The Best Guacamole

4.79 from 46 votes
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Fresh homemade guacamole yields the best taste and is easy to prepare in just 15 minutes! Dip with crunchy tortilla chips or serve as a topping to enhance the flavor of other dishes.

Bowl of homemade guacamole with a tortilla chip being dipped.

All avocado lovers need a reliable and easy guacamole recipe readily available when craving chips and dip hits. The preparation is simple. Just scoop, mash, and stir. But to maximize the flavor, I will share a few essential tips.

Instead of aggressively mashing avocados into an uninteresting green pulp, I add larger diced pieces into the mix for a contrast in texture. Stir in bright aromatics to provide crunch and a hint of spice. Don’t forget the lime juice! It gives some welcomed tanginess while preserving the characteristic light green color.

Avocados sliced open, and tomatoes, and jalapeños grouped next to them.

Making guacamole dip from scratch allows you to use fresh ingredients to avoid chemical preservatives. The avocado fruit is a delicious way to incorporate fiber, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids into diets. It’s rich in oleic acid, providing similar nutritional benefits to olive oil.

Their neutral flavor and velvety texture can also be a fat replacer in some desserts. Plus, the extra fruits and vegetables in the recipe have their own nutritional properties. Those on keto, paleo, and gluten-free diets can enjoy this condiment. But as with everything, moderation is key!

Avocado selection

There are many types of avocados you can use for guacamole. However, I prefer the Haas variety for its soft, creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor. Ripe avocados are essential, and it’s easy to check the firmness of the flesh. Place one in the palm of your hand and give it a slight squeeze with your fingertips. If it yields readily to moderate pressure with little resistance, with no soft spots, then it’s ready. 

You might think that overly ripe avocados would be okay, but if the flesh is brown around the edges, that rich buttery flavor is lost, resulting in poor taste. Typically each whole fruit will yield 60 to 70% of pulp. 

How to make guacamole

After you cut the avocados and remove the pit, don’t just mash them all together. Instead, to achieve a smooth consistency with some larger pieces, I use two methods. Use a fork or potato masher on the first two avocados. This step allows you to control the texture. Sprinkle kosher salt on top while smashing to season. The coarse granules help to create friction, breaking the flesh down better.

Cut the last avocado into cubes, then stir it with fresh lime juice. This technique balances creamy texture with more significant bits for contrast.

Add flavorful mix-ins

Mixing chopped tomatoes and onions in a bowl with mashed down avocados.

Diced ripe Roma tomatoes add a fruity, juicy flavor and light acidity to brighten the flavor. Finely chopped red onions provide a hint of spice and crunch. Spicy jalapeno peppers add some heat, which you can adjust to be more mild or hot.

Chopped fresh cilantro provides earthy herbaceous notes. A small amount of minced garlic adds a slight sharpness to complement the richness of the avocado.

What other ingredients can you add?

If desired, you can incorporate other spices, vegetables, or chilies to switch up the flavor of this classic guacamole. I like ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, and smoked paprika for a punch of earthiness. You can also vary the heat level with other chili pepper types or simply leave the pith and ribs intact to elevate the spiciness.

You can substitute red onions for other onion types, like white or sweet yellow. Pick your favorite tomatoes, like Roma, cherry, or vine-ripened, for juiciness and flavor. Lemon juice is a suitable replacement for limes, especially when Meyer’s are in season, but they have a slightly more tart taste.

Prevent the guacamole from turning brown

The moment you slice an avocado, it’s exposed to oxygen, slowly turning the flesh brown. Mashing them opens up even more opportunities for oxidation. A few ways to slow down this process are quickly covering the exposed surface with plastic wrap while preparing the remaining ingredients. 

Alternatively, chop the other guacamole ingredients first and then cut the avocados. The key is to reduce the amount of exposure time to the air.

The benefit of adding lime juice

Add lime juice to the mixing bowl shortly after breaking down the flesh. Not only does it add flavor, but the ascorbic acid in the liquid reacts with the oxygen, which delays browning and helps preserve color. But, once the strength of this vitamin C acid fades, the oxygen will inevitably continue to react with the fruit’s natural enzymes and continue browning.

