Creamy Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole

While we mostly eat guacamole during spring and summer when Southern California is bursting with fresh, local avocados, I couldn’t resist digging through the large pile of perfectly ripe Haas avocados at the grocery store the other day. I guess I can thank the Superbowl for that!

Why is homemade guacamole so often reserved for special occasions and social gatherings? Considering that avocados are really good for you and fresh guacamole is so delicious and easy to prepare, I think it makes a perfect afternoon snack. In fact I love making small batches just for me!

Worried about calories? You should know by now that the avocados are filled with the good fats your body needs.  And you don’t always have to always eat guacamole with deep-fried tortilla chips (although that’s still my preferred method of getting guac into my mouth). Instead, try serving it with Whole Wheat Pita Chips and you’ll have a filling, nutritious snack to get you through the afternoon.

After years of making overly complicated but average tasting batches of guacamole, I finally realized something. Guacamole is best left simple and fresh. Avocado, onion, chile, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper are the only ingredients needed. Nothing dried or powdered, no extra spices, no secret ingredients. I don’t even add garlic. And to me, this is the best tasting guacamole around.

Guacamole Fixings

The method is simple.

First prep your ingredients: remove the stem and seeds from a fresh serrano chile (or jalapeno) and then mince it. The seeds and white membrane inside the chile hold the majority of the heat, removing them keeps the guacamole from being too spicy. Make sure not to touch your eyes after handling the fresh chile pepper!

Minced Serrano Chile

Next, remove the thick stems from half a bunch of cilantro and put the leaves in a pile.

Cilantro Leaves

Run your knife back and forth through the pile of leaves until the cilantro is finely chopped. You should end up with about three tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro.

Finely Chopped Cilantro

Next, mince one quarter of a red onion. You should end up with about 1/4 cup minced onion (to learn the best method for chopping an onion, read this post).

Minced Onion

Squeeze the juice of one lime into a small bowl. You’ll need about two tablespoons of juice.

Lime

Prep work is finished, now you’re ready to make the guacamole! Cut your avocados in half and remove the large seed.

Avocado Halves

Use a big spoon to remove the avocado from it’s skin, it should come out easily if the avocado is ripe (and it better be ripe!).

Remove the Avocado Skin

Put all four halves of  peeled avocado into a medium bowl and add a tablespoon of lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork, making it as chunky or smooth as you want. The lime juice adds flavor, but also keeps the avocado from turning an ugly brown color, which is why I have you add some of the juice at this point.

Mash the Avocado

Once the avocado is mashed, stir in the onion, chile, cilantro, salt, and a dash or two of fresh ground black pepper. Taste the guacamole and add enough of the remaining lime juice to taste. I like lots of lime juice, so I use most of it! Keep tasting and adjusting seasonings until you get it right or the guacamole is gone!

Tasting the Guacamole

Homemade guacamole is simple to make and tastes so much better than the store-bought varieties, you’ll soon be wheeling your cart right past those plastic tubs of green goop without a second glance.  Enjoy!

Guacamole

2 ripe Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup minced red onion (about 1/4 of an onion)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
scant 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (or to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

In a medium bowl, mash together avocado halves and one tablespoon of lime juice with a fork. Add chile, cilantro and onion and mix well.  Add salt, pepper, and remaining lime juice to taste.

Yield: about four servings

Recipe Notes: I find this guacamole to be only mildly spicy, but If you would like less spice, start with only half of a chile and make sure to remove all the seeds and white membrane before mincing.  If you would like a very spicy guacamole, leaves the seeds in and/or use more chiles.  And of course, all ingredients can be adjusted to suit your own taste!

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41 Comments
  1. Ruby

    Looks fantastic Nicole! One of my summer fav’s!

    1:11 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  2. Katie

    That looks fantastic! I’ve always just stirred a little salsa in with mashed avocados because it’s easy, but I think I’ll be converting to this recipe. I love guacamole for snacking, on burgers, with any kind of mexican food. YUM!

    1:17 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  3. kellypea

    I couldn’t pass up the 69 cents each on the avocados this past weekend, so I made guacamole, we’ve had it in salads, omelets….mmmm…Your recipe is great & the photos gorgeous as usual. Makes me wish I had a bowl of it right in front of me.

    1:19 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  4. Elizabeth

    Oh….my….goodness. This looks delish! I cannot wait to go to the store to grab some avacado’s and give this one a try. We LOVE guac at our house!

    As always your photos are beautiful too!

    1:40 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  5. Jodi

    I am going to use this for my next playgroup. I am always looking for a fun and healthy snack for the mommies! Yummo.

    1:59 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  6. Jesse

    Here Here! Guacamole left simply is outstanding. A great touch is pasilla chiles, pasillas have an amazing flavor of their own. You have great recipes. I should email you sometime this delicious salsa that we made completely by accident, and now has become a favorite. It consists of boiled & blended pasillas.. so good!

    2:38 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  7. steff

    Please tell me how to make sure an Avacado is ripe. This sounds wonderful. Like I am drooling on the keyboard.

    2:43 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  8. The Duo Dishes

    *lick lips* Tasty. Nothing better than a bit of avo…in any form!

    2:43 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  9. Laura

    this is exactly how i like to make my guacamole too, only i’ll usually throw in some diced fresh tomato as well (heirloom tomatoes are a particularly yummy addition!). yay for beautiful simple, fresh guacamole.

    2:54 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  10. Nicole

    steff: I meant to write about this and completely forgot! Hass avocados are ripe when the skin is completely dark and the avocado feels soft when you squeeze it. Squeezing is always the best way to check. You can also buy them green and let them ripen at home at room temperature. Once ripe, you can store in the fridge for a few days.

