Guacamole Recipe

To make the best guacamole you have to go off-recipe. It's all about the in-between steps, decisions, and knowing when avocados are at their best.


If pressed, I could tell you how to make good guacamole in one sentence. It goes something like this. Mash ripe avocados with finely chopped white onions, a minced garlic clove, a squeeze of lime juice, then salt to taste. But to make great guacamole, it's the little decisions going between those commas that make all the difference. If you were standing next to me throughout the process, you'd pick up on the dozens of choices and considerations that actually matter. So, I thought I might try to go longer-form with you on this one - walk you through my thought process, step-by-step here, related to one of my favorite things to eat.
The Best Simple Guacamole

Good Shopping is Key to Great Guacamole

Like most things that end up on the table, your success or failure depends on how you do at the market. The most important step in this entire process is procuring the perfect avocados. Ripe. But not too ripe. Beautiful, buttery, green-fleshed decadence - that's what you're after. Sometimes easier said than done.

A Lineup of Ripe Avocado

Choosing the Right Avocados for Guacamole

I spend more time choosing the avocados for guacamole than actually preparing it. You want avocados that are ripe and the only way to figure out whether they're at their peak is to evaluate them one at a time. Here's what to look for.

  • Feel it. To decipher whether or not an avocado is ripe enough, hold it in your palm, and give it a gentle squeeze with the pads of your fingers. There should be some give, like butter that has been out of the refrigerator for an hour in an average-temp kitchen. The give should be uniform across the surface of the fruit. Try to imagine whether that amount of give would translate to good mash-ability. Avocados tend to be more ripe toward the surface, less ripe toward the seed. Keep that in mind as you're evaluating them.
  • Color. Look at the color as well. Over-ripe avocados (depending on the varietal) tend to be black with pockets of unstructured softness. I don't typically use the trick where you wiggle the stem button - if it's loose, the avocado is ripe (but possibly too ripe!), but that is another tactic to decipher whether an avocado is in the zone.
  • Consider timing. If you buy under-ripe avocados and have a few days before using them they'll continue to ripen over time. If you're in a rush - avocados ripen more quickly sealed in a paper bag. To slow down the ripening process, place them in the refrigerator (but bring back to room-temperature before using).

Guacamole Ingredients

The Right Temperature is Key

Temperature matters here, and you're going to want to use room-temperature avocados. Because avocados have such a high percentage of fat, imagine trying to mash cold butter versus room temperature. Once is going to be much creamier than the other. So, don't try to make guacamole with cold avocados. Also, serve at room temperature, not chilled.

The Concept of Guacamole "Stretching"

Avocados can be pricey, so a lot of restaurants will "stretch" or bulk out their guacamole with things like chopped tomatoes. I'm not a fan of this. The tomato addition in particular. I don't love the way watery tomatoes bump up against fatty avocado - it's literally oil and water. I like guacamole to be about the avocado, and unless I'm throwing some wildcards in the mix (like the one in my last book), I typically keep it as clean and simple as possible.


Beyond the basics, trust your taste buds to balance things out. If you like your guacamole to have a bit of spicy kick, add some minced serrano pepper. Use salt and lime juice, adjusting little by little, until things taste just right.

If you want to take your guacamole up another notch, try this favorite Indian-spiced guacamole, and inspired by a Julie Sahni recipe. I also love to use this guacamole on these Vegan Nachos and this taco salad or on homemade tortillas - so good!

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4.6 from 15 votes

Be sure to read the post up above for all the tips.

  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 4 ripe avocados, room-temperature
  • 1/2 medium white onion, minced
  • a squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • to serve: chopped cilantro, chives or chive blossoms (optional)
  1. Sprinkle the garlic with the salt and smash and chop into a paste. Then use a spoon to remove all the avocado flesh into a wide, medium bowl. Be sure you get all the avocado near the skin, it's the best part. Sprinkle the avocado with the onions and garlic, and use a large fork to fold everything together. I like a chunky guacamole, so I tend to fold, chop with the edge of the fork, fold, chop. After a few folds add the lime juice, and fold some more. Taste and adjust with more salt or lime juice, and serve topped with cilantro and chives (or chive blossoms).
  2. You can store any uneaten guacamole in a refrigerator. Any surface area exposed to air will likely brown, so (preferably) use a glass jar (Weck) where the lid comes in contact with the avocado, or a piece of plastic wrap pressed to suface.

