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Loaded with tomatoes, onion, lime juice, and garlic, this is the best guacamole recipe for dipping tortilla chips and fresh, crunchy veggies!
I LOVE GUACAMOLE! It’s true. Guacamole is a staple Mexican restaurant appetizer order of mine, and while I haven’t had a guacamole I *don’t* like, I definitely have had guacamole that keeps me coming back for more…and more, and more. SO, what makes one guacamole better than another? Acid and salt. Guac made with enough of these two key players is hard to beat.
Authentic Guacamole Recipe
Whether you’re scooping up some guacamole on a chip or raw veggie or loading up your carnitas taco, plate of nachos, or taco salad, this guac is the BEST ever. It’s perfectly textured (somewhere right in the middle of chunky and smooth), and while the ingredients are simple, the flavor is BIG!
Best Guacamole Ingredients
You’ll find all of the ingredients (aside from the salt and pepper) in the produce section of your grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need to grab:
- Avocados – you’ll need 4 ripe avocados to start with.
- Fresh Tomatoes – in addition to the avocados, you’ll also want to grab 1 medium-sized firm tomato and give it a good fine dice (if you’re having trouble cutting the tomato, you may need to grab a sharper knife!).
- Red Onion – while your knife is out, go ahead and finely dice a ¼ of a red onion (about ¼ cup).
- Fresh Garlic – 2 large garlic cloves (minced OR, for a finer texture, grated with a microplane) add the yummiest flavor here.
- Jalapeno – for a kick of spice, finely dice and deseed 1 small (or ½ of a large) deseeded jalapeno. This is about 1 tablespoon-worth of diced jalapeno!
- Lime Juice – acid is such a key component of guacamole! You’ll need a ¼ cup of fresh lime juice (the juice from 2 very juicy limes) to add a punch of acid.
- Cilantro – cilantro is a must here! Go ahead and chop up about a ¼ cup of cilantro leaves and stems for your guac.
- Salt + Pepper – 1 teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper go a long way in seasoning the guacamole.
How to Choose an Avocado for Guacamole
Choosing perfectly ripe avocados is really important for guacamole! Here’s how you’ll know that an avocado is guacamole-ready: gently press on the avocado, and if it gives just a little bit (think: soft, not squishy), it’s a winner!
Keep in mind that even if you don’t have the “picture perfect” avocado, you can still make it work! If your avocado…
- Is over-ripe – don’t worry! If it’s a little bit on the over-ripe side (think: a couple of brown spots in with the green avocado), it will actually make for a really delicious, creamy guacamole.
- Is under-ripe – that’s ok too! If your avocado is still on the firm side (think: not easy to mash), add some lime juice to the avocado when you start to mash it. This will help to break the avocado down a bit and make it more “mashable”.
How to Make Authentic Guacamole
This authentic guacamole recipe is one of those show-stoppers that impresses all who try it but is really silly-easy to make (my favorite kind of recipe!). Here’s how you’ll bring this one together:
- Smash the avocado – start by cutting the avocados in half, removing the seeds, and scooping the flesh into a large bowl. Then, using the back of a fork (or a potato masher), smash the avocados until they’re broken down but not smooth (or your desired guacamole consistency). If you have a really ripe avocado, this won’t take much time or effort, but if your avocado is not quite ripe, it may take a little bit of extra effort on your part!
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients – stir in the fresh diced tomatoes, red onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro until everything is well combined.
- Serve – either serve the guacamole in the bowl that you mashed it in or scoop it into a clean bowl, and enjoy!
Add-ins are a really important part of guacamole, y’all! In fact, without them, you really just have mashed avocado. We recommend 1 part filling to every 4 parts avocado, and while the add-ins that we listed are dynamite, these would also be really delicious:
- Cotija cheese
- Pomegranate seeds
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Any kind of fresh pepper – serrano, poblano, habanero, tomatillo, etc.
- Fresh pineapple
- Fresh mango
- Orange juice/lemon juice (instead of lime juice)
- Granulated onion/garlic (instead of fresh)
- Pico de gallo (instead of fresh tomato, red onion, and cilantro)
- White or yellow onion (instead of red onion)
- Pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
How Do You Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown?
First off, why does guacamole turn brown, and does that mean it’s gone bad? Guacamole (and avocados in general) turn brown when they’re exposed to oxygen. This process is called oxidation, and while it doesn’t look very pretty, it doesn’t actually mean that the guacamole is bad; in fact, there’s a really good chance that the taste and texture of the guacamole is just the same as it was when it was bright green (assuming that the guacamole hasn’t been sitting in the fridge for days and days). Here are a couple of things that you can do to slow the browning of your guacamole:
- Use plenty of lime juice – besides the fact that lime juice adds a great punch of acidity and brightness to the guacamole, it also helps the guac from turning brown, so don’t skip it!
- Use plastic wrap or a sheet of beeswax paper – before storing, press plastic wrap or beeswax paper directly on top of the guacamole (it should be touching the guacamole). This will prevent air from touching it and slow the oxidation process! Note: if you don’t have beeswax paper or plastic wrap, feel free to use parchment paper, but go ahead and put an additional lid on top if you’re going this route!
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Guacamole Frequently Asked Questions
Guacamole is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you’re making it for a gathering and you want to be sure that the guacamole stays green, we recommend waiting to make it until just before serving.
We think so! While our recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, feel free to use store-bought pico de gallo instead. Either way, we think that the tomatoes add a really nice flavor, texture, and color to the finished product.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when making homemade guacamole:
- Salt and acid! If you’ve tried time and time again to make guacamole but find that it’s just never as good as (insert your favorite restaurant’s name here)’s guacamole, it might be because you aren’t adding enough acid (think: lime juice) or salt to yours! Try adding more of these two before you give up on homemade guac!
- Grate the garlic! Use a microplane to grate the garlic rather than mincing it. This will help it to really break down and almost “melt” in with the rest of the ingredients.
- 4 ripe avocados
- 1 medium-sized tomato finely diced
- 1/4 red onion about 1/4 cup, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves minced or grated
- 1 small or 1/2 large jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice the juice from 2 very juicy limes
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the seeds, and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Using the back of a fork (or a potato masher), mash the avocados until they’re broken down but not smooth.
- Stir in the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper until everything is well combined.