Homemade Guacamole – Now That Was Easy – Recipe

Guacamole
Legendary Guacamole

I’ve never understood why people buy pre-made guacamole. The store-bought stuff ranges from barely ok to green glue. The real thing takes all of five minutes to make and tastes spectacular. I’ll show you how. I usually make a four-avocado batch and it is just enough to satisfy four adults and a couple of munchkins, so you can tell how popular it is at my house.

First of all, what goes in to great guacamole? Rich, sweet, unctuous avocado set off by bright lime juice, a little sharp bite of garlic and onion, herbacious cilantro and of course a bit of salt is all it takes. If you want to gild the lily with tomato or jalapeno, that can be nice too.

The avocados have to be ripe, and they have to be Hass. Those big, tempting looking, smooth-skinned California avocados have zero flavor. There might be other varieties that taste as good as Hass but I haven’t had them.

You can tell if an avocado is ripe if it gives under gentle pressure from the pad of your thumb. If the skin is wrinkly and looks like it has voids underneath, it is probably starting to rot. If you open one up and have any doubts, taste it first – and just chuck it if it isn’t right. You can’t make good guacamole from bad avocados.

To extract the flesh of the avocado, first carefully run your knife all the way around the pit vertically and then twist to separate the halves. Again carefully gouge the corner of the knife near your hand a little way into the pit and twist a little to remove it. Now just use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh. If that isn’t clear, let me know and I could post a little video to show the moves – once you have the hang of it, it just takes a few seconds per avocado.

Guacamole tastes best freshly made, but you can hold it for a few hours in the refrigerator and it will still be great. Just press plastic wrap right down on the surface to avoid unsightly oxidation.

Here’s the recipe:

Ridiculously Good Guacamole in Five Minutes
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free
Serves 4-6 greedy guac hounds
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: None!

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  1. Extract the avocado flesh into a medium bowl as described above.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients, including 1 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Mash and mix lightly. I prefer a potato masher but the back of a big fork works well too.
  4. Taste and add salt and more lime juice if needed.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, November 5th, 2009 in Appetizers, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan or Modifiable.

37 Responses to “Homemade Guacamole – Now That Was Easy – Recipe”

  1. November 5, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    Oooh, I love the addition of cilantro. DELICIOUS!!

  2. Priscilla
    November 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    i LOVE guacamole! i like to add lots of cayenne pepper to mine. it’s so good!

  3. November 5, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Your guacamole looks perfect…it’s got the basics which is all a good guacamole needs. Thanks for sharing…found your blog while stumbling! :)

  4. boxofbirds
    November 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    I guild mine by adding a bit of sour cream, and I don’t add very much lime because it can definitely take over.

  5. November 5, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    I love guac! I wish I was eating some right now!!!

  6. November 5, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    This is exactly how I’ve been making my guac for years, just without the garlic. Simple and delicious.

  7. Phoenix56317
    November 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    Michael, You hit the nail on the coffin twice with this recipe, my friend !

    1. The avocado is the MOST IMPORTANT ingredient of any good
    guacamole recipe !
    2. Processed guacamole is NOT in my honest opinion guacamole.

    As everyone knows, guacamole can be used in many ways, it can be spread on a Taco before adding your meat mixture and it can be the BOMB on a enchilada.

  8. Spike
    November 6, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    Sounds great to me! Guacamole may be the best argument against the “buy local” movement, at least for us folks in the northeast. We don’t grow a lot of avocados in Rhode Island. :(

    The “stick the point of the knife into the seed” approach to removing the pit risks bending the knife-point if your avocado’s a little unripe. Instead, I cut into the seed with the sharp edge of the knife, sort of like a logger sticking an axe into the stump of a tree. Having done so, I then twist the knife a bit to free up the seed from the avocado half.

    I agree completely about the difference between California and Hass avocados, by the way.

  9. Michael Natkin
    November 6, 2009 at 9:13 am #

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    But what about the famous quahog guacamole?

    I don't use the point end of the knife either – I use the the "other point", the one at the end of the blade nearest your hand. I don't like to use the middle of the blade because it might dull it, but the "near point" seems to give me good control and since it isn't used much in regular chopping it doesn't matter if it loses a little sharpness.

  10. November 6, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    I do it like this too, although I use lemon and not lime…
    Yes, I think that the simpler the better!

  11. Champa
    November 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    the one additional thing i add is a pinch of cumin!! blows my mind out!

  12. hollynoel001
    November 7, 2009 at 7:55 am #

    so simply and easy !!!!

  13. November 10, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    Great recipe! You should submit this to Recipe4Living.com!

  14. Peter
    November 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    I think you may have confused California avocados with Florida avocados. The primary type grown in California is the Hass, whereas Florida avocados are large, smooth skinned, and relatively tasteless.

    Refernce:
    link to avocado.org
    link to florida-agriculture.com

  15. Michael Natkin
    November 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Great chart, thanks! The ones I'm thinking of look most like Fuerte's, but I've seen them marketed as California Avocados. In any event, as far as I can tell, smooth skin, bad, rough skin, good. But I'd love to be able to do a taste test of all those various varieties.

  16. Nick
    November 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Quick addition that I think makes a world of difference. Start with the lime juice, salt, and cilantro in the bowl and mash to a pulpy mush with a spoon, then mix in avocado, garlic, and onion (and tomato in my case). I leave it chunky by just mixing and a little mashing with a fork.

  17. November 13, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Yum! Being from New Mexico, I am an avid connoisseur of the guac. I’d definitely suggest adding a pinch of cumin. It really makes the dish. And maybe a finely chopped tomatillo for a tangy Mexican splash!
    Great blog, btw!

  18. Jess
    November 17, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    I have to agree with the addition of a pinch of cumin. A couple years back, I went to a wedding dinner, and before it really kicked off, there were servers wandering with trays of munchies, including chips with a dollop of guac. I tasted it, and said to myself, “This is better than mine, there is something MORE to it…” and then proceeded to follow the server around the room, very intent on munching chips, until I figured out the ingredient that their guac had, and mine lacked.

  19. Kevin
    December 7, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    You should use red onion. Pretty much the same taste but for a little more color.

    Also, if you took out the garlic and added a seeded and diced jalapeno, you’d have a very good copycat recipe of Chipotle’s guacamole.

  20. Ian
    December 14, 2009 at 3:53 am #

    Maybe this is so well known as to not need to post, but anyway, if you’re keeping Guac for a while in the fridge, put the pit in the bowl along with the Guac and it won’t discolour as fast (similarly, if you’ve got an uneaten half Avo, leave the pit in place to keep it good for a bit longer – though if it’s ripe, don’t know why it would be uneaten…)

  21. December 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    This was the most delicious guacamole ever! Thanks again for another awesome recipe…and you’re right…my guests wanted the recipe. :-)

  22. Michael Natkin
    December 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

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    Thanks Karen, glad it was a hit! I look back at that litte "wanting the recipe" dialog and it is so cheesy, I should be embarassed :).

  23. Kona
    December 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    “So well known,” and yet so very wrong.

    link to straightdope.com

  24. December 23, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    That is exactly how I make it with one exception. Like a previous commenter, I add a generous pinch or two of cumin.
    Now I’m hungry…

  25. February 21, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    I just made this and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the quick and yummy recipe!

  26. Jesus G
    February 22, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    That’s a different way than my guacamole recipe. Mine has avocados, tomatoes, onions and serrano peppers. I add cilantro as well, I tried parsley once and the flavor wasn’t quite right. But my real secret is milk. One or 2 teaspoons per avocado will make it nice and creamy. Enjoy!

  27. Chris of Stumptown
    February 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Sometimes I don’t mash the avocado. Just score the avocado and scoop out the flesh. For smaller chunks I just scoop less deep. The idea is get the avocado into similar or slightly larger dice than the onion and tomato. Stir this in with onion, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, a little kosher salt, and maybe chiles. Top with sea salt (nice crunch!) and more lime juice. If I do a good job this is quite pretty like a composed salad.

    Sometimes I mash heavily, sometimes I mash a bit with the spoon and get something midway between. Good ingredients = good guacamole!

  28. February 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    I love Guacamole. Love it with plenty of cilantro (coriander in UK).

  29. A Mexican Chef
    March 2, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    I love when people post guacamole recipes and swear their recipe is the best when all they do is toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and call it a day. There is much more detail to making “the best” guacamole than the majority of lazy online recipes you come across on the web.

    NEVER GARLIC! – ALWAYS FRESH HOT CHILES!

    1) SOAK THE MINCED ONION IN WARM SALT WATER FOR 5-10 MINUTES TO REDUCE THE RAW HARSHNESS. RINSE AND DRAIN.
    2) MINCE THE CHILE VERY FINE. MINCE THE ONION SLIGHTLY LESS FINE. CHOP THE CILANTRO. MAKE A COUPLE TABLESPOONS OF CHILE PASTE (CHILE, CILANTRO, ONION AND SALT)
    3) MIX THE PASTE IN WITH THE ROUGHLY MASHED AVOCADO. ADD ONLY ABOUT 1/2 JUICED LIME FOR EVERY 3 AVOCADOS).
    4) INCORPORATE A LITTLE MORE MINCED CHILE AND ONION, CHOPPED CILANTRO AND DICED TOMATO. SEASON TO TASTE WITH MORE SALT OR LIME JUICE IF NEEDED. GARNISH WITH SOME SEASONED DICED TOMATO ON TOP.
    5) TO STORE: PRESS PLASTIC WRAP TO THE SURFACE OF THE GUACAMOLE AND LEAVE AN AVOCADO SEED IN THE CONTAINER. IT WILL KEEP FOR 2 DAYS.

  30. Jenny
    April 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    To the Mexican chef above…thanks for the tips! I would consider my guac to be the best, but it’s from years to altering the recipe and experimenting time after time. Indeed, it’s not just throwing some roughly chopped veggies in a bowl and calling it good.

    I also put a little red bell pepper and a dash of pepper. To get the right amount of spicy (I’d say medium) 1 serrano pepper to 3 avocados is good, but put a little in at a time so you get it just right. Also, I chop the serrano as finely as possible.

  31. June 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    nice!

    one thing i can’t stand … white people who put mayo in their guac. YEEECCHHH!

    cumin is a good idea

  32. TexasGirl
    September 10, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    There is no perfect way to make guacamole…Personally I find tomato and onion sometimes interferes with the taste of the food but I will go ahead and eat any way it’s served…I like mine chunky and all I add is salt and yes, garlic (powder)! That gives it a clean taste.

  33. June 5, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    I love this because it’s SIMPLE. I’ve noticed that the more simple the guacamole recipe, the better the guac!
    @ rikki…that is disgusting! I can’t believe people would add such fattening ingredients to a healthy fat ingredient like avocado!

  34. charlotte brabant
    June 16, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    I went to a Mexican wedding in Lexington, KY and the guacamole was great. I don’t know how they made it, but I asked why there were avocado seeds in the mix. They told me it was to keep it from turning brown. Ever since then, I always put an avocado seed in the mix and it stays beautifully green!

  35. alexis
    October 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    try adding a teaspoon of yellow miso in your guacamole (and a little less salt)…it’s amazing!

  36. October 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    That sounds excellent if you want a wimpy guac. Where are the jalapenos? or the habaneros or maybe the ghost hot peppers? Where that je ne sais quoi? I also like grated onion and grated radish. And yes, lime is the way to go (not lemon)!

    • October 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      I think it depends on what you are doing with it; if I’m eating guac with chips, I’m up for some heat in it. If I’m using it on tacos, I generally wouldn’t want peppers in it because everything else is going to be spicy, so I want the avocados to deliver the creamy counterpoint.

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