Makes a large bowl of guacamole.

Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
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Recipe Rating


we don't like adding anything crunchy (onions) or fruity (tomatoes) that distracts from the smoothness of the avocado. we (CA) use california fatty avocados, salt, lemon or lime juice, smashed up garlic in the mortar till it's smooth, and finally the really great clincher is lemon or lime zest, depending on which citrus for juice we used...this is an outstanding guac that really emphasizes the smooth fatty avocado, despite the garlic and lemon...


This how I make my guacamole. I call it “pure”.

Barbara Ann

Agreed - there is no room for watery tomatoes in guacamole!

Alexandra Shytsman

I've always been pretty good at finding ripe avocados but I find that in Canada (especially in winter) even if they come from central/south America or the US, they just don't taste as fresh. I like my guacamole with a lot of lime but have had to scale down because my spouse prefers the guac to taste more like avocado (booo). I must say I do use garlic but rarely try with onions (although I would be tempted to use red onion in normal circumstances so I would have to try white onions to see how that tastes). I like a little kick and I do sometimes use pepper flakes or even a dash of sriracha. And to finish off, chives would be nice (I've used green onions as well). I must say that this Indian spiced avocado recipe sounds really fun!


    Thanks Caroline! Shallots are a nice alternative to onions as well.

    Heidi Swanson

If you can get a fuerte avocado, they are superior in almost every way. Very buttery and they last much much longer (without turning brown) than Hass. If picked between November and February they will be ripe in 9-10 days. I am fortunate enough to have a 25ft tree in my yard but I see them at the local farmers market too. My guacamole recipe is simply 1 avocado with 1/8 t salt and 1/4 t lime juice. No other flavors or textures to distract from the avocado.


If you put the avocado pits back in before storing it, it stays green! It's a huge difference!

Abra Burke

Hello Heidi, I live in Calcutta, India. About 8 years back, I planted an Avocado Seed in my back yard. It has grown tall and lanky with thick foliage, and it has taken 8 long years to show that it can bear fruit. Last February, the tree was in full bloom with small pretty pyramidal shapped lightish green flowers. I waited for 9 months to see if I could find a fruit, after searching frantically for the fruit, my gardener on a ladder shouted excitedly to come and take a look, and there, lo and behold in all the entire tree there was just this one big fruit, green and beautifully shaped like a ;large pear. I picked it from the stem, took plenty of photographs and sent it to my daughters in the United States and New Zealand. They all said An Avocado in Mom's Back yard. It was delicious to eat as a simple salad. This year, it is early March, the tree is in bloom again, and I shall wait another 9 mo9nths and hope to find a larger crop of Avocados. The trick is to attract the bees and the flies to hover around the flowers through the day for pollination to take place. Being a strange tree in my garden the bees do not go towards the flowers at all as I watch from my terrace to see if there any buzzing taking place. So I keep my fingers crossed for my harvest, and then Guacamole HERE I COME!

Gomathy Venkateswar

some dry and shred the pit from the avocado too! full of minerals ,vitamins! incredible!

HS: Is this true? has anyone else heard of this?

margit reydon

Guacamole has so many components. It's full of color, it's full of flavors, and with the help of a good friend from Chihuahua, Mexico, I came to realize that the best guacamole is rich in texture as well. My friend helped me to achieve this by coarsely dicing the ripe avocados with a table knife, as opposed to the incessant mashing that is all too often done when preparing this dish here in the states. Additionally, I am a fan of adding a some diced tomatoes, red onions and the like; not at all for the aforementioned motive of stretching, but rather to add to the palateal painting, making it not a treat solely intended for the the sense of taste, but for those of sight, olfactory, and touch as well.

Dan from Platter Talk

A perfectly ripe avocado is indeed a spectacle in its own right, and not much is needed to lift it from simple to sublime. But, it's certainly fun to try . . . your recipe is, of course, lovely. Just for fun, though, add a burst of sunshine in the form of little cubes of perfect mango. Which also means you need a bolt of heat. . .serrano peppers do the job incredibly well. Buttery avocado flesh meets sweetness and pepper power. It's insanely good.

