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Guacamole

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Guacamole

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Learn to make the ultimate chip-worthy guacamole, rivaling the freshest, irresistibly scoopable guac made tableside at the best Mexican restaurants.

bowl of guacamole with chips.

As evidenced by the dozens of Mexican recipes on this site, it’s obvious that I have a deep love for Mexican food. (Fun fact: I even got married on Cinco de Mayo, although it wasn’t intentional — that would have been a bit much!) Guacamole, a delicious blend of perfectly ripe avocados, tangy lime, and flavorful seasonings, is an essential part of any Mexican meal, whether served as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a topping for chicken fajitas or beef nachos.

This classic guacamole recipe is reminiscent of those prepared tableside at the best Mexican restaurants. It can be whipped up in just 20 minutes with a handful of simple ingredients, and it’s the secret to instant popularity at any gathering you bring it to.

“Easy to make and tastes like our favorite Mexican Restaurant’s guacamole.”

Naomi

What You’ll Need To Make Guacamole

ingredients for guacamole.
  • Avocados: The base of guacamole, providing a creamy texture. Look for avocados that are dark green to nearly black and yield slightly to gentle pressure, indicating they’re ripe and ready for use. Avoid avocados that feel mushy or have deep indentations.
  • Lime Juice: Adds brightness and acidity, balancing the richness of the avocados and preventing them from browning too quickly.
  • Salt and Cumin: Salt enhances the overall flavors, while cumin adds a warm, earthy note. When seasoning your guac, taste it with the chips you’re serving as they can vary in saltiness.
  • Scallions and Garlic: Scallions bring a mild oniony crunch, and garlic contributes a subtle pungency.
  • Jalapeño Pepper: Introduces a spicy kick. Adjust the amount to suit your heat preference, and consider removing the seeds for less heat.
  • Tomato: Offers a juicy, sweet contrast. Seed the tomato to prevent the guacamole from becoming too watery.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Provides a burst of herbal freshness.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by cutting the avocados in half lengthwise. There are two ways to remove the pits. You can carefully strike them with the edge of a sharp knife, then twist and loosen (this is how I do it but please bear in mind that this is very dangerous if you miss; I have heard of people ending up with stitches using this method!). Alternatively, a safer way is to scoop the pits out with a spoon.

how to pit an avocado -- removing the pit.

Holding each avocado half in the palm of your hand, use a butter knife to cut a grid in the flesh.

cutting a grid in the avocado flesh.

Use a spoon to scoop the cubes of flesh out of the skin and into a medium bowl.

scooping the avocado flesh into the mixing bowl.

Add the lime juice. The easiest way to juice a lime is to cut it in half, then holding the lime in your hand, pierce the center with the tines of a fork. Squeeze the lime and turn the fork back and forth to release the juice.

squeezing lime over avocado.

Add the salt, cumin, scallions, garlic, and jalapeño.

avocado, jalapeno, scallions and cumin added to mixing bowl.

Using a fork, mash the mixture until blended but still very chunky. Add the tomatoes and cilantro and fold until combined, being careful not to overmix; you want the guacamole to be chunky.

folding in tomatoes and cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to store guacamole? How can I prevent it from turning brown?

You will find all sorts of suggestions online for the best way to store guacamole and prevent it from turning brown, but the reality is that none of them work well. Guacamole needs to be made fresh or just a few hours ahead of time. If you’re not planning to serve it immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly over the dip and refrigerate for up to two hours; after that, it will start to deteriorate. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.

Can I omit the cilantro?

Yes, you can make guacamole without cilantro if you’re not a fan or if you’re serving someone with a sensitivity to it.

My avocados are not ripe enough. Is there a way to speed up the ripening process?

Yes, to speed up the ripening process, place the the avocados in a brown paper bag and store them at room temperature. If you’re really in a hurry, place an apple or a kiwi fruit in the bag; these fruits give off a natural hormone that promotes ripening. You’ll know they’re ready to go when they are dark in color and firm, but yield to gentle pressure when you press them.

bowl of guacamole with chips.

