Is there anything better than a big ol’ bowl of guacamole? It’s creamy and smooth with just a touch of spice. I often find myself adding heaps of the stuff on top of tacos and quesadillas, burgers and chili, or directly on my plate to be devoured with chips. Psst! These are the best tortilla chips you can buy, according to our blind taste-test.
If you’re anything like me, it’s an absolute must to learn how to make a homemade guacamole recipe. Easy, fresh and packed with flavor, this recipe and accompanying guide will teach you everything you need to know about making guacamole.
By the way, here are more secrets to the best guacamole of your life.
Before You Start: How to Pick a Ripe Avocado
As the star ingredient, choosing a ripe avocado for your guacamole is essential. There are a few aspects you’ll want to look for:
- Skin: The darker the skin is, the riper the avocado will be. When making guacamole, avoid avocados with bright green skin and look for ones with deep, almost black skin
- Firmness: At peak ripeness, avocados will give to gentle pressure, and shouldn’t feel mushy or bruised. If you think your avocado is ripe, we suggest making guacamole during that same day—if you’re planning in advance go for an avocado that only just gives to firm pressure. It’ll ripen in 1-2 days.
Pro tip: Speed up the ripening process by placing your avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana for about a day. Gases released by the banana will cause the avocado to soften, making it perfect for guacamole.
How to Make Easy Guacamole
- 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salsa
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 to 3 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Yield: 1 cup of dip
Step 1: Pit the avocados
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Our Test Kitchen has found the best method for how to cut an avocado: Carefully cut each avocado into quarters, from stem to stern, until you hit the pit. While holding the avocado in the palm of your hand, twist it so it splits into two halves. Then, split the avocado half with the pit into two, and remove the pit with your hand. Once both avocados are quartered, peel off the skin with your fingers.
While you still have your knife out, give your green onions a good chop.
Step 2: Mash it up
Next, add your avocado slices to a small bowl and mash them gently with a fork. We prefer leaving a few chunks of avocado for restaurant-style guacamole, but if you prefer a super-smooth dip, mash away!
Step 3: Add the mix-ins
Stir in the green onions, salsa, mayo, lime juice and spices until they’re evenly distributed throughout your guac.
And yes, add the mayonnaise. While it’s definitely not traditional, mayo adds another layer of creaminess to this guacamole that really takes it to the next level. Plus, it keeps it fresher for longer. If mayo isn’t your thing, you can substitute in plain Greek yogurt, or skip it altogether. (But give it a try, first!)
Step 4: Get dippin’
Serve your freshly made guacamole with salty tortilla chips, or add a dollop of it to your favorite Mexican dinner recipes.
1/4 cup of guacamole (not including chips): 175 calories, 16g fat (2g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 159mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 6g fiber), 2g protein.
Additionally, there are many health benefits of avocados. They’re packed with healthy fats that keep your heart healthy with oleic acid, a good type of fat.
How to Make This Guacamole Recipe Your Own
Adjusting this basic guacamole to your taste is super simple. Here are some of our suggestions:
If you want spicier guacamole:
- Chop and seed a jalapeno or serrano pepper and stir it into the guacamole. The more seeds that are added to the guac, the spicier it will be
- Chili flakes are a great alternative if you don’t have any fresh peppers on hand. Start with sprinkling ½ teaspoon of chili flakes into your guacamole, giving it a taste, and adding more if needed
- A few dashes of hot sauce can also add a good amount of heat. We suggest Valentina Salsa Picante ($7), but any hot sauce will do the trick.
If you want a brighter guacamole:
- Chop up some fresh cilantro leaves for an herbal boost.
- Instead of green onions, use freshly chopped white or red onion.
- Substitute the garlic salt for half a clove of minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. The garlic flavor will be much stronger and the salt will help enhance the other ingredients.
Remember: Your guacamole is all your own! So don’t be afraid to experiment with increasing and decreasing ingredients, or cutting them altogether. After you’ve mashed a few bowls, you’ll be able to identify the elements you do and don’t like with ease.
That’s not all! Check out some amazing ways you can top a bowl of guacamole.
How Long Does Guacamole Last in the Fridge?
When it comes to guacamole, the fresher the better. That said, guacamole will typically last, about a day or two in the fridge. As avocados are exposed to air, they begin to oxidize, breaking down their texture and turning a muddy brown.
Is It Okay to Eat Guacamole That Has Turned Brown?
Yes, it’s okay to eat guacamole that has browned, to a point. If there’s just a few spots, or a thin layer of browned avocado across the surface, scrape off the brown areas, mix the guac and go for it.
However, if the dip has gone deep brown or black, is watery or smells off, it’s time to toss it. Guacamole that has been sitting in the fridge too long can develop mold or other bacteria that will make you sick if ingested. When in doubt, toss it out!
How Do You Keep Guacamole From Going Brown?
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If you’re making a bowl of guacamole for a party or are meal prepping it a few days ahead, browning is definitely something you’ll want to avoid. Luckily we have a few simple techniques that’ll keep those brown bits at bay.
Before you start: Since browning occurs when avocados are exposed to air, when storing or serving your guacamole, ensure there aren’t air pockets throughout and that the surface is as smooth as possible.
- Create a water barrier by gently pouring half an inch of cold water on top of the guacamole. Cover with an air-tight lid and store in the fridge for up to three days. Then, to use, just pour out the water, give the guacamole a quick stir and enjoy.
- Plastic wrap can create a similar barrier. Simply cut a piece of plastic wrap that’s slightly larger than your guacamole container and press the wrap on top of the dip until there are not air pockets. Cover the container with an air-tight lid and store in the fridge for up to three days. Then, just peel off the plastic wrap and toss it.
- You can also use a bit of lime or lemon juice. Squeeze a large slice of either citrus on the top of your guacamole, making sure you’ve spritzed the entire surface. Cover the dip with an air-tight lid and store it in the fridge for three days. When you’re ready to eat, stir the guacamole and serve.
Can You Freeze Guacamole?
Yes, you can freeze guacamole. Before you toss a container right in the freezer, there are some things you should make note of first.
To start, you’ll have to adjust your guacamole recipe. Some ingredients, like the salsa and mayo, won’t freeze very well and can make your guac watery or cause it to separate. Therefore, make your guacamole as streamlined as possible and stick to avocados, spices, and citrus. Once you’ve defrosted the guac, you can add in the onions, salsa and mayo, if you’d like.
Also, like any food that’s been frozen and defrosted, the guacamole texture and flavor could be affected. This might mean it becomes slightly watery, loose or loses a bit of flavor.
Here’s how to freeze guacamole:
- Mix your streamlined guacamole.
- Transfer the guacamole to a freezer-safe bag. Lay the bag flat on your counter and spread the guacamole into an even layer, ensuring there are no air pockets and squeezing out as much air as possible.
- Place flat in your freezer and store for up to three months.
To use frozen guacamole:
- Remove the bag of guacamole from the freezer and allow it to defrost overnight in the fridge.
- Transfer into a bowl and give it a good stir, breaking up frozen pieces, if any.
- Stir in any additional ingredients, like more citrus and spices, salsa or tomatoes and mayo.