How to Make Perfect Guacamole

DipMexicanVeganAvocado

The BEST guacamole! So easy to make with ripe avocados, salt, serrano chiles, cilantro and lime. Garnish with red radishes or jicama. Serve with tortilla chips. Watch how to make guacamole - it's easy!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words—ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce).

Easy Peasy Guacamole

Guacamole is so easy. All you really need to make guacamole is ripe avocados and salt. After that, a little lime or lemon juice—a splash of acidity— will help to balance the richness of the avocado. Then if you want, add chopped cilantro, chiles, onion, and/or tomato.

Once you have basic guacamole down, you may experiment with variations including strawberries, pineapple, mangoes, even watermelon. You can get creative with homemade guacamole!

Guacamole Tip: Use Ripe Avocados

The trick to making perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados.

Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.

Watch how to make guacamole

How to Make Perfect Guacamole Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4

Be careful handling chiles if using. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of minced red onion or thinly sliced green onion
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Garnish with red radishes or jicama. Serve with tortilla chips.

Method

1 Cut avocado, remove flesh: Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Score the inside of the avocado with a blunt knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. (See How to Cut and Peel an Avocado.) Place in a bowl.

2 Mash with a fork: Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don't overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.)

3 Add salt, lime juice, and the rest: Sprinkle with salt and lime (or lemon) juice. The acid in the lime juice will provide some balance to the richness of the avocado and will help delay the avocados from turning brown.

Add the chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chiles. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness.

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.

4 Cover with plastic and chill to store: Place plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole cover it and to prevent air reaching it. (The oxygen in the air causes oxidation which will turn the guacamole brown.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so if you want to add chopped tomato to your guacamole, add it just before serving.

Variations

For a very quick guacamole just take a 1/4 cup of salsa and mix it in with your mashed avocados.

Feel free to experiment! One classic Mexican guacamole has pomegranate seeds and chunks of peaches in it (a Diana Kennedy favorite). Try guacamole with added pineapple, mango, or strawberries (see our Strawberry Guacamole).

The simplest version of guacamole is just mashed avocados with salt. Don't let the lack of availability of other ingredients stop you from making guacamole.

To extend a limited supply of avocados, add either sour cream or cottage cheese to your guacamole dip. Purists may be horrified, but so what? It tastes great.

For a deviled egg version with guacamole, try our Guacamole Deviled Eggs!

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

Links:

How to Cut and Peel and Avocado - step by step instructions here on Simply Recipes

Guacamole Deviled Eggs - here on Simply Recipes

What's in a Name? The Avocado Story - how the avocado got its name, from NPR

www.avocado.org's Guacamole Central - more versions of guacamole

guacamole recipe easy laid out dishes of ingredients

200 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHow to Make Perfect Guacamole

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Rina

    Never made guac before and only had half the ingredients, still worked great. Will come back to this recipe to try some variations!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Dave

    It is the best!!

  • Jake

    Guacamole is very good, this one is no exception of course. There were a few modifications I made that fit my personal taste. My recipe/proportions are as follows: Starting with half a red onion, juice from a whole lime, 3 jalapeno peppers, roughly 4 tbsp cilantro (I love cilantro), and a diced roma tomato (only the most firm parts–no seeds). Then you “macerate” by mixing all these ingredients in a bowl. If for some reason you believe this is too much to go into your guac, then you can put the rest aside as some delicious pico de gallo. Then you can move onto scooping (and mashing) the avocados. Then, mix everything together. For me, there was a bit much (the red onion I found was particularly large), so I had a side of pico de gallo as well. Once everything is mixed, season to taste. I used chili powder (imparts a nice smoky flavor), salt, and black pepper. Chili powder can be substituted with smoked paprika as necessary. Certainly limit the chili powder, however, because you don’t want to tarnish the vibrant green of the guacamole, so only use enough spice to be hardly perceptible. One personal comment: I would discourage anybody from using raw garlic for guacamole. Garlic is a very overwhelming flavor, and a lot of guacamole is reliant on the subtle ways the flavors interact. You want a smooth guacamole that has occasional crunch imparted by the fresh veggies.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Tom R

    Quick and easy! Due to sensitive stomachs in my house I left the chili out and added a bit of garlic and this was a big hit! Takes about 10-15 minutes to make and it’s a nice addition to any sandwich!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Sylvie

    It was easy, quick and delicious

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Guacamole recipe easy to make in serving dishHow to Make Perfect Guacamole