I don’t kid around when it comes to guacamole. It requires just a few ingredients to make, but variations in technique and ratio actually do make a big difference. I upped my guac game for the cookbook and knew I nailed it when my friends would not stop gushing about it at our Mexican-themed potluck. “I wish I could make guacamole this good,” was exactly what I wanted to hear.
Here is my fool-proof, authentic guacamole recipe that beats my favorite Mexican restaurant’s. I’m sharing it with you today because Cinco de Mayo is around the corner, and also because we’re throwing an online baby shower for two of my blogger pals, Sonja and Alex of A Couple Cooks.
After much trial and tribulation, Alex and Sonja adopted adorable Larson a few months ago. My heart melts every time he appears in my Instagram or Facebook feeds. They live in Indianapolis, so we’re celebrating virtually from around the country (look for #acoupleadopts on Instagram today), but I’m dying to meet the little guy!
The theme of the shower is healthy snacks, and I know Sonja and Alex will approve of guacamole. There’s no funny business in this guac—no mayo or sour cream or mashed peas. Just avocado, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime, salt, and one special ingredient that you’ll read about below. Read on for the recipe, guacamole tips (like I said, I take guac seriously), and links to more healthy snacks.
1) It starts with the avocado. You want ripe but not over-ripe Hass avocados, which are the standard grocery store variety with slightly bumpy skin. Look for avocados that yield a bit to a gentle squeeze, but avoid using avocados that are mushy or stringy on the inside (bleh!).
If you have to choose between hard or mushy avocados, choose the hard ones and place them in a paper bag with a couple of bananas. The ethylene gas released by the bananas will ripen them up faster, but you still might have to wait overnight or up to a couple of days. If you come home with perfect avocados but won’t be turning them into guac right away, store them in the refrigerator to slow their ripening.
2) Texture is key. For the best texture, you want slightly chunky avocado and finely chopped onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Scoop the avocado into your bowl with a spoon, rather than dicing it (diced avocado pieces are slippery devils). You can mash the avocado easily and quickly with a pastry cutter, potato masher or large serving fork, but a regular fork will also work. Stop mashing when the guac is still a little chunky.
3) Skip the tomato and garlic. Tomato is notably missing from my recipe because mealy, watery, out-of-season pink tomatoes have no business in anything, ever. If you have a gorgeous red summer tomato, feel free to chop it (leaving out as much liquid as possible) and stir it in. I also did not include garlic, because its flavor is distracting. Rick Bayless and Chipotle agree.
3) Get your lime-to-avocado ratio just right. When recipe testing for my cookbook, I discovered that 3/4 tablespoon lime juice (that’s a little over 2 teaspoons) per mashed avocado is the perfect ratio for flavor and browning prevention. You might need a splash more if your avocados are particularly large. I love Kenji, but he’s wrong this time—lime juice definitely helps prevent the oxidation (browning) that occurs when avocado flesh is exposed to air.
4) Season sufficiently. Don’t be stingy with the salt; it’s amazing what another pinch can do to bring out guacamole’s best. I also added 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, which offers a little je ne sais quoi and ups the irresistibility factor. It’s a little trick that I learned from Tessa via her mom. If it seems weird, consider that coriander is ground cilantro seeds, and cilantro is a key component in guacamole. That said, you can skip it if you don’t have it or if you seriously despise coriander.
5) Store properly to avoid browning. If you’re bringing this guacamole to a party, I can almost guarantee that you won’t have leftovers. However, if you’re making guacamole for just a few people, you can make it last for several days by placing a hunk of onion on top of the guacamole and then covering the top of the bowl with plastic wrap (you’ll conveniently have half of one leftover from this recipe).
Onion works better than pressing plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole or covering it with water and pouring it off later. Onion is also the best way to keep leftover avocado good—just place an avocado halve in a container with a hunk of onion, seal it with a lid, and it’ll stay good for a couple of days.
The Best Guacamole.
- Author: Cookie and Kate
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 2 ½ cups guacamole
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Mexican
Learn how to make the best guacamole with this recipe! This genuine guacamole recipe turns out perfectly every time, and it’s so easy to make. Recipe yields about 2 ½ to 3 cups guacamole, depending on your avocados (divide or multiply as necessary).
- 4 medium ripe avocados, halved and pitted
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion (about ½ small onion)
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 ½ limes), or more if needed
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocados into a low serving bowl, discarding any bruised, browned areas. Using a pastry cutter, potato masher, or fork, mash up the avocado until it reaches your desired texture (I like my guacamole to have some texture, so I stop mashing once there are just small chunks remaining).
- Promptly add the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, coriander, and salt. Stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt (I often add up to ½ teaspoon more), until the flavors really sing. If it needs more zip, add a little more lime juice (or, if it tastes too limey already, don’t worry—it will mellow out after a brief rest).
- To store leftovers, transfer the guacamole to a suitably sized, more vertical container to reduce the surface area available for oxidizing (browning). Place a generous hunk or halve of onion on top (see photo) and cover the container with plastic wrap. Leftovers will keep well, refrigerated, for about 3 days. Just remove the onion before serving. If the top turns light brown, just scoop off the browned bits and you should find bright green guacamole underneath.
Recipe adapted from my cookbook, Love Real Food.
Change it up: This guacamole is perfect as is, but if tomatoes are in season, try adding in chopped ripe, red, seeded tomatoes. If you want to get crazy, try garnishing your guac with crumbled cotijah or feta cheese, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or sun-dried tomatoes, and/or toasted slivered almonds or pepitas.