet, a fresh, flavor-packed salsa comes together.

    Share This Recipe

    Butcher Counter

    Ranch Steak

    Learn more about this cut and other cuts at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.


    • 2 beef Ranch Steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 3/4 cup prepared tomatillo salsa
    • 1 small avocado, diced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


    Press cumin evenly onto beef Ranch Steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet cook 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.

    Meanwhile combine salsa, avocado and cilantro in small bowl.

    Carve steaks into slices season with salt, as desired. Serve with salsa.

    You may use 4 beef Denver Steaks in this recipe. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 12 to 17 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.


    * Based on a 2,000 calorie diet
    ** Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet

    Nutrition information per serving: 255 Calories 126 Calories from fat 14g Total Fat (3 g Saturated Fat 8 g Monounsaturated Fat) 65 mg Cholesterol 199 mg Sodium 8 g Total Carbohydrate 3.7 g Dietary Fiber 24 g Protein 3 mg Iron 5.4 mg NE Niacin 0.6 mg Vitamin B6 4.2 mcg Vitamin B12 6.4 mg Zinc 35.5 mcg Selenium.

    This recipe is an excellent source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Selenium and a good source of Dietary Fiber, and Iron.

    Butcher Counter

    Ranch Steak

    Learn more about this cut and other cuts at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.

    Reviews ( 20 )

    This is my favorite recipe for fish tacos. I followed the recipe exactly and they came out amazing. I also loved the mango salsa. These have heat but cool down with the yummy mango. My husband didn't think he liked fish until he had these.

    I didn't mess with the cumin seeds, I just sprinkled ground cumin with the other seasoning on the fish before cooking. These were really good - a bit messy because of the liquids. Whole wheat tortillas might work better. But I'd definitely make these again.

    These were delicious! Even my two-year-old ate them, sans salsa because it was spicy. Highly recommend.

    This gets 5 stars because I actually got my ten year old to eat a fish taco. At Mexican places, he is the king of beans and cheese, but now maybe I can persuade him to try some new things. I did modify this - cod was cheaper the day I made this, so I used that. Also, I didn't go all out on the salsa to keep it kid friendly. Their version was just avocado, mango, cilantro, lime juice, salt and a little ground chili (I put chopped jalapeno in the grown up version but skipped the green and red onions as I got tired of chopping stuff). He picked out the avocado, but was delighted with the mango/fish combination. I should mention he tried this on a day in which his lunch was forgotten at home and he didn't like the hot lunch at school. Hunger is the best sauce? My husband and I were very pleased. I will be serving this again! The side dish was Jalapeno Lime Slaw, also on this site. My husband ate about 8 cups of cabbage - look out!

    I make this often because it is so easy and everyone likes it. I do marinate the chicken about an hour before grilling. Adding some minced jalapeno to the salsa is also a nice touch. I serve it with yellow/saffron rice typically.

    Hi, I am sure this is a dumb question but I wanted to know what the rice recipe is. Do you have it or how do I find it? Thank you for your help.

    We added some mesquite seasoning to the marinade, otherwise made chicken & salsa to directions. Served with beans/fresh corn (made from CL's "shrimp over black bean and corn salad" recipe). Good dinner.

    I don't care for avocados so made the cilantro-lime chicken without the salsa. I didn't get any cilantro or lime flavor - just a pretty boring grilled chicken breast. This recipe is going in the "delete" file.

    I have been cooking this chicken dish for about two years, and it is BY FAR the most popular dish I can make. I typically only cook it for very special occasions for all my family due to the cost of making it for 10+ people, but everyone loves it and it really is worth it!

    I have made a few changes. One of them is that I add peaches to the salsa (when they are in season). Maybe just one large one when the recipe is doubled or tripled. I also start the rice, then I prepare and start marinating the chicken, then do everything else before cooking the chicken it might come out to 20 or 30 minutes before I start cooking it. The cilantro doesn't really add much flavor after about five minutes, but I would say that if you are sensitive to cilantro or herbs, you oughta stick to the three minutes or so. Finally, I try to make extra salsa, because it really does go fast. And when I say extra, I mean you could probably double the salsa and not have any left. It's real good and everyone loves to heap it on. Oh, and I'm generous with the lime everything gets a good squeeze of lime on top of what's already in the recipe.

    TLDR: Make extra salsa, cause it's hot! And the recipe is fairly flexible conservatively swap and add as you see fit. Fresh peach is grand!