    2:54 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  11. Linda

    Your guacamole looks delish! I had some avocado in my salad last night and I think I’ll use up the rest of it by toasting old pita breads with olive oil and salt, into crispy-type chips.

    3:47 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  12. Nicole (Cooking After Five)

    I agree that simple is always best when it comes to guacamole. At the bare minimum I only use a pinch of salt and lime juice, but will add tomatoes and cilantro if I have them on hand. All this talk about guacamole is making me hungry!

    4:33 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  13. Neva

    Nicole, your photos are really great. I love the one of the fresh produce. Your guac looks really good – despite the fact that I’m not an onion fan!

    11:19 pm  Feb 6th, 2009
  14. Andrea

    Ah, you’ve made one of my favorite foods. I could eat guacamole every day and never tire of it. Lovely photos, as always!

    9:22 am  Feb 7th, 2009
  15. Jamie

    That guacamole looks so yummy! I love avocados, unfortunately my stomach disagrees :( I still have to sneak some guacamole or a fresh slice of avocado every now and then, knowing I will have a horrendous stomachache later. My mouth is watering!

    4:08 pm  Feb 7th, 2009
  16. b

    Guacamole is in a dood group of its own with some tortilla chips:D

    7:15 am  Feb 8th, 2009
  17. Amy

    That first picture has me wanting to dive in face first!

    Great recipe. I have some avocados ripening right now!

    ;) amy

    1:35 pm  Feb 8th, 2009
  18. leaca

    looks yummy. guac is a family favorite around here.

    9:51 am  Feb 9th, 2009
  19. Kevin

    That guacamole looks really good.

    10:13 am  Feb 9th, 2009
  20. Crystal in Memphis

    I love guacamole, in fact I’m always being beckoned to make it. I think just a teeny tiny pinch of cumin adds a little flavor that makes it sooo much better!

    As far as making sure guacamole doesnt go bad too soon, I like to take some plastic wrap and lay it down on the mixture itself making sure to cover up any exposed areas, then popping a lid on the container. I can usually get it to stay green for a couple of days using this method!

    12:18 pm  Feb 9th, 2009
  21. Marc @ NoRecipes

    Yumm. I take the simple approach to making guac as well and love the simplicity. Sometimes I even forgo the mashing in favor of chopping and vigorous mixing to preserve some of the creamy bits of avocado. It’s also great with some fruit mixed in like peeled grapefruit pieces.

    12:26 am  Feb 10th, 2009
  22. Joseph M.

    Your pictures are as inviting as this recipe.
    I could go for a heaping helping of fresh guacamole right now!

    11:15 am  Feb 14th, 2009
  23. Bren

    girl!! you must add some cumin and garlic! i mean, c’mon, simple is always good, but i swear the cumin gives it a smokey flavor! yours looks pretty delish and good color! :)
    i was up at 3:30 this morning making some. i left out the onions only cuz i was too lazy to chop them up! ha.

    9:21 am  Feb 16th, 2009
  24. Dan

    We had a similar recipe for guacamole we posted earlier this month. Guacamole is such a great food to eat and it’s a great snack for when you get hungry, too.

    10:05 pm  Feb 17th, 2009
  25. shane

    Everything is right in the world when you sit down with a bag of tortilla chips and a bowl of guacamole. Yum! Your recipe looks delish! I will definitely have to try it the next time I have a desire for guacamole.

    10:26 pm  Feb 18th, 2009
  26. Kat

    Looks amazing! I grew up in California with a great big avocado tree in our backyard. Fresh Guac is so great. Your dog eating avocados, not so great ;) I agree with you on keeping it simple with fresh ingredients, but my one little addition is a couple drops of sriracha hot sauce (rooster sauce) if I’m out of fresh chiles. It’s almost as good…

    12:00 pm  Feb 19th, 2009
  27. Jonathan

    YUM! I can’t avoid the garlic though. I make my guacamole in a stone mortar and pestle and those flavors just get pulverized together. I’m wondering – if you try it would you notice a difference? I do.

    8:32 am  Mar 22nd, 2009
  28. Rachel

    Thanks for a nice simple guacamole recipe with great pictures.

    I bet this would be fabulous smeared on a grilled (I think you call it broiled in the US) chicken breast burger or chopped chunky and served as an accompaniment to steak. Or just with a very large bag of corn chips..

    3:50 am  Apr 15th, 2009
  29. Carrie Burns

    My wife and I really liked this article. I have used it a few times. I think a lot of people would benefit from it. You should post it on Wacanai. They get a lot of traffic on the website and you can link it to your page so it will get more people going to your website. You can search for similar articles and when you post your article it will show you other articles that you may like. It’s worth checking out.

    2:26 am  Apr 21st, 2009
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  33. Rochelle

    Yummo! I just made some of this for my lunch this morning. With some crunchy tortilla chips, it will really hit the spot when I get that lunch buzz!

    11:02 am  Feb 15th, 2011
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  35. Aria Foodie Sullivan

    Oh wow, that looks like seriously delicious guacamole. As a major foodie who grew up in Southern California, guacamole is something of a specialty with me. Can’t wait to try out this recipe on my blog!

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  38. Suzy Frame

    This looks delicious and easy enough! I have been reading so many healthy cooking blogs to help me find new ideas for cooking! I have really found some great new things that I can not wait to try out! Thanks for also giving suggestions!

    4:17 pm  Sep 17th, 2012
  39. Knockout Kitchen

    Adding a little minced jalapeno’s to your guacamole is definitely a great addition. Nothing too spicy but adding a little really makes it pop. It all depends on person tastes however. Great recipe.

    11:26 am  Sep 22nd, 2012
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