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Guacamole

Learn to make the ultimate chip-worthy guacamole, rivaling the freshest, irresistibly scoopable guac made tableside at the best Mexican restaurants.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 large avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice, from 1 lime, plus more to taste
  • heaping ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, very thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic, from 1 clove (optional)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (about 2½ tablespoons; see note)
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Hold an avocado half in the palm of your hand and, using a butter knife, cut a grid into the flesh. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining avocado halves. Add the lime juice, salt, cumin, scallions, garlic (if using), and jalapeño. Using a fork, mash the mixture until blended but still very chunky. Add the tomatoes and cilantro and fold until combined, being careful not to overmix (you want the guacamole to be chunky). Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, lime, or jalapeño, if desired. Transfer to a bowl and serve with tortilla chips. If not serving immediately, place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until ready to serve (preferably no longer than a few hours; bring to room temperature before serving).
  2. Note: To prepare the jalapeño, use a small knife to slice straight down along one side, removing just the flesh. Turn the pepper and repeat with the remaining sides. All of the seeds and most of the veins -- the extra hot stuff -- should remain in the core. Mince the flesh and reserve the core in case you want to add more heat to your guacamole. Try to minimize contact with the seeds and be sure to wash your hands well after cutting the pepper; definitely do not touch your eyes.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 210
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 206 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • To keep guacamole from turning brownish in color, if you want to eat it over the course of a couple of days. Flatten the guacamole in a container. Whatever size that might fit what’s left of the guacamole. Make sure the guacamole is spread out evenly in the container. Next, pour a small amount of cool water over the guacamole, then cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate. The water will not absorb into the guacamole. When ready to enjoy, pour out the water and stir the guacamole and serve. Still have some guac left over? Repeat the process for storing and you’re all set.

    • — Kathrenita on February 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • To keep guacamole from turning brownish in color if you want to eat it over the course of a couple of days. Flatten the guacamole in a container. Whatever size that might fit what’s left of the guacamole. Make sure the guacamole is spread out evenly in the container. Next, pour a small amount of cool water over the guacamole, then cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate. The water will not absorb into the guacamole. When ready to enjoy, pour out the water and stir the guacamole and serve. Still have some guac left over? Repeat the process for storing and you’re all set.

    • — Kathrenita on February 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • Nice

    • — Bill on February 5, 2024
    • Reply
  • Simple and perfect!

    • — Kathy M. on August 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • I remember watching an old Nigela Lawson episode where she makes guacamole. Her number one tip is to dissolve the salt in the lime juice. This is a great recipe. I do prefer it with white onion, rather than green, but it really is a matter of preference. Do you have a specific brand of chips that you prefer? I’m ready to move on from Tostitos 🙂 Thank you, Jenn!

    • — L on May 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • My favorite tortilla chips are Xochitl and Late July. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • We love this recipe! Somehow it always comes out perfectly, despite variations in the hotness of the jalapenos or the juiciness of the lime. I’ve occasionally substituted a couple of teaspoons of tomato paste when I don’t have ripe tomatoes on hand, and it still tastes great.

    • — Valerie on March 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just made this. Great! This is the best guacamole recipe. Thank you, again, Jenn. David K

    • — David Kushner on February 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is always my go to guacamole recipe!!! Thanks Jenn!

  • Perfect recipe! Thank you!!

  • Outstanding! This is a fresh, lively guacamole!

  • I never used a recipe for guacamole, it was always good, hard to mess up avocados! I love your site so I tried this recipe as written.
    It takes guacamole up a level, fantastic! It was supposed to go with tacos tonight, but we ate all the guac before we got the tacos made 😊
    Side note on storage: I always make guac in a stainless steel mixing bowl with an airtight lid. That, with lime seems to keep avocados green for at least a whole day. Not that we have any left overs!

  • Beautiful fresh and light accompaniment to enchiladas or as a side dip with corn chips, thanks Jenn for another great recipe – my partner just asked for this to be added to the Xmas menu later this year! Looking forward to trying your roasted garlic guacamole next =)

  • I never really used a recipe for guacamole. Usually, after making pico de gallo, I would mash some avocados and add some pico. Not sure why I originally tried this recipe, but this is fantastic. I made some for my mother and sister today, and my sister texted me that it was the best she had ever had. All I had to say was Once Upon a Chef, and she knew where I got it. We both use so many of your recipes. I have all the ingredients here to make my husband and I a batch tomorrow for Super Bowl Sunday. We dont really watch the game, we just eat the food.

    • — Laura Migliore
    • Reply
  • I loved this guacamole recipe! I would have never thought of adding garlic, but it’s delicious! However, I used garlic powder (I just sprinkled some) and decided to skip the cumin. I like my guacamole chunky as well, so I used the fork technique. I always save the avocado seeds and put them in the guacamole to reduce oxidation (plus the plastic wrap, of course!); it’s not perfect, but I think works well. I love to eat my guacamole with plantain chips (yum 😋).