Laura Di Lembo

A perfectly ripe avocado is indeed a spectacle in its own right, and not much is needed to lift it from simple to sublime. But, it's certainly fun to try . . . your recipe is, of course, lovely. Just for fun, though, add a burst of sunshine in the form of little cubes of perfect mango. Which also means you need a bolt of heat. . .serrano peppers do the job incredibly well. Buttery avocado flesh meets sweetness and pepper power. It's insanely good.

Laura Di Lembo

Lovely! So nice to see variations on a classic and your inclusion of must-dos and don't-dos. :) What about cumin or chili powder, or even the addition of smoked sea salt? I find these easily a way to take the satisfying to sublime...


I love to add a third-cup of plain Greek yogurt to my guacamole. It makes it creamy and gives it a better flavor in my opinion :)


I love avocados and go through 5-10 a week and this is a welcome way for me to eat them.

Aqiyl Aniys

I found it interesting that Shari's comment above mentioned that in Puerto Rico, avocadoes are green-skinned, gord-shaped, very large and seldom used for guacamole. I just happened to be reading in this month's Cooks Illustrated that those are called "skinny" avocadoes -- or Florida avocadoes and they have about half the fat of the smaller, darker skinned Haas -- or California avocadoes. Skinny avocadoes are awfully good for eating fresh but produce more of a washed-out tasting guacamole.

Carmen at Florida Health

OH, and I eat a TON of avocados and have a fast and reliable method of buying them. Grab a bag or two, if they are pre-bagged, just feeling quickly for any overripe ones. Let them sit on the counter, and check ripeness EVERY DAY. Toss ripe ones in the fridge as they ripen, where they will keep for a week, easily, if not two, even three. This way I always have ripe avocados on hand. I use them cold out of the fridge, no worries there. Delish! Also, a great way to eat them, is to halve them and pour balsamic vinaigrette dressing into the pit hole. Eat with a spoon. YUM.

HS: Thanks Amy! Love your suggestions here. Really enjoying reading all the ideas and suggestions from everyone - some really, really good ones. xo


Two things I've taken to doing in my guac prep: 1) mixing the onion with the lime juice and letting them macerate for some minutes before mixing in the rest 2) adding orange juice concentrate. (Inspired by an Isa Chandra Moskovitz recipe that adds fresh oj.) SO GOOD. It doesn't taste "orangey," just mysteriously sweet-tangy. This too can be added in step 1.


hi heidi, your guacamole with mustard seeds and curry powder is one of our favorite ways to eat avocados.

HS: It's still a favorite here too! Thanks for taking it old school :)


Roast a jalapeno over open flame, then chop into little bits to include the seeds. Heat and a smoky hint is what could make this guacamole...and bring me back to the southern California girl in me.


Hi from Zambia - the avocado tree in my garden is bang in season - so we are spoiled with wonderful avocados! So tasty and so BIG! It will be hard to go back to Europe and the price we have to pay for them there!


I had heard that the brown-paper-bag ripening trick is an old wives tale....but what really does work is putting your avocado in a bowl with a banana, which gives off something which speeds up the ripening process (why fruit goes rotten more quickly when in the same bowl as a banana. I'm a four-ingredient guacamole kinda gal too, but always onion/shallot and never garlic. Bit sad to find out that I actually DIDN'T invent marinading the onions in the lime juice to stop them overpowering :)


Hi from Kiwiland (New Zealand); We are so very lucky that we have a friend with the most wonderful Hass avocado tree - we swap tomatoes or other vege for avos .. works for us. For my guacamole I use garlic; black pepper; sweet thai chilli sauce; lime/lemon juice (whatever I have fresh at the time); a lil zest from the lime/lemon; salt to taste - great with fresh panfried fish - or just dunk with your fave paleo crisps or vege sticks (carrots; celery etc). I like a lil heat in my guacamole :)


If finding a good avocado is sometimes hard it's because they are a summer fruit. Don't give up, keep looking once the weather really warms up. Also try using just the pulp (not the seeds or juicy parts) of the tomato, red onion too for flavor and color. Or make homemade pico de gallo and add avo chunks to that. Riquisimo!


Seconding the pomegranate seed suggestion. Beautiful and a nice flavor addition!


