Well this is literally my obsession above all else. I eat it for lunch at least half the days of the week, and when I’m not eating it, I’m missing it. It is creamy and rich from the avocado, cheesy, smooth, and delicious from the fresh mozzarella cheese, bright and acidic from the tomatoes + the vinaigrette, and slightly sweet from the balsamic reduction.
It hits every taste bud in your WHOLE mouth and high fives all of them on the way by. I am in loooovvvee (said in sing-song form with great enthusiasm).
On top of all this, you feel BOMB after eating it because it’s great for you. The healthy fat from that avocado + those fresh tomatoes. You’ll be energized and pumped about your day – promise!
Let me just break this heavenly lunch (or dinner…or breakfast…or snack) down for ya – here’s what we’ve got goin’ on:
- The base: a perfectly ripe avocado sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper. I like to scoop part of mine out so that there is more room to stuff, and then I either eat the extra scooped out avocado on the side or use it in something else (we made this for dinner last week and used the extra avocado in an avocado chimichurri that went over flank steak – highlight of my week). But that’s totally optional, you can leave all the avocado in there if you want!
- The stuffing: mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes that have been halved and tossed with a deliciously simple vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and dijon mustard. To make it even better, we throw some minced garlic into the mix as well. Because when is garlic ever not invited to the party? Never? You are correct.
- The toppings: fresh sliced basil (caprese salad feels lonely without it) and BALSAMIC REDUCTION. I’m sorry, but who discovered balsamic reduction? Snaps for you, whoever you are. The reduction in this recipe is SO perfect because it adds a wonderful sweetness that cuts through those tangy tomatoes and bright vinaigrette. It’s literal perfection.
MAKE IT. You will die.
So, speaking of keto (since this recipe screams keto perfection), can I just tell you a sad story? I found this recipe for “Crazy Keto Dough” from a blog called Gnom Gnom (amazing blog for keto recipes if you’re looking for one!), and I’ve been LOVING trying it out for all their different suggested uses. It’s delicious, BT dubs.
Attempt number two was tortilla chips. “Super poofed” tortilla chips to be exact. So here’s the process: make the dough, let it sit for a bit, roll it out SUPER THINLY, slice it up into chips, fry them for just a few seconds on each side in small batches so they will “poof,” and then bake them in the oven for about 12 minutes. Season them and then let them cool completely. As you can tell, a little bit of a tedious process, but I prevailed and (mostly) enjoyed every little bit of it.
So they were almost cool, resting gently and lovingly on a sheet of parchment paper, and I thought to myself, “I should move these to the island so the dogs don’t jump up and get them while I’m upstairs getting the kids bathed and to bed.” So I pick up the sheet of parchment paper, and guess what happens?
That’s right. Every single little delicious chip tumbles onto the kitchen floor.
Unrelated question: how (hypothetically) unsanitary would it be for someone to pick up a pile of chips off the floor and serve them with dinner anyway? Asking for a friend.
Make these avocado cups so your lunch (and dinner) dreams come true!Print
Caprese Stuffed Avocado Cups with Balsamic Reduction (Keto)
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- 2 cups small (bite sized) mozzarella balls, halved or quartered (depending on how small you want them)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (divided)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2–3 avocados (depending on how much salad you stuff inside each one)
- Fresh basil (for topping at the end)
- Combine the mozzarella, tomatoes, garlic + salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss to combine
- In a bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, the olive oil, the dijon mustard, and salt/pepper
- Add the vinaigrette to the caprese salad to taste (I always add at least half and then sometimes the rest later). Stir well to combine and season to taste
- Meanwhile, make your reduction. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, and cook for 5-10 minutes until it has reduced to a syrup (it will thicken more as it cools). Set aside
- To assemble, halve your avocados, remove the seeds, scoop out some of the interior (totally optional, just gives more room to stuff), season lightly with salt and pepper, and stuff with your caprese salad. Top with fresh basil and hearty drizzles of balsamic reduction!
I never throw away the extra avocado I scoop out from the middle – I either eat it on the side with the overflowing caprese salad or I use it in something else that I’m serving with the avocado. We made an avocado chimichurri that went over flank steak with the excess last time, and it was AMAZING.
Nutrition info is for a serving size of 1 avocado half and 1/4 of the salad.
- Serving Size: 1/2 avocado stuffed with salad
- Calories: 504
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 186 mg
- Fat: 38 g
- Carbohydrates: 14 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 22 g
- Cholesterol: 80 mg
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries so I can see!
In the mood for more yummy avocado recipes? Check these out: