I was given some very good advice recently, and whether related to your current friends, your living situation, your job, your finances, or something else, it applies: take what you have right now and learn everything you can from it.
It’s maybe not a very new idea, but its impact is undeniable, even with something simple – like, say, an avocado.
I hated the idea of an avocado when I was little – similar to the way I hated the idea of tomatoes and onions and certain types of cheese.
But finally, at some point, I tried some guacamole with tortilla chips.
And then, later, I had some sliced avocado on a sandwich. Eventually I encountered it in some type of sushi, and though the process had been very gradual, I was sold.
A friend and I were talking about our history with avocados recently, and I took this as a sign that I should buy some.
I purchased three. There was no rhyme or reason behind the number; I don’t even think there was a special sale going on.
I took them, threw them in a plastic bag and into my cart, and skirted the remainder of the produce section.
Later, at home, I tried to cut into one, planning to recreate the dip that I’d had many times at On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, made right in front of me at the table.
And here’s where the learning began, before I even got started with my experiments to craft the perfect recipe – if the avocado feels firm to the touch, it’s not ripe yet. And it won’t continue to ripen if you cut the peel.
Even though I’d grown to love avocados at this point, I wasn’t exactly an expert at buying them, and I hadn’t taken the time to consider their ripeness at the store. Whoops.
Over a week went by with me squeezing the fruit every time I’d pass them on the counter, trying to determine if they were finally soft with something close to the spreadable consistency I’d seen in real-life demonstrations at the restaurant, alongside a bowl of chips.
When they were, with the skin giving a little when I pushed, I sliced them in half lengthwise, spooned out the pits, and scooped out bright green flesh that was as soft as butter that’s been sitting on the counter.
The resulting guacamole was fine – good, even – a simple blend of tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and jalapeno.
It even made an impromptu addition to a dinner party spread, after it had darkened a little and we stirred it together to make it seem fresher. But I didn’t have the proportions quite right, and it still needed a little tinkering.
The brilliance of tableside guacamole service dawned on me at this point – the freshest possible avocado dip is always best, served and eaten right away, before it has time to oxidize.
The thing about learning to cook is that it’s an awful lot like learning anything else – you gather information, you test, you try. But in this case, there’s one chief advantage: you get to eat it all in the end.
After a few more attempts, here’s the best version I’ve come up with. I hope you enjoy it, and maybe you can even convince some avocado-haters to change their minds!Print
The Best Guacamole Dip
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Made with simple ingredients, this is the best guacamole you’ll ever taste – so much better than the premade, packaged stuff.
- 2 ripe avocados
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp diced tomato, seeds removed
- 2 Tbsp diced jalapenos (if you don’t like it too spicy, remove the seeds)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove minced garlic)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the pits and place the avocado in a bowl. Mash with a fork until chunky.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir with a spoon until everything is combined well.
- Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dip
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: guacamole, avocado, dip
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure
Cut the avocados in half. Carefully remove the pits and remove the flesh of the avocado from the peel. Place in medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Prepare the other vegetables by seeding and dicing the tomato. Dice the jalapeno and finely dice the red onion.
Remove the stems and chop the fresh cilantro roughly, or finely, depending on your preference.
Measure remaining ingredients and set aside.
Step 2 – Mash Avocado
Mash the avocado lightly with the back of a fork.
You can also use a molcajete if you have one. This traditional Mexican mortar and pestle is great for mashing the avocado in, and also for serving the guacamole with an authentic flair.
Step 3 – Add Remaining Ingredients and Serve
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the mashed avocado. Stir until well-combined, and serve immediately.
I like to use garlic powder in my dip, since I think it helps to distribute the flavor more evenly with a less sharp taste. But you could use minced fresh garlic instead – just grate it finely or use your garlic press to prepare it.
Simple Ingredients and Fresh Flavors Are All You Need
I am a firm believer that simple ingredients always make the best food, and that is exceptionally true for this particular dip.
Creamy and flavorful, it’s all about getting the right texture and highlighting the natural flavors of the ingredients that go into the mix.
Just like what I enjoyed at the restaurant so many times, it’s a mixture of simple ingredients that are thoughtfully combined, selected at the peak of ripeness and carefully prepped, melding together to make something that’s truly great.
Of course, everyone has their own opinion about how chunky or smooth guacamole should be. I think a more chunky guacamole helps to emphasize the creaminess of the ripe fruit, contrasted with the slight crunch of peppers and onions in every single bite.
If you like your guacamole more creamy, you are welcome to mash up the avocado into more of a smooth mixture before incorporating the other ingredients. The diced vegetables will still offer some texture, with bright flavors that will thrill your taste buds.
All your need are some tortilla chips for dipping! Open up a bag, or try our recipe for a homemade flour version. And for something a little different to continue your journey of avocado exploration, try our recipe for a creamy chilled avocado coconut soup.
For more guacamole recipes, you’ll need to try these:
- Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples
- Guacamole Deviled Eggs
- Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo Guacamole and Red Cabbage Slaw
How do you like your guacamole? Rate the recipe once you try it and tell us what you think of this homemade, fresh dip in the comments below.
Don’t forget to Pin It!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 20, 2009. Last updated: June 10, 2020 at 14:58 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.
14 thoughts on “This Made-From-Scratch Guacamole Is the Best You’ll Ever Taste”
I love making fresh guacamole. Your photos make me want to whip up some today.
i ate an under-ripe avocado last night. and i knew it wasn’t quite ripe yet. but after seeing your photos on flickr, i had to have one.
here’s a trick for pitting: hack into the pit with a sharp knife so it’s good and jammed in there, then twist the knife. it turns right out and leaves the green goodness untouched.
Yummm I love guac!
I had heard the “leave the pit in the bowl” tip before and tried it many times… but unfortunately it’s a myth (according to my own experiences and a culinary instructor I know).
What does work to keep it green though is by covering it tightly in plastic wrap. And by tightly, I mean have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the guacamole, so it hugs the inside of the bowl and the pile of guac. That works pretty well.
crunch crunch crunch! that would be the sound of me devouring this with my corn chips. fresh guac is the best!
i adore avacodo, so much so that my bff actually bought me an avocado scooper thing from pampered chef. it’s my most prized kitchen utensil. (dorkus, i know).
to hasten the ripening of avocados, put in brown paper bags and leave in a dark place. should ripen up by end of day. also, to prevent or slow down the browning process, lemon juice. works for apples, works for avocados.
Funny, I put avocado on my sandwich for lunch and I’m literally staring at the clock waiting for lunchtime.
Not that 11AM ISNT an appropriate lunch time, of course 🙂
I have another avocado at home that I can’t wait to turn into guacamole!
I know it’s weird, but when you wrote “one avocado in the garbage” I immediately thought, in a Count from Sesame Street voice: “one. one avocado. AH AH AH….”
Nothing like some good guac. One of my favorite foods.
But yes, ripe avocadoes help it out immensely 🙂
Adam – I heard the voice too… glad I’m not the only one. *eek*
Risa – Thanks! I hope you did (and of course now I want some again).
LOL, Dawn, love it!
Jacqui – Yes! I was hoping for more good tips like that one. You are my favorite fruits and veggies cook, so thank you!
PostCollegeCook – Oh, no! How disappointing! Well, I will definitely try the plastic wrap. Thanks!
Lan – Awesome! For the lemon juice, do you mean I should just add some lemon juice to the guac? Brilliant!
Maris – And now I’m starving. Your sandwich sounds wonderful!
Adam – I had to ask Becky what you were talking about, which prompted her to demonstrate. How do I not remember that, with all my years of Sesame Street?
Lo, Glad you knew what he was talking about, too. Hilarious!
I am a late discoverer of avocados. I just threw one out that was soft and looked a little gray on the inside. I will definitly try this recipe next time avocados are on sale at Jewel. 🙂
YAY you tried it! Mmmmm and this recipe sounds delicious. I might just have to try it, if I don’t eat all my avocados before I get the chance. (I’m now in the habit of adding it to every salad and sandwich I make, which is a LOT.)
Yes, yes this post caught my eye. And your first experience with testing for ripe avocados makes me laugh cause I have done the same thing.
We love our avocados here, too – I buy them green, store them in the fridge and then get out 2 or 3 at a time to ripen (next to the bananas) which does help with the 12-avocados-all-ripe-together problem. They are a staple here, and both kids’ first foods. I make a very tame, slightly lame guac for them. Smushed avocado + Lawry’s seasoned salt. The kids eat it up!!
Jenny – great idea to stagger the ripening! And btw just between us, I think I like avocado + salt any day of the week.