Loving your use of white onion. I always opt for purple onion in my guacamole but I am completely sold on the idea of white onions!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

My guac is pretty simple: perfectly ripened ago, fresh lime juice, course sea salt and pepper. I've never thought to add onions or garlic. I'm definitely going to try it out sometime :)


I love your chive blossoms--what a fun twist. I agree I don't care for tomatoes or corn in my guac, but I do like a pinch of turmeric, in fact that I can spoon the buttery avocado while in its skin with some lemon salt & turmeric. All that is left to clean is the spoon.


I too really dislike the addition of tomatoes to guacamole. I never thought about it in the sense of stretching, like when restaurants will add it to their guacamole! This definitely bums me out! Great post and photographs, thank you for sharing.


No to garlic in guac! I guess it's all about preference :-) Yes to everything else, triple it up on the lime, cilantro and onion; a little garlic salt can actually add a secret "je ne sais quoi" flavor without interfering with the guacamole's purity. Love love love guac!


I always add some cumin (about 1/2 tsp per avocado) and about half as much chili powder, and I get good reviews from my eaters. Unlike Heidi, I do like some chopped tomato in it, and don't really like raw garlic. To each their own, I guess - cheers!


YUM! had some yesterday myself - i make mine very similarly to yours but i use red onion instead of white, add some of the lime zest and usually some finely diced jalepeno.


Love your posting about Guacamole..just back from Sayulita in Mexico where we ate Guac almost everyday, wonderful ripe avocados to choose from. It's a bit harder to make it so well at home on Vancouver Island and cool winter weather does not call for it so much but I can find those lovely limes here that taste the best. thanks


It's serendipitous that you mention guacamole. Living in San Diego, I look forward to the annual Guacamole Bowl which is coming up soon. It's a fundraiser/guacamole-off that's open to the public. It reminds me to appreciate how plentiful avocados are here.


LOVE reading everyone's variations on the theme, so i thought i'd add one of my own: roasted avocado! really adds a smoky depth that's surprisingly delicious. in a hurry? try finishing with a sprinkling of smoked salt!


no onion or garlic (for me, they both add a weird "manufactured" flavor; like something tinned or jarred). just avocado, salt, lime and enough sambal olek to add a kick.


I grew up in Southern California near many avocado ranches -- now mostly gone. We just threw unripe avocados into a dark drawer until they ripened. I prefer lime juice also and I sometimes grate the onion. Interesting that the best avocados I've found in the past few years have come from Costco. They are often not ripe yet, so I put them away for a few days -- they are unblemished.


I love using minced shallots and a minced jalapeño for a little spice. Extra lime juice for me too. Great post with great pics!

Kim @ Cook with 2 Chicks

My guac is pretty simple - avocado, squeeze of lime, and a hint of mayo (really helps keep it from browning!) Every once in a while I add in a healthy scoop of dry cottage cheese (esp if I have some home-made goodness wanting to be eaten:-) Yum! Will have to pick up some avocados...


Mom always ripened avos in paper bags in the kitchen towel drawer. Ha. As for guac, the simpler the better imo. I make mine with exactly the same ingred you wrote about, minus the chive blossoms (only because I never thought about it, and I only have those avail in my garden in the spring anyway.) Me too - NO tomatoes! ugh. Ha Love your blog so much - especially the photos and written words prior to the recipe. It's like sitting down with a bed time story every time I get a new post in my in-box! This one was particularly timely as (seriously) we have 7 ready avos and just bought our fav chips last night in anticipation of making guac today! We LIVE on avos - 1 a day between the two of us. SO good for you!! Yay avocados!!


I love your chive blossoms--what a fun twist. I agree I do not care for tomatoes or corn in my guac, but I do like a pinch of turmeric, in fact, I can spoon the buttery avocado while still in its skin with some lemon salt & turmeric. All that is left to clean is the spoon.