  • Easy to make and tastes like our favorite Mexican Restaurant’s guacamole. I’ve always wanted to make guacamole at home and Thanks to you Jenn, I will be from now on.

    • — Naomi Mimnaugh
    • Reply
  • This recipe is basically great. I changed it a bit the second time so that I used 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt instead of regular salt to give it a little more zip, and added 1/4 diced yellow onion to give a bit more kick. Perhaps it’s just a personal preference for salt and spice, so I recommend you make the recipe as is the first time and doctor it to suit yourself the second time. It’s very good as is!

  • I love this recipe. I have tried without the cumin and jalapeno. That is tasty also. The jalapeno gets too spicy for my taste. I also added 1 T of olive oil. Just adds a little something!

  • I ❤️ Guacamole! I’ve made it countless times. I also love trying new recipes. So, thankfully I tried this one. The flavor over the top above any other guacamole I’ve ever made. Found my go- to, compliment receiving recipe!

  • And yet ANOTHER winner! This stuff is wonderful. Had a mango about to age out and you’d already approved the move for another reviewer, so I diced it and folded it in. Pretty much impossible to identify where that little hint of sweetness came from in the finished product, but from now I’ll be adding it on purpose.

    • In Florida, we have gigantic avocados at this time of year – almost too many to eat daily! Since we can buy frozen guacamole in the grocery store, have you ever tried to freeze this guacamole recipe? If so, do you have any tips?

      • I’ve never tried to freeze it so I can’t say confidently how it will impact it – I’m sorry! If you try it, please report back to let me know how it goes!

      • Thank you for your quick response! I will make guacamole this weekend and freeze some and will report back on the results!

  • Very good. Loved the addition of jalapeno. Made this and your hummus for a social distancing get together last evening. They went over quite well.

  • Once again your recipes are on point. I loved this and so did my hubby. The addition of the cumin is perfect. I use a lot of your recipes and have never been disappointed you are my go to chick. Thanks for all your marvellous recipes.

  • This was fantastic. I have never really used a recipe for guacamole before. Just mashed the avocados and added some of my home made pico de gallo. Or just winged it with the lime juice, salt, cilantro and other ingredients. This was so perfect. I did not use the pepper because I forgot to buy it, but no one seemed to care. Used it to top a nacho platter, and everyone loved it. The best guacamole I ever made. I would never thought of adding the cumin, but it just rounded it out, without being overpowering.

    • — Laura Migliore
    • Reply
  • I once tried a spicy mango guac and it was swoon worthy. Any suggestions you can offer if I wanted to make that? Is it as simple as just adding mango to this recipe or should I make some adjustments?

    • Hi Kia, It’s as simple as adding mango. I’d love to know how it turns out!

  • I have found one and only one method to keeping avocados from turning….lay a slice of purple onion on the top of it in a closed container. Yes, it really works!!

  • I’ve made it more than a dozen times and the whole family loves it! Perfect for July 4th dinner 🙂

  • Here’s a foolproof way to keep guacamole from turning brown when storing, without using plastic wrap: after placing it in a container, pour a shallow layer of water on top, cover, and store in fridge. When ready to serve, carefully pour the water out, then stir.

  • To remove pit using knife, place avocado half on cutting board— definitely do NOT hold in hand while striking. (I know someone who cut her hand badly.) Another tip: hold jalapeño under running water while seeding. I cut corners by using garlic powder instead of fresh. Finally, I concur that lime, not lemon, is traditional. Great recipe!

  • I love this super simple, classic guacamole recipe. Even my 8 month old grandson was gobbling it up by the spoonful. Thanks Jenn – another 5 star recipe!

  • I’m popular with my guacamole…I also top mine with freshly cooked bacon (broken into pieces after the freezer for 10 min.) Friends gave me the nickname Glenn-Mole.

  • Best guacamole ever! I worked at the Houston’s in Georgetown back in the 80s and stole their recipe, which has been my standby. This just replaced it! Happy May 5!!!!

  • Could you purée it. I do not like chunky guac 😞

    • Sure, Sandra – you can mash it up as much as you like.

  • This guacamole is so tasty. Your seasoning game is always on point! The scallions instead of the white onion is brilliant. Thank you Chef for another tasty recipe!!

    • Use lemon and lemon zest instead of lime. No garlic at all. The avacado flavor is too delicate for garlic

      • Oh sounds like a personal preference on the lemon and garlic. I thought it was perfect as is!🙂

      • The recipe clearly states that chopped garlic is optional.

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