Easy Guacamole Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
This easy guacamole recipe rivals the tableside guac from your favorite restaurant. It only contains eight ingredients, so make sure each one is high-quality for the freshest results.

Updated: Apr. 30, 2024

The best guacamole recipe is a simple guacamole recipe. It doesn’t need a dozen different ingredients or flavor boosters to taste fantastic; it just needs a few high-quality additions to accentuate avocado’s buttery flavor.

Our Test Kitchen developed this recipe with balance in mind. Combining juicy tomatoes, crunchy red onions, bright cilantro, spicy jalapenos and zippy lime juice creates a fresh blend of flavor and textures. It’s the perfect dip for a Cinco de Mayo party, or as one of your favorite everyday ways to eat guacamole.

What is guacamole?

Guacamole is a dip or spread made of mashed avocados and other fresh ingredients. The earliest known account of guacamole comes from the 16th-century Aztec Empire, in modern-day Mexico. Avocados were mashed with tomatoes, salt and chiles in a molcajete (a mortar made from volcanic rock). Over time, guacamole evolved to include other ingredients like lime juice, onions and cilantro.

Today, guacamole is popular as a tailgate snack with tortilla chips, or as an accompaniment to authentic Mexican dishes like tacos or flautas. This creamy concoction tastes great with other cuisines, too. Spread it on toast for breakfast. Dollop it on burgers. Use it to make guacamole tossed salad or slather it on sandwiches like loaded avocado BLTs or turkey guacamole wraps. The sky’s the limit!

Guacamole Ingredients

Ingredients of Easy Guacamole in bowlTMB STUDIO

  • Avocados: Look for ripe avocados with dark, almost black skin. The flesh should have a little give when you press it, but it shouldn’t feel soft or mushy. When you’re ready to cut into the fruit, here’s how to cut an avocado and easily remove the skin and pit.
  • Lime juice: Put down the bottled lime juice and pick up a whole lime instead. Fresh citrus juice is brighter and more vibrant. You’ll really be able to taste the difference.
  • Tomatoes: Adding tomatoes to guacamole is a matter of choice. We love the juicy texture and the sight of red tomatoes in each bite. Make sure to remove the seeds; this prevents the tomato from watering down the guac. If you prefer a smoother, creamier texture, feel free to leave them out.
  • Onion: Use red onion for its color contrast and its sharp, pungent flavor. You can also substitute white or yellow onions for their milder character.
  • Cilantro: This vibrant herb adds freshness to guacamole. It has a stronger flavor than parsley, which can be used as a substitute if you have the genetic variant that makes cilantro tastes like soap.
  • Jalapeno: A hint of heat brings out the other flavors. If you like it even spicier, substitute serrano peppers.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is the way to go here. In a pinch, you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder for every clove of garlic, but dried garlic powder and granules can add a chalky or gritty texture.
  • Salt: Salt brings guacamole to life, accentuating its naturally buttery flavors. More often than not, you can make a bland guacamole taste better by adding a couple extra pinches of salt.

Directions

Step 1: Mash the avocados

In a large bowl, coarsely mash the avocados with lime juice.

Editor’s Tip: Keep the mash coarse for a restaurant-style chunky guacamole. If you prefer a creamier consistency, continue mashing until the avocados are smooth.

Step 2: Mix the guacamole

Stir in the tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and salt.

Editor’s Tip: Tomatoes and onions add flavor and texture. Feel free to leave one (or both) of them out for a smoother guacamole.

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Recipe Variations

  • Use spices: Add a pinch of ground cumin or coriander to add depth and give the dip an earthy, smoky vibe. Kick up the heat with cayenne pepper or paprika.
  • Make it creamier: Add some mayonnaise to give the guacamole a creamy mouthfeel. You can also use Greek yogurt or sour cream for added creaminess with a tangy edge.
  • Substitute lemon juice: You can use lemon and lime juice interchangeably in this recipe. Each type of citrus has a different flavor that will mix up the guacamole’s personality.
  • Add salsa: Instead of tomatoes and onions, add your favorite salsa or pico de gallo to the mix to make salsa guacamole.

How to Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown

As a former restaurant chef, I know it’s not always possible to prepare guacamole just before serving it. My restaurant prepped big batches of guacamole, so I had to learn to keep them green, vibrant and fresh-tasting.

Avocado flesh oxidizes when it’s exposed to air, giving it an unappealing brown hue. I’ve tried every trick in the book to prevent this. Limes can help; the citric acid in their juice slows down the browning, but the air eventually wins. Covering the dip with a protective layer of water was the only method that worked consistently to prevent guacamole from browning.

Transfer the guacamole to a storage container. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon and add enough water to cover. Don’t worry about the guacamole getting watery; it’s so thick that the water won’t penetrate the top layer. Cover and store the guacamole in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, discard the water.

How long does guacamole last?

Guacamole lasts up to three days in the refrigerator if you take the steps above to prevent the avocado from turning brown. It is safe to eat guacamole that has some light brown spots. However, you should throw away guacamole that’s deep brown or black in color, smells off, or has an excessively watery texture.

Can you freeze guacamole?

You can freeze guacamole, though it will be more watery and loose when thawed (especially if you made it with tomatoes). To freeze guacamole, transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Press a layer of storage wrap to the guacamole’s surface to protect it from freezer burn. Secure the lid and freeze it for up to three months. Thaw frozen guacamole in the refrigerator overnight.

Guacamole Tips

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How do you pick avocados for the best guacamole?

The best guacamole is made with ripe avocados. Underripe avocados won’t mash properly, while overripe avocados have a mushy texture. I like to buy my avocados several days in advance and give them time to ripen on the countertop. To ripen avocados quickly, place them in a bag with a banana or apple (they produce ethylene gas, a plant hormone that encourages ripening). On the flip side, if the avocado is ready before you are, toss it in the fridge to slow down the ripening process.

What is in traditional guacamole?

Traditional guacamole is made with avocados, lime juice, red onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, chopped fresh cilantro, garlic and salt. Some people break from tradition and add sour cream or mayonnaise to guacamole to make it extra-creamy.

How do you fix a bland guacamole?

If your guacamole tastes like it’s missing something, start with salt. Salt enhances umami flavors, making the guacamole taste more savory and seasoned. You can also brighten up the guacamole with extra lime juice. If the guacamole still tastes flat, try adding flavor with guacamole toppings (feta and pomegranate seeds are a fun twist!).

Easy Guacamole

Prep Time 10 min
Yield 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, coarsely mash avocados with lime juice. Stir in the tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and salt.
Juicy tomatoes, spicy jalapeno pepper, tangy red onion and the refreshing juice from limes are mashed with creamy avocados to make a traditional and versatile guacamole dip. Put it on tacos and nachos, or pair it with plain ol' chips for an added flavor of richness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin