Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples

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This is a story about guacamole. But it will be a bit of a journey to get there.

Overhead vertical image of a blue and terra cotta ceramic bowl with handles, filled with apple and beet guacamole with a chip stuck into it, with another bowl at the top of the frame filled with tortilla chips, printed with orange and white text at the midpoint and the bottom of the frame, on a white background.

I was a bride of one night when Tim and I packed up our bags, bought a sourdough sandwich at O’Hare Airport, and boarded an American Airlines jet for our eight-hour nonstop flight to Honolulu.

The day before had been filled with nonstop activity: his going to the car rental place, my fussing with my hair over and over again, his driving with the photographer to Morton Arboretum, my being denied access because the gate attendant saw my wedding dress but no $300 photography permit to go along with it.

Before the wedding, there were people all over my parents’ house: members of the bridal party staying there, hanging out in the dining room, eating with us in the kitchen. During the wedding, there was a crisis when the lone violinist didn’t show, and relief when my friend Becky stepped in to take his place.

When we stepped out of the church, greeting people for the first time as man and wife, there was a frantic 15 minutes of pulling together family for pictures, with me giving orders for who to come where and when.

Tim and I escaped to a park for a few minutes, staring at each other in the rosy haze of newlyweds, only to realize no one had grabbed the yellow gladiolas from the ceremony. So, there we were, driving back to the church, placing them in the back seat like our babies, and driving them to the tent in my parents’ backyard.

We were surrounded by people and handshakes and warm wishes, tables laden with cookies and cake and presents, but by the time we finally changed clothes and drove away in our packed car, flanked by friends holding sparklers on either side, we were almost electric with the energy of it all.

We talked the entire way to the hotel, and most of the night after we got there.

Vertical oblique overhead image of a terracotta and blue glazed ceramic serving dish filled with apple and beet guacamole, with another identical dish of tortilla chips in soft focus in the background, on a white surface.

The next day was different. Instead of nonstop activity, it was a nonstop lack of it. We were strapped into a plane for the extent of a full workday, with nowhere to go.

Within an hour, we’d eaten all the leftover wedding cookies we’d saved for the trip. Within two hours, the sandwich was gone, too.

There was still lots of talking – and reading, and sleeping – but in a place where blessedly no one knew us, we were free to be quiet and calm and to rest. It was a long trip but it was a good one, and both of us were day-before-Christmas excited about the place we were traveling to see.

Then, we arrived. We were in Hawaii.

We walked off the plane into an alien time zone where it was still day, as well as 40 degrees hotter, where we had a certain window of time to trek across the airport.

And that is the right word for it, trek, because moving from the mainland arrivals to the inter-island jet planes was a long journey through terminals and trams, pulling suitcases down sidewalks in the sun in order to catch our flight to Kauai.

Halfway through, I lunged into a bathroom where I ripped off my Chicago-friendly jeans and gym shoes and sweater (and jacket!!) in favor of a sundress and flip-flops.

We made it to our plane, we boarded again, we flew over oceans as blue-green as jade or turquoise, and we walked off our plane to a sleepy airport where our next stop was finding a rental car.

When the nice attendant offered us an upgrade on our car to a convertible jeep, the sheer exhaustion of social overstimulation, lack of sleep, long plane rides, and hunger took over, I panicked and I heard myself saying things like, “Tim! I can’t drive a convertible jeep! It’s too big! And it costs more!”

An hour or so later, when we got out of that jeep to run into a Wal-Mart for water, I broke down sobbing.

Vertical overhead closely cropped image of two terracotta and blue glazed ceramic dishes with handles. The one at the center of the shot is filled with beet, apple, and avocado guacamole, the other off to the top right is filled with tortilla chips. With a small lime wedge on a white surface.

It was hours later when we arrived at our condo, after a grocery run and after feeling our way through dark roads in a rainstorm. Our friends and family back in Chicago were already long past tucked in for the night. After we pulled all our stuff inside, as tired as we were hungry, hunger still somehow won out.

There in the condo kitchen, with avocados we’d just bought at the island grocery store and kitchen utensils that my friends kept in their rental space, we made a big bowl of guacamole, the way Tim had been making it since I’d met him: with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and plenty of lime juice and salt.

Served with chips, it was the first meal we made together as a married couple. Beautiful in contrast with the realities of stress, responsibility, and occasional fear that we faced, it was symbolic of many meals to come.

Overhead vertical image of a blue and terra cotta ceramic bowl with handles filled with guacamole studded with chopped apple and roasted beets with a chip stuck into the dip, with an identical ceramic bowl in the background filled with more chips, on a white surface.

A marriage takes work, and kindness. Relationships are built on these small, easily forgettable moments:

The times when your husband is willing to drive you through a rainstorm (something he will keep doing for you in years to come). The way you share a car together, listen to each other’s stories and care about each other’s hurts. The quiet moments when you make guacamole for each other, one of you toasting chips while the other mixes ingredients in a bowl.

This version is a little different, made with fresh fruit and roasted root vegetables. There’s nothing tricky about this recipe besides the beets, which you’ll need to roast ahead of time, or buy pre-roasted.

If you use red beets, your guacamole may turn out a little brown. If this turns you off, just use golden! My favorite option is a mix of the two.

I love the combination of flavors in this recipe. It’s creamy avocado goodness mixed with that pure beet flavor, plus the sharp, sweet crunch of apples. So addictive and so good, fresh and bright, vibrantly colorful, and perfect for summer.

Make a batch at home, and share it with someone you love.

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Horizontal overhead image of two blue and terra cotta serving dishes with handles, with the one that is the main focus of the shot filled with apple and beet guacamole, and another at the top right corner of the frame filled with tortilla chips, with three small lime wedges on a white painted surface.

Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


With sweet roasted beets and the sharp crunch of apple, this rainbow guacamole is seriously addicting and perfect for summer entertaining.


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup diced red onion, diced (about ½ large)
  • ½ cup diced roasted red beets, (about 1 medium)
  • ½ cup diced roasted golden beets (about 1 medium)
  • ½ cup diced crisp apple (about ½ large, unpeeled)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or mint, to taste


  1. Mash the avocado. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well to combine.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Guacamole
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Dips and Spreads

Keywords: guacamole, beets, apples, dip

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Roast Beets

Note: you can skip this step by purchasing pre-cooked beets, like these that are available on Amazon.

Gefen Whole Red Beets, Peeled, Cooked, and Ready to Eat

If you haven’t purchased pre-roasted beets, preheat your oven to 400°F.

Horizontal overhead image of one medium-sized red beet and two smaller golden beets on a white plastic cutting board, on a whtie painted wood surface with aluminum foil and a metal baking pan at the top right and left corners of the frame.

If the beets still have leafy greens attached, cut off the green tops. Save them for another use, like making sauteed greens. Scrub beets thoroughly, and then wrap them in aluminum foil.

Horizontal overhead image of a metal rimmed sheet pan with two beets wrapped in aluminum foil at the center.

Place the wrapped package on a rimmed baking sheet and then place it in the preheated oven.

Roast for 40-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Check beets every 20 minutes to make sure they aren’t drying out. If they start to look dry, pour a teaspoon of water over each beet before re-wrapping.

Closeup overhead horizontal image of a roasted beet with a fork stuck into it to check for doneness, with purple juices leaking out onto a piece of foil on a metal baking pan.

Remove cooked beets from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Using a paper towel, scrub off the skins and set cooked the beets aside.

Step 2 – Chop Produce and Measure Ingredients

Chop the onion, apple, and beets. Chop the fresh herbs, if you are using any.

Overhead horizontal image of three halved avocados arranged cut side up with pits in the centers of three of them, on a white wood surface.

Peel, remove the seeds, and mash the avocados.

Horizontal overhead image of a glass bowl of mashed avocado with a utensil stuck into it, surrounded by smaller glass bowls of chopped red onion, apple, and golden and purple beets, with a lime that has been cut in half at the top left of the frame, on a white painted wood surface.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients.

For the apple, we recommend using a crisp variety, such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Fuji.

Step 3 – Combine and Serve

Overhead horizontal image of mashed avocado in a glass bowl with a spoon, topped with diced roasted purple and golden beets and chopped apple, on a white wood surface with sliced fresh lime at the top left corner of the frame.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to mix well.

Horizontal overhead image of a mixture of mashed avocado, diced roasted red and golden beets and chopped apples, being stirred with a metal spoon in a large glass mixing bowl, on a white painted surface.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips (we recommend making your own!).

A Tip for Keeping Your Guac Fresh

Okay, stay with me as this may sound strange. The best way I’ve found to keep guacamole fresh for snacking the next day is a combination of water and plastic wrap – I promise it doesn’t get watered down.

Once you’re done enjoying your dip for the day, smooth the surface with a spatula, and drizzle the top with about ½ an inch of water, about 2-3 tablespoons depending on the size of your container.

Overhead image of beet, apple, and avocado guacamole in a glass bowl, topped with plastic wrap and some water, on a white painted wood surface.

Cover with plastic wrap and gently press so that the wrap is directly on the surface of the guacaHOrizonmole. Store in the fridge until the next day.

When it’s time to eat, simply give the guac a good stir and enjoy!

Do you have tips for keeping guacamole fresh? What are some of your favorite travel memories that revolved around a simple meal? Share in the comments below, and don’t forget to give this recipe a rating if you loved it!

Horizontal overhead image of two blue and terra cotta serving dishes with handles, with the one that is the main focus of the shot filled with apple and beet guacamole, and another at the top right corner of the frame filled with tortilla chips, with three small lime wedges on a white painted surface.

Chips aren’t the only appropriate accompaniment to this veggie-packed dip. Here are some of our favorite Tex-Mex recipes that would taste even better with a side of rainbow guacamole:

Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 18, 2014. Last updated: January 22, 2020 at 12:43 pm. With additional writing and editing by Kelli McGrane 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.

The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.

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.

19 thoughts on “Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples”

  1. choosing kindness — this is something i have to work on, everyday, but mostly because of dw. i am struck sometimes when i have an impulse to make an offhand, mean remark, even to dw, and i have to consciously temper myself. i think this is something that i will have to work on for the rest of my days, with, hopefully, dw by my side.

    guacamole in general is delightful, adding sweetness and crunch like beets + apples is great. my fave combo is with mango + pomegranates.

  2. I love this story and it makes me want two things: To go to Hawaii and to make and eat this guacamole with my love. 🙂

  3. Those small, forgettable moments…so beautiful and so true. I am so very glad I found your blog. Not only are your recipes and pictures gorgeous but your writing transports. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Ah, such a lovely post. I really like the idea of kindness as a muscle, that you have to keep flexing and building up. You’re so right that it’s these little moments that make life so beautiful.

  5. Such beautiful writing. I loved reading this post! And I definitely want to try this guac. I’ve been making guacamole with radishes lately and I’m obsessed!

    • Aw, thanks, friend! And you’ve got to try this… just like I’ve got to try it with radishes! Brilliant!

  6. Shanna, I loved this post. It’s these posts – that reach deep down and talk about intimacy and tiny details that may otherwise escape most people’s views – that really resonate with me. Thanks for reminding us that kindness is what is needed to make any relationship last, and more importantly, that kindness is a muscle the we need to keep on using and practicing with. Thanks also for sharing a glimpse into your marriage life, so happy for you and Tim, really!

    sending love,

    • These are the kinds of posts that mean the most to me, too, F, and I wish I could write them more often! Thank you!

  7. You’re a wonderful story teller, Shanna! It was so fun to read about this special moment from your life, and, of course, this recipe sounds fabulous. 🙂

  8. The best advice I got before we got married was “Be kind to one another.” How quickly I needed that advice and how well it’s served me! When Brad and I got married, we always said we wanted to give one another our best selves. None of that smiling at people at work or in the grocery store and then coming home and being crabby to one another. Five years in, it’s still a muscle that needs to be flexed every day. I’m so thankful for this reminder!

    I’m also now craving guacamole, so thanks for that. 🙂


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