How long does it last?

Spoon stirring freshly made guacamole in a bowl.

Leftover guacamole lasts up to two days if stored properly in the refrigerator but tastes the best when consumed fresh. If you are making a large batch and want to keep it overnight, you can do a few things. Place the mixture in a resealable plastic bag and press out all the excess air pockets. Then put that bag into a thicker covered container to reduce air permeability before placing it in the refrigerator.

Another option is to store it directly in an airtight container. Squeeze a little lime juice on top, then place a few layers of plastic wrap on top, firmly pressing down to reduce the amount of air before putting the cover on. The smaller the air space between the guacamole and the lid, the better.

Freezing

When stored in a resealable plastic bag, you can freeze guacamole for up to 3 months. Remove all the excess air and press into a flat layer for quick and even defrosting. Move it to the refrigerator to defrost overnight before using. The only caveat is the tomatoes won’t taste as fresh and juicy.

Freezing will burst the moisture in the cell walls when defrosting. Make sure to stir well before serving to mix in any liquid.

Serve this with

Guacamole in a white bowl served with tortilla chips.

What causes avocados to turn brown?

Many fruits contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase in their flesh. When avocado is cut, oxygen rushes to the exposed surface and reacts with the enzyme, creating a brown pigment. It’s a natural defense mechanism to prevent hungry animals (or humans) from eating them. Using a physical barrier like plastic wrap or a chemical like vitamin C can slow down browning, but not indefinitely.

Homemade Guacamole

The best homemade guacamole in just 15 minutes! Perfect to dip with crunchy tortilla chips or serve as a topping to enhance the flavor of other dishes.
4.79 from 46 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Condiment
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 medium avocados, Haas
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup diced tomato, seeds removed, ¼" dice
  • ¼ cup diced red onion, ⅛" dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Instructions 

  • Cut the Avocados – Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  • Mash in a Bowl – Scoop the flesh from two avocados into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and use a fork to mash until smooth but still slightly chunky.
  • Chunks for Texture – Cut the remaining avocado into ½-inch cubes, add the pieces to the bowl, and stir until just combined.
  • Prevent Browning – Add the lime juice to the mixture, and stir to combine. While preparing the mix-ins, cover the surface with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the avocado to prevent browning.
  • Add the Mix-ins – Add the tomato, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic to the mixture. Stir to combine.
  • To Serve – Season with more salt and lime juice to taste.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: About 2 ½ cups
  • Serving Size: About ¼ cup
  • Storing: Place in an airtight container covered with plastic wrap so that it’s touching the guacamole. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Alternatively, store in a resealable plastic bag with all the air removed, then place inside an airtight container.
  • Freezing: Store in a resealable plastic bag with the air removed for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator the night before. Stir before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 124kcal (6%)Carbohydrates 7g (2%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 11g (17%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 152mg (6%)Potassium 400mg (11%)Fiber 5g (20%)Vitamin A 130IU (3%)Vitamin C 10.6mg (13%)Calcium 14mg (1%)Iron 0.6mg (3%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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8 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. ellen aranza says

    Made guacamole pretty much to the recipe – it is delicious – perfect actually! Can’t wait to take it to a get together today. Thanks Jessica

  2. Mary says

    I made this tonight to put on top of my turkey burgers! It was delicious … I had to use lemon instead of lime because that’s what I had. I used 4 cloves of garlic, which was WAY too much lol, but we ate it anyway. Left the seeds in the jalapeño as we like it spicy. Will definitely make again!

  3. kristi says

    This was amazing. The lime and red onions were a little strong for my taste. Next time I will used a little less of both. My husband loved it!

  4. Allen South says

    Here’s my secret tip that I challenge all of you to try! McCormick makes a seasoning called Salad Supreme. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons and then sprinkle some extra on top for a pretty garnish. I promise you will wonder how you’ve lived your life without it!