So, I have to step in and say that after losing multiple guac recipe contests at my former company, I finally asked the repeat winner what her secret was. Put the lime juice, onion and garlic in a bowl and let macerate for at least 10 minutes. Same as macerating shallots when you make a vinaigrette. It takes the bite out of the alliums without reducing the flavor. It's the bomb. PS. One of the best guacs I've ever had was the one at that vegetarian restaurant we went to in the mission. The tortillas were fantastic too. xo

HS: Gracias Madre! :) Love the maceration tip. xoxo


when avocados are in, such perfection...heaven has dropped down from the sky to your kitchen…i am confident that this 101 recipe is a winner, Heidi's recipes just are…still, i'd like to add something to this guacamole post, a 'different' avocado concoction i shall mention…i knew a man from Minnesota, a new Texan as it were, who 'came up with' (out of necessity he said-too few avocados) a Guacamole concoction that i first turned away from. politely…originally, i scoffed at the ingredients in my mind and heart (and soul)….it seemed to me that a person from Minnesota, who did not grow up having guacamole, should not be able to just 'come up with' a new Guacamole recipe so darn delectable…it doesn't add up, ye kno? ONE taste, however, and i was sold on this Guacamole with a Minnesota spin! here we go-minced Hard Boiled EGG, Avocado/s, MAYOnnaise, Grated Onion, Cumin, Lemon Juice, S&P and either powdered Garlic or minced fresh…stir up and hey! Wow, this concoction is delicious even if it was devised by a Viking sort....


I am a red-onion fan, and no garlic. A tip for keeping any leftovers - put the remaining guac (ha ha - if there is any!) in a bowl and level it off as much as possible. Then take a piece of plastic wrap that is bigger than the circumference of the bowl, and stick it onto the guac as seamlessly as possible, trying to make it as air-tight as possible. Guac turns brown because of exposure to oxygen.


Here is my little trick when the avocados are very heavy and buttery, before reaching for more salt to brighten, I add a few quick shakes of tamari. You won't notice the taste itself, just a little more saltiness and a nice depth to the flavor.


I always add a whisper of cumin, as I find it combines nicely with the cilantro and only enhances the rich warm zing of the guacamole!


For me, guacamole starts with the right variety of avocado, preferably Haas. The larger varieties never seem to have the same depth of flavor or texture, but may be perfect for other dishes.

diary of a tomato

Simple guacamole is the best guacamole. No need to load it up with other ingredients.

Rockin Arugula

You are so witty and fun!! I enjoy recipes, honesty and photos Heidi; I make Guacamole quiet often and actually prefer it a bit on the chunky side, not too chunky though. When I'm making mines it's similar to yours I also use Serrano peppers and Cilantro it's sooo delicious! Thank you for all your emails. God bless you and yours I look forward I receiving more emails and fun recipes.


I like to make my guacamole sing in different notes for the restaurant setting. My most successful is the lime-spiked version. I first zest the limes, then roll and juice them, adding one secret ingredient: Chopped, Segmented Lime! Add a little honey to your mixture if it comes off too acidic. But remember, the brown oxidation can only be slowed, not stopped. The pit really does nothing to slow the process. Rather, use citrus and press plastic wrap right down onto the surface of the guacamole until ready to serve.

Chef Kellen Ferkey

I recommend buying unripe avocados- less bruising plus you can check their progress while ripening so you can eat them at their peak... Or stick them in the fridge to save at that state for a couple of days. I have it easy, I just take a basket out to the yard :)


I love making simple, ordinary recipes - and thus examining their intricate steps just to see variations. It's kitchen mantras like these that makes minute things big, important and beautiful just as we've forgotten them. Thank you for sharing and remembering...

phi @PrincessTofu

Beautiful posts! My friend who works at Whole Foods told me to try adding cut onions if you aren't going to use a whole avocado or more right away-cover in a glass dish (I'm a Pyrex whore!) I've tried it-works for a day-husband & I are on different schedules-he can eat all, I'm happy to have 1/2 a day-then I can play with the extras!


Yum, guacamole.... Jenni, for not-quite-ripe avocados inadvertently opened too soon, I actually dice the avocado and use it as one of the highlights in a pico de gallo salsa.


To keep avocados from turning brown, in a bowl, place a layer of sliced red onion under them & over the top of them & cover. I also brush them with lemon juice. I have kept avocados spotless for 4-5 days.. I don't know how much longer it would have worked because I always use them by that time.. It is amazing.. Try it.. ;) TY

Antoinette Zimmerman

If finding good avocados in California is difficult (which I never imagined - you know what they say about where the grass is greener), finding acceptable ones in Germany can be mission impossible. They are either way too hard (and go from too hard to black with no perfectly ripe stage in between), too stringy (I had an unfortunate attempt at making avocado "chocolate mousse" a few weeks back with an annoyingly stringy avocado), or they look and feel ripe only to reveal a black interior. There are few things more disappointing that cutting into an avocado and finding black! Therefore, I consult the stem button for advice. Instead of wiggling it, I actually remove it. If I see black then I know that the avocado has seen its day. If I see green then it is a keeper. And then I go home immediately and make guacamole, of course. Thanks for sharing all of your avocado tips!


