Your Guide To Making The Best Guacamole Ever

Avocado

It’s a tortilla chip’s BFF, but guacamole was originally created in the 16th Century as a sauce rather than a dip. Let’s raise a toast to the Aztecs for coming up with this simple dish that has become a party essential.

The best thing about this red hot green stuff? It’s so versatile. It can be a munch-able masterpiece whether it’s a simple, super easy recipe or something fancy with a long list of ingredients. It can be mild or fiery hot. Here’s what you need to make the best guacamole ever.

1) Ripe avocados

There’s no way to hurry a rock-hard avocado into something soft, so plan ahead and buy firm avocados. Let them ripen in a brown bag on the counter, testing for ripeness by gently pushing on the stem end. It typically takes a day or two to ripen.

2) Citrus

Lemon juice, or lime is traditionally used to season this fruit — yes, avocados are a fruit! — but feel free to mix it up and try a squeeze of grapefruit or blood orange. It’s important to get the citrus mixed in the guac ASAP because it prevents the green flesh from turning brown. While some recipes suggest adding the pit to prevent oxidation, that’s a myth. It’s the acid in the citrus that slows the process.

3) A sharp knife

From the stem end, slice the avocado in half. Twist to separate the halves. Press the blade firmly into the pit and wiggle it. That should be enough to coax it from its home. Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and sprinkle with citrus. Make your favorite guacamole recipe.

4) Avocado Smashing Device

If you don’t own a molcajete (pictured), the Mexican version of mortar and pestle, a fork or a potato masher will work just fine for turning chunks of avocado into the dip known as guacamole. While some recipes call for blending in a food processor, it’s easy to over mix and turn guac into something that resembles baby food, so you’re better off smashing them by hand with one of those tools.

 5) Plastic bags

Airtight plastic bags are best for storing leftovers, or to keep the mixture fresh until serving. You can even pop them into the freezer, where it stays fresh and creamy for a month or more. Don’t forget to label and date the package!

Guacamole Cheat Sheet

Here’s a quick guide to sprucing up your guac style. Choose one, two or all of the ingredients from the list and spice it up with our recommended spice combinations to make something truly yours.

Traditional

Ingredients

Herbs, Spices

AvocadoCilantro
TomatoSalt, pepper
OnionChili powder
GarlicGarlic powder
Lemon or lime juice
Chopped green onions
Red pepper sauce

Asian-inspired

Ingredients

Herbs, Spices

AvocadoGinger roots
MangoWasabi
EdamameShiso leaves
CilantroGround white pepper
Serrano pepperGarlic powder
Sriracha sauce
Sesame oil
Fish sauce
Garlic

Not Your Classic Guac

Ingredients

Herbs, spices

AsparagusNutritional yeast
PeasSalt, pepper
BaconChili powder
Grilled avocadosCumin
Black beansGinger
Corn
Grapes
Peaches
Pomegranate seeds
Cucumber
Red onion
Crushed pineapple
Lemon, lime juice

Spicy

Ingredients

Spices

AvocadoCayenne pepper
Jalapeno peppers, including the seedsWasabi
Habanero peppersChipotle powder
Serrano peppersGround white pepper
Chipotle peppersGarlic powder
Sriracha sauceCumin
Red pepper sauceOnion powder
SalsaSalt, pepper
Sour cream
Fire-roasted tomatoes