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Bring your dinner party to life with one of the world’s most beloved green dips courtesy of our simple guacamole recipe, and watch your guests scoop it up with chips, spread it on tacos and grilled meats, or just gorge on its creamy goodness, one heaped spoonful at a time!
Guacamole has soared in popularity across the West since the 1980s, and while modern-day versions can be sweet, wild, spicy, and truly indulgent, it’s important to recognize the humble origins of this Mexican spread.
We’ve done our best in this recipe to, first, pay homage to authentic guacamole and its Mexican roots, and then discuss some of the modern, Westernized flavors and additional ingredients.
That way, you can fall in love with this buttery, creamy-yet-chunky, sweet-yet-earthy spread at its purest, and then decide if you want to get creative with some additional ingredients and variations.
What is Traditional Guacamole?
Without a doubt, one of the most well-known and beloved dishes of Mexican cuisine, guacamole has taken on plenty of deliciously zesty, creamy, crunchy, and herby forms as it grew in popularity in the US and other countries.
Authentic Mexican guacamole, however, is a little more of a stripped-back affair. It consists of ripe, mashed avocados, mixed with salt, and a little lime juice. It’s often used as a condiment or topping in dishes like tacos. If served on its own, with tortilla chips, it will then also include onion (commonly white onion), cilantro, and chili peppers (typically jalapeños). Chopped tomato is an additional ingredient that can also be added.
US-based and Westernized guacamole is often far more acidic and zesty, due to the heavier use of lime juice, which is used more sparingly in Mexican guacamole.
Simple – Consisting of just avocados, lime juice, and salt, the simple version is popular in Mexico, particularly since most avocados are very flavorful in Mexico.
Onion – Traditionally, white onion is used, but as we have done in this recipe, you can use red or brown onion, depending on your available ingredients.
Avocado Cream/Crema – While in no way traditional, some people add sour cream to the guacamole to make avocado cream/crema. This can either be a simple combination of avocado, sour cream, lime juice, and salt to season, or include other popular guacamole ingredients such as cilantro and onion.
Common Additional Ingredients – We have already mentioned chopped tomato that adds sweetness, but you may come across recipes that add green garden peas, other types of pepper or even a little hot sauce, and/or additional herbs, with basil being one of the most common.
Creative Versions – Again, in no way traditional, but there is plenty of room to get creative with guacamole if you want to put your own spin on things. Diced mango or pineapple are two you may come across for a sweet, chunky guacamole, while some people prefer using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for their avocado crema.
To make our guacamole recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Avocados – 4 large Haas avocados
- Salt – 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- Cilantro – 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro/coriander
- Jalapeno/Serrano – 1 chili (seeds and white flesh removed)
- Onion (white or red) – 1/4 large onion
- Lime Juice – 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (about one small lime)
- Tomato (optional) – 1 Roma (plum) tomato
Step 1 – Cut the avocados in half, then take the pit out, and scoop out the flesh in a large bowl.
To do so, once you’ve cut the avocado in half, place it on a cutting board, use a sharp knife to strike the pit, and then twist and lift it out. Then, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the avocados.
Step 2 – Mash the avocados with the salt and lime juice until you have a creamy but still chunky consistency. If you have a large molcajete, you can use that. If not, you can use a potato masher, a fork, the beater from a hand mixer, or even a whisk.
Step 3 – Finely chop the onion, rinse it under cold water, and then drain and pat dry.
Step 4 – Finely chop the chili, tomato, and cilantro.
For the chili, the heat comes primarily from the capsaicin contained in the white flesh known as placenta. So, if you don’t want a spicy guacamole, remove the white flesh and seeds.
Step 5 – Add the onion, chili, tomato, and cilantro to the guacamole, and gently fold everything in.
Step 6 – Taste and adjust for salt, lime juice, cilantro, or chili.
Tortilla Chips – There’s only one place to start with guacamole, and that’s by serving it with a big plate of corn tortilla chips for everyone to dig in.
Tacos – Be it in the taco or on top, a generous dollop of guacamole makes tacos all the more delicious.
Burgers and Grilled Meats – If you’re taking the party outdoors to the grill, a side of guacamole at the assembly station is always well received.
Southern Fried or Breaded Chicken – The likes of chicken strips are perfect for picking up with your hands and dipping straight into the guacamole.
Dip/Spread – To be honest, most people will try guacamole with anything. So simply serve it in a large bowl, and give your guests plenty of dipping options, such as vegetables like carrot and celery sticks, breadsticks, grilled bread slices, and salty, savory crackers.
However you eat your guacamole, one thing is for sure: once you’ve made your own homemade guacamole, you will never want to buy store-bought again, it’s that creamy and delicious!
Guacamole Recipe Card
- 4 large Haas avocados
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (about one small lime)
- 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro/coriander
- 1 chili (seeds and white flesh removed)
- 1/4 white or red onion
- 1 Roma (plum) tomato, optional
- Cut the avocados in half, then take the pit out, and scoop out the flesh in a large bowl. Once you’ve cut the avocado in half, place it on a cutting board, use a sharp knife to strike the pit, and then twist and lift it out. Then, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the avocados.
- Mash the avocados with the salt and lime juice. If you have a large molcajete, you can use that. If not, you can use a potato masher, a fork, the beater from a hand mixer, or even a whisk.
- Finely chop the onion, rinse it under cold water, and then drain and pat dry.
- Finely chop the chili, tomato, and cilantro. For the chili, the heat comes primarily from the capsaicin contained in the white flesh known as placenta. So, if you don’t want a very spicy guacamole, remove the white flesh and seeds.
- Add the onion, chili, tomato, and cilantro to the guacamole, and gently fold everything in.
- Taste and adjust for salt, lime juice, cilantro, or chili.
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Save and Pin for Later
Planning a dinner party or celebratory feast? Keep our guacamole recipe for safekeeping by saving it to one of your Pinterest boards.