Love this - and love your description of how to find the perfect ripe avocado! I make mine pretty much the same way, minus the garlic and plus a tiny bit of finely chopped tomato. Basically, I make it the same way my high school roommate (who was Mexican) taught me, and don't deviate from her method. It was such a treat to be introduced to west-coast Mexican food in 10th grade. I was a Russian immigrant who pretty much just knew Russian food; and Mexican food was eye (and palate) opening.


I'm right there with ya on the tomato thing! I usually ask for them to make it without. And when I make it myself, I only add garlic, and skip the onion - the bite on the raw onion ruins the avocado taste!

Elizabeth A.

We eat so many avocados I find myself wondering if we should remortgage the house. One of the wonders of guacamole is how flexible it is (as evidenced by all the suggestions in the comment section). All I can say is bring on the chips!

Cynthia A.

Is there any way to use an avocado when it's not yet ripe enough, but it's already been cut into? Can they be heated, or anything, to soften them up? We tried to make guacamole Monday, but the avocados were not yet ripe enough. We ended up throwing a whole bowlful of stuff we tried to blend in the blender out. I hoped there might be a good trick for last minute ripening.


I like your simple , quick recipe for guac, but I can't help but add chopped fire roasted jalepenos, to provide some heat. I also don't like the water added from incorporating chopped I add halfed cherry or grape tomatos as a garnish around the edge along with the cilantro. This method allows the taster to select as little or not of the 2 items, not all appreciate.


hi there! super simple guac is my fave too. in fact, i've even had people from mexico tell me that my guac reminds them of home! i always use a thai mortar and pestle (aka mocajite). 4 ingredients - jalapeno + cilantro + avocado + nice sea salt... grind the jalapeno and cilantro into a lovely paste - add avocado, stir to chunky or creamy and salt to taste. YUM! (If you must add lime a small squeeze is fine, but not necessary :-).


Choosing the right Avocado has always been tricky for me. I was expecting that this post would help me with that.


I love the little details here. Thanks for sharing. My basic guac recipe uses 1 avocado, ~2tsp of fine chopped red onion, juice of a half a lime, ~2tsp of olive oil along with course salt, fresh ground pepper and chopped cilantro to taste. No one I know uses olive oil (why bother, right? avocado's smooth enough already), but i find it really makes a difference texture-wise.

Jeff Drury

I usually make a homemade pico and add that into my guacamole. However, I will be trying out your recipe for next time. I'm always such a huge fan.


our guacamole is very basic: avocados + lime juice + salt & pepper guacamole-making has been my daughter's job for years - she's now 14. smarty-pants trick for keeping any leftover guacamole from turning brown: save the pit and stick it into the guacamole {then cover tightly & refrigerate}. we do this, but i have a sneaking suspicion that some avocados are just more likely to brown than others.


I'm def trying this at home. I never get through my weekly purchase of avocadoes and sometimes they go off so will be good to turn them into this. Thank you. xoxo Ivy

Purple Ivy

Timely recipe and process. I was just told to eat more avocados by my naturopath. Have you ever added a bit of turmeric? Apparently the body needs fat to better use turmeric.


A pinch of cumin is so good in guacamole. Other than that, our recipes are the same :)


no tomatoes in your guacamole -- YOU ARE MY HEROINE!!! :) btw: i had a grilled avacado (half) a couple of weeks ago with a Japanese ponzu sauce in it which was absolutely delicious!


I love the way you write about perfect, simple food. You're the best. I hate to admit it, but I love the tomato water bomb in guacamole. I think it's just a Texas thing. But I agree: no guac is complete without lots of raw onion. If you do it right, you don't taste onion, you just taste heat. I also add cilantro, but I put cilantro on almost everything.


While my guacamole may vary slightly (prefer red onion), I think the key to great guacamole is sprinkling salt on the garlic and then mashing it. My friends and I have been doing this for years! You've hit the nail on the head!


