Guacamole is easy to make with mashed avocado, lime juice, cilantro, onion, lime juice, and salt. It’s a nutritious and delicious dip you can enjoy with tortilla chips, salads, bowls, wraps, or as a spread on toast and sandwiches.
Here we show you how to make a classic guac and how to customize it to your taste with simple everyday ingredients.
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Guacamole is a Mexican avocado-based dip, sometimes served as a spread or salad.
The name guacamole comes from the Aztec language “āhuacamōlli,“ which translated means ‘avocado sauce,’ from āhuacatl ‘avocado’ and mōlli ‘sauce.’
Guac is an excellent appetizer. It’s perfect for an evening with friends and family as it’s easy to make and everyone loves it.
Here we are making a classic guacamole recipe, and we will also give you some ideas on how to customize it with simple ingredients like tomatoes and jalapeños.
Guacamole is packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, so go ahead, make a bowl, and indulge in this irresistible dish.
Ripe avocados are the main ingredients in guacamole. See the chapter below to learn how to pick the best avocados.
Salt is also key in the original recipe of guac. Fine sea salt and Kosher salt are best, or you can use flakey salt for a fancier version. Table salt is also acceptable if you don’t have anything else at hand.
Freshly squeezed lime juice helps keep the color of mashed avocados green and bright.
The acidity of lime also fits perfectly with the creamy, fatty texture of avocados. If you can’t find lime, replace it with lemon juice.
Red onion is more traditional, but you can use any other type if you don’t have red onion.
Cilantro or fresh coriander is another important ingredient, although it is not always added to the original recipe, especially if not in season.
If you can’t stand cilantro’s taste, feel free to leave it out.
Tomatoes are optional in guacamole, but we think they are a match made in heaven with avocados, so you can add some to make the best guacamole.
Use ripe tomatoes that are not watery; for example, cherry tomatoes are a good choice. If they are too watery, drain some of the juice of the tomatoes before adding it to the guac.
Fresh or pickled jalapeños are another optional ingredient. If you like your guac a little spicy and tangy, add some chopped jalapeños or chili peppers like serrano peppers; you’ll love them in this simple guacamole recipe.
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, remove the pit, and slice the avocado flesh into squares with a knife (it’s safer to use a blunt knife).
With a spoon, scoop out the avocado from its shell and add it to a bowl.
Note: guacamole is traditionally done in a molcajete, the Mexican equivalent of a mortar and pestle.
Tip: when you scoop out the avocado, make sure to scrape every bit of flesh that’s under the skin. That’s the healthiest part of the avocado, with the most nutrients.
Add fresh lime juice and salt, then mash the avocado with a fork. You don’t have to smash it completely; some avocado chunks are nice.
Add chopped onion and chopped cilantro. Stir well, taste, and adjust for salt and lime juice.
This is the most basic and simple guacamole recipe, and it’s great because it lets you fully appreciate the authentic, unadulterated flavor and texture of avocado.
It’s perfect to be used as a guacamole dip, and it’s our favorite with tortilla chips.
Tomatoes and Jalapeño Guacamole
This one is delicious, especially if you like a little spice in your guac. If you add tomatoes, use some that are not too juicy.
Guacamole should be thick and creamy; you don’t want to dilute it with watery tomatoes.
Good tomatoes for guacamole are ripe Roma tomatoes. But you can also use cherry or date tomatoes if you remove some of their water before adding them to the avocado.
So, dice some ripe tomatoes, drain their water and seeds, then add them to the avocado and stir.
If you like your guac spicy, then jalapeños or chili peppers are perfect to add some heat.
You can use either fresh or pickled. In either case, cut them open, remove the stem and seeds, chop them up, and add them to the guac. Stir and serve.
Garlic, Basil, Tomato Guacamole
Avocados are excellent with basil and tomatoes, and while this might not be an authentic guacamole recipe, it’s still a delicious way of eating avocados.
You must dice or mash the avo like in the original guacamole recipe, then add chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, and finely chopped garlic or garlic powder.
Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar, and enjoy on a toasted slice of bread. This is a wonderful starter.
Want to add some protein to your guac?
Try mashing a can of chickpeas, then add them to the classic guacamole recipe, stir well, and enjoy.
This way is healthy, fulfilling, and delicious. Try it in a sandwich or stuff a baked potato, and you won’t regret it.
Avocado is technically a fruit, so it’s no wonder it tastes delicious when added to other fruits. Mix it with diced mangoes, pineapple, strawberries, and bananas.
This recipe is inspired by the Zaitoun cookbook from Jasmin Kahn, and it’s an absolute delight.
The ripe avocados are mashed and then stirred with minced garlic, chopped green chilis, lemon juice, Greek yogurt or Labneh (plain non-dairy yogurt works too), extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper and topped with sesame seeds, and sumac.
If you are into Mediterranean flavors, you will adore this creamy, tangy, spicy, and aromatic Gazan guacamole recipe.
Of course, guacamole is terrific with the usual Mexican dishes like tortilla chips, fajitas, nachos, burritos, and tacos. However, there are many other ways of enjoying this delicious dip, for example:
For breakfast or brunch
It’s the perfect breakfast food as it’ll keep you nourished and satiated through the day.
As an appetizer
You’ll love serving this easy guac recipe on top of socca (farinata), an Italian flatbread made of chickpea flour, or spread on a piece of freshly baked no–knead focaccia topped with tomato confit or caramelized onions.
With a main dish
The coriander and the creaminess of the avo go super well with those recipes.
As a spread
You can even use it as a replacement for mayonnaise in our vegan tuna salad, a topping for flatbread pizza, or a spread in an Italian flatbread with some arugula and a drizzle of our easy chipotle sauce.
As a topping
How to pick the best avocados
It takes a little practice to pick perfectly ripe avocados. But hopefully, these 5 tips will help you.
First: look for the stem. It’s generally better if the avocado has the small stem still on. This way, it will stay fresh for longer after buying it.
Second: look at the color. Ripe avocados are generally darker than unripe ones. So try to find ones that have a dark green, almost black color.
Third: avoid shiny ones. Ripe avocadoes generally have a dull, matte peel. Shiny avocados usually are unripe.
Fourth: avoid indentations or bruise spots. If you see apparent bruises that are soft to the touch, that’s not good. I wouldn’t recommend buying those, even if they are on offer. There’s not much you can do with bruised, overripe avocado.
Fifth: feel it. If the avocado yields to firm, gentle pressure, you know it’s ready to eat. To feel the avocado, pick it up in the palm of your hand, and apply gentle pressure with the whole hand. Do not squeeze with your fingertips, as you might damage the avocado.
If the avocado feels mushy, it could be overripe. On the other hand, if the avocado feels hard (it does not yield to gentle pressure), you can still buy it and let it ripe at home for a couple of days.
To speed up the ripening process, put the avocado in a paper bag with an apple or banana for a few days.
Eat guacamole as a dip with tortilla chips. Use it as a spread in sandwiches. Add filling or topping in burritos, fajitas, tacos, poke bowls, grain bowls, baked potatoes, and stuffed veggies.
You can serve guacamole (in separate bowls) with salsa, salsa verde, sour cream, pico de Gallo, dairy-free cheese, sautéed red peppers, corn, and other vegetables to eat with tacos or fajitas.
Mix them up to get an incredible combination of colors and flavors.
Yes, homemade guacamole is vegan.
Yes, homemade guacamole contains no gluten.
Yes, homemade guacamole is healthy. Avocados are good for you; they have many health benefits and are packed with nutrition (potassium, folate, vitamin B6, C, E, and more).
See why avocados are healthy in this “Are avocados good for you” video from nutritionfacts.org and their effect on inflammation.
Make ahead: we don’t recommend making guacamole more than 30 minutes ahead of time because the avocados turn brown fast once they are out of their shell.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in the fridge for a day. To prevent the guac from turning brown, squeeze lemon or lime juice on top, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Press down the wrap to touch the guacamole to prevent the air from touching it. This will only slow down browning for a couple of hours.
Freezer: you can freeze guacamole; however, it won’t taste or look as fresh as just made. To freeze guacamole, put it in a freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
If you enjoyed this creamy guacamole, you might also enjoy our other easy and tasty dips:
- Vegan sour cream (cashews, water, apple cider vinegar, lemon, garlic, etc.)
- Hummus (chickpeas, water, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, parsley, etc.)
- Creamy eggplant dip (roasted eggplant, garlic, cumin, tahini, lemon juice, etc.)
- Romesco sauce (bell peppers, hazelnut, almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.)
- Vegan mayo (soy milk, lemon juice, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt, etc.)
- Tzatziki (Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, etc.)
Or any of these 25 best sauces that pair perfectly with salads and grains.
More Mexican-inspired recipes
Get whole dinner ideas with these healthy and delicious Mexican–inspired recipes:
- Sweet potato chili (sweet potato, kidney beans, cilantro, corn, canned tomatoes, lime, etc.)
- Black bean soup (black beans, celery, carrots, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, garlic, etc.)
- Sweet potato black bean salad (avocado, bell pepper, sweet potato, corn, black beans, etc.)
- Vegetarian sweet potato hash (roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, scallions, etc.)
- Vegan breakfast burrito (black beans, tofu, turmeric, bell pepper, sour cream, tortilla, etc.)
For more condiment ideas, check out our dressing and sauces category page.
- 2 large ripe avocados
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- ⅓ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons red onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
- 1 ripe tomato chopped (optional)
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chilis chopped (optional)
- Cut 2 large ripe avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit.
- Slice the flesh of the avocado into dice. It's safer to do this with a blunt knife.
- With a spoon, scoop out the avocado from its shell and add it to a bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, ⅓ teaspoon salt, and mash the avocado with a fork. Don't over-mash it, some avocado bits are fine.
- Add 3 tablespoons red onion (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons cilantro (finely chopped), and stir. Optionally you can add 1 ripe tomato (chopped) and 2 jalapeño or serrano chilis (chopped).Taste and adjust for salt and lime juice.
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