Perfectly ripe avocado, mashed just enough, a pinch of salt, and not too much of anything else, that’s my version of food heaven.
Guacamole recipes vary and every family, heck maybe every person, has a recipe they think makes “the best guacamole recipe EVER”. I think you are all right because I’ve never met a guac I didn’t like. My favorite recipes are simple, authentic, and allow the avocado to be the star. Guacamole is best made using the KISS principle.
- Choose Ripe Avocados – Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea … you’ll need this same level of discernment to find the perfect avocados for your guacamole. Ripe avocados yield to gentle pressure and should be used within 1-2 days. A firm avocado that has no give when gentle pressure is applied it won’t taste good. Allow firm avocados to ripen, it may take up to 5 days. Never use a mushy avocado. Ignore the story that over-ripe avocados are perfect for avocado, it’s fake news! They make runny guacamole (yuck!).
- Chunky or Smooth? That is up to you! If you hate watery guacamole and vote for “the chunkier the better” then reduce or eliminate the citrus and tomato. Citrus and salt work in concert to draw the moisture from the avocado, effectively adding more water to your guac. The less you work your avocado the chunkier it will be; to achieve a smoother guac mash it a bit more. When serving to a crowd, meet in the middle and everyone will be happy!
- Red, Yellow, or White Onion – That’s up to you! I don’t digest onion and prefer my guac sans the onion, but when I’m making guacamole for a crowd I half the recipe and offer both options. Buzzfeed has a great breakdown of each onion here.
- Red onions are milder and add a nice pop of color. The red variety also has a sweeter flavor.
- Yellow onions are sharp and can taste spicy. In a blind guacamole taste test (yes, somebody conducted such test), the majority of testers felt the guac with yellow onion tasted spicier.
- White onions pack a punch. These have a strong onion flavor that I feel competes with the simple flavor of avocado.
- Sweet onions, also known as Vidalia, are more subtle and are a great option for people who don’t really like onions or want just a hint of onion flavor. This is a smart choice when you are not sure.
- Lemon or Lime? It seems that the use of citrus is a huge debate in the authentic Mexican cuisine world. I love the flavor of lime, but when I have the perfectly ripe avocado I don’t need it at all. This recipe includes lime, but lemon works too. For guacamole purists, leave it off and let the avocado be the solo star.
- Garlic? My vote is no. It competes with the delicate flavors of the avocado and can quickly turn your dip in garlicmole. If you love garlic, add just a pinch.
- Tomatoes? It depends. A fresh, ripe tomato adds a lovely fresh note. On the other hand, mushy tomatoes water down your guacamole and can ruin your dip. When using tomatoes, remove the seeds and pulp. Then, using a paper towel, squeeze out any excess liquid.
Have leftover guacamole (said no one ever)? Wrap it up in our Shredded Chicken Tacos.
- 4 ripe avocados
- ½ lemon or lime, juiced
- ½ ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed
- 1 TBSP lime juice, taste test then add up to one more TBSP (lemon works fine, too)
- ¼ cup finely diced onion (see above for onion color, we preferred red but sweet is the safest bet)
- ½ tsp salt
- pinch pepper
- Cut avocado in half and remove seed. Score avocado and scoop out flesh.
- Mash with a fork. Don't overdo it, the less you mash the chunkier the guac.
- Next, add remaining ingredients, except tomatoes. Use additional lime after you've taste tested.
- Fold in tomatoes just before serving to retain maximum freshness.
- To chill, cover tightly with plastic wrap, ensuring wrap is against the guacamole. Air causes oxidation and this turn the guacamole brown.
https://www.californiaavocado.com/guacamole-and-dips – for an unimaginable number of guacamole variations
https://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/nutrients – learn why Avocados are so healthy