Finding good avocados is key. Sometimes that feels like such a crapshoot, no?

Maryea {happy healthy mama}

Heidi, here in NZ it is a great summer for avos (as we call them) and we have consumed buckets of guacamole. It is good to have a refresher on recipes and methods. Like you I like it chunky not smooth like baby food, in fact I don't even mash it, I peel and dice the avos and then gently stir in the other ingredients. My all time favourite is your "Twist on Guacomole" from a few years back, it has the cumin and curry in it and is just the best and was made almost daily over our Xmas/New year holiday at the beach. Lastly we have a well laden lemon tree so it is usually lemon not lime juice. Just now (midsummer) limes are $34 per kilo! Lemon works fine.


Avocado, queso fresco or french feta, oluve oil, salt to taste and voilá! You'll never prepare it any other way again.


The paper bag technique is new to me, thanks for mentioning it!


you have perfected the simplicity of guacamole! love it, thanks for sharing!


Our avocadoes in Puerto Rico are green-skinned and shaped more like gords. They are way bigger than the Haas variety I see in the States. They're ripe when you can feel the seed rattle inside when you shake them. We eat them like a side vegetable and people don't generally make guacamole, although I do!


There's a trick I use to get out ALL the avocado flesh that I never seem to see mentioned anywhere. Instead of scooping out the flesh with a spoon, just lay the avocado half cut side down on a cutting board, lightly score the skin down the middle with the tip of your knife, and peel off the skin in two big pieces. You don't lose ANY flesh and you can easily cut the avocado half into whatever shape you want!


Pomegranate seed! Make it just like you do and then fold in some little red jewels.


Your basic process is sound. . . but sometimes I marry the sumptous buttery flesh with a pinch of cumin and crushed dried chipotle pepper. It's a bit of a Mexican flavour thing that I like. Not too much but a subtle reminder of where this food comes from. It's quite fabulous. A little sprinkle of Mexican oregano adds a floral suggestion that works well also.

Laura Di Lembo

My husband and I were just chatting last night about avocado and how we never brought one. We were thinking of getting some this weekend, so your recipe comes at the perfect time. I'm going to give this a try this weekend.

Lail | With A Spin

You're missing the heat in this recipe!! My recipe is quite similar but I omit the garlic and do a quick shake of ground chili pepper flakes to add some spice.

kb in to

The perfect avocado starts with the care it has received before you buy it. I try to only buy them just as they are being put out - less bruising - as I have seen stockers upend the box they are packed in. I prefer Haas avocados with the pebbly skin rather then those huge smooth skin ones. All go in frig except the one we want to use first - it stays out. I do put a bit of jalapeno in my guacamole. If it or the onion seem too hot/spicy I'll put lime juice or lemon juice on that and let it sit a bit. I have used white wine vinegar if I'm short on the citrus. Also to keep it from turning brown? Eat the whole bowl - no leftovers.


While my guacamole may vary slightly (prefer red onion), I think the key to great guacamole is sprinkling salt on the garlic and then mashing it. My friends and I have been doing this for years! You've hit the nail on the head!


Rick Bayless suggests that it's best to buy avocados that still have a part of the stem. Years ago, I started including some minced cucumber in my guacamole, and it's a nice addition, too. (It can be salted and drained before being added, to cut down on the liquid.)


After my daughter cut her hand seriously trying to remove the pit from an avocado, had an operation and went to a hand therapist, she found out how to do it correctly - simply squeeze the half with the pit gently and if it is ripe enough - the pit will pop out. In all the articles and recipes I have seen with avocados, I have never seen this suggested - but it works like a charm.


Heidi, your blog is always a pleasure to read (and I love the photos too!). I will definitely use your tip on buying avocados. When I make guacamole, I usually go for cilantro, thinly minced red onion and lime juice to add to my avocados. My secret ingredient is to add also a handful of grated sharp cheddar cheese, well blended in the mix. Just that bit of cheese gives a little punch to the guacamole without disguising the avocado flavour.


One of the tricks I use to keep it from going brown is to add the whole avocado pit to the guacamole. This helps stanch the browning. Although - to be honest - the pit is really effective only on the part of the guacamole’s surface it touches. But between the pit, the lime juice and the lid/plastic wrap I manage to retain a lot of guacamole's vibrant color (which is the dip’s ultimate virtue)


I love guacamole, but since learning this new twist, I'm hooked on it. Take 2 avocadoes, mashed, and add 1 rounded tsp Umeboshi Paste (fermented plum paste) and a clove of mashed garlic. Different and incredibly good.


We are almost a avacado a day people at our house! Lately it's avacado mashed on toast in the mornings with a little red pepper of sorts! We always like the less is more aproch with food! Happy mashing

Keli Aiello

I prefer my guacamole with just lemon juice and salt. Simple and delicious. As for avocado ripeness, I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood where one bodega keeps the avocados behind the counter and then custom picks the one that fits the day you want to use it (i.e. 2 for today, 2 for Monday, etc.)


I've been making the perfect guac for decades now. It's my most requested dish. I think the key is setting yourself up to create the perfect texture to ingredients combo. I do add tomatoes, but only flesh and no juice, that is very important for the texture and the color/beauty of my guac. Depending on the avocados I also know if I need more salt, pepper, garlic. I do agree, the key is to start with the perfect avocado.


I was always a guac purist until I tried my daughter's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink guac. Amazing! There's not exactly a recipe, but here's what's in it: lots of avocados, lime, salt, a good dollop of fresh tomato salsa that includes peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, cumin, cilantro, maybe more garlic and hot peppers to taste, and — here's what really makes it — a good amount of finely diced mango. You have to try it to believe how good it is.


Love your recipe. I am, however, from TX, and also a fan of guacamole made on the River Walk in San Antonio. Some additional ingredients that you will find exceptionally good include 1-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, and perhaps 1 strip of well cooked bacon, crumbled very fine & mixed in. Of course, Texans also like their jalapeño addition too ... each of these are variations you may like from time to time. Enjoy :)


I like it simple, too, but I also don't mind the addition of a teeny bit of freshly toasted and ground cumin seeds.


I LOVE guacamole! It is really hard to get good avocados here in England, so I usually have to settle for less than good, but they're better than none. :) Thanks for sharing your recipe!


I'm careful to use the palm of my hand, not my fingers, when giving the avocado a squeeze. The fingers seem too damaging.


Great article as ALWAYS. Huge fan of your writing and photography. You're so on point: it's all about the ingredients. When you have perfect avocados you don't need much else. Myself, I prefer no onion in the guac, just limon and salt, maybe garlic. Onions and cilantro on top when gettin fancy. ~HR in Mendo :)


A while back we switched to preferring Shallots instead of onions for guacamole. Every so often we make it with onion, but it's not the same. A trick for Salsa/Guac I learned from watching Rick Bayless' show a while back, is to put the raw onions in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes , then drain. I think the term was "deflaming". The onions lose all their harshness.


Here in Australia, we have more than one type of avocado in the stores. Some are much more "meaty" than the hass and some have a courser/or smoother texture when mashed. SO I normally choose what ever is just right. I am actually not fan of raw garlic in the mix; usually preferring the heat of green pepper. This is great post on a dish which is so often stuffed up.


I'm also on the tomato train! I see restaurants add things like sour cream to stretch guacamole, but never thought of tomatoes as part of the deal. Maybe because I'm always disappointed when I'm making guac at home and realize we don't have any good tomatoes.

Jennifer Seamans

Aw, I really love tomatoes in my guac. Tiny flecks of red to liven up the taste a bit, just like the onion. I think the juxtaposition against the creaminess of the avocado helps bring out the best of both worlds. Haven't thought to put any garlic in, but lots and lots of cilantro? Oh yes.


Hi, I'm from Spain and I like your blogg so much and also your book, gives me inspiration!. I usually add cherry-tomato to guacamole, but next time I'll try your recipe.


I love guacamole and I've been eating avocados like crazy lately. I love the tips about finding the perfect ripe avocado. There's nothing sadder than slicing one open to find it's spoiled inside. I can't wait to try this recipe!


I live in Santa Barbara, and some friends and I were just talking today about how the avocados have been disappointing recently around here. I am going to really hunt at the market on Saturday for some good ones and try your method and this new recipe. My usual guac recipe is a bit simpler: avocado, green onion (white and green parts), salt, lime, and cilantro all folded together.


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