How to Make Guacamole

Mary Gormandy White
Mashing vegetables to make guacamole

Guacamole is a delicious, versatile food that can be used for many purposes. It is often served as a dip for tortilla chips or topping for Mexican food, but it also works well as a condiment for sandwiches and wraps, as an omelet stuffing or even as a stand-alone side dish. Guacamole tastes so great that you'd think it would be hard to make, but it's really quite simple.

Scratch Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados (any variety)
  • 1 small onion (yellow, white or red)
  • 1 clove of garlic (whole or purchased minced garlic in a jar)
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/2 of a fresh lime
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Peel the avocados; cut them into chunks and place them into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the avocados using a fork or potato masher.
  3. Peel and dice the onion into small pieces; add to the bowl with the avocados.
  4. If using whole garlic clove, mince it; add garlic to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  5. Dice the tomato; add diced tomato to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  6. Squeeze the lime half and add juice to the bowl, taking care not to get any seeds in the mixture.
  7. Use a fork or large spoon to mix the ingredients together.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste, adjusting as needed.

You can eat right away, but the guacamole will taste best if you chill it for about 30 minutes before eating.

Shortcut Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados (any variety)
  • 1/3 cup of prepared salsa or picante sauce
  • salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel the avocados; cut them into chunks and place them into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the prepared salsa or picante sauce to the avocados.
  3. Use a fork or large spoon to mix the ingredients together.
  4. Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste, adjusting as needed. (If the salsa you used has these ingredients, you may not need to add any.)

As with the scratch recipe, it is fine to eat this salsa immediately, but the taste will be improved if you let it chill it for about 30 minutes before you eat it.

Guacamole Variations

You can customize guacamole to your taste preferences - such as giving it a different flavor or making it spicy - by adding or substituting ingredients.

Add-Ins

Options to consider adding include:

  • Teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Teaspoon of chili powder
  • Teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Teaspoon of taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Minced jalapeno pepper to taste
  • Minced serrano pepper to taste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Can (4-1/2 ounces) of diced green chili peppers, drained
  • 1/4 cup of cooked black beans (drained)
  • 1/4 cup of cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 4 ounces of cooked baby shrimp (drained)
  • 4 ounces of lump crab meat (drained)

Substitutions

You can also substitute ingredients called for in the basic recipe with other items. Examples include:

  • Use 1/3 cup of crushed pineapple (drained) instead of tomatoes or salsa
  • Use 1/3 cup of mashed fresh mango instead of tomatoes or salsa
  • Use juice from half of a fresh lemon instead of a lime
  • Use Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's or Zatarain's) instead of salt and pepper

Take care not to over-do it; you wouldn't want to make all of these changes. Choose one or just a few, being sure that you are selecting complementary flavors when making multiple adjustments.

Enjoy Guacamole Your Way

Making and customizing homemade guacamole is amazingly simple. Liven up a meal or snack occasion by making one of these terrific variations. Keep experimenting with add-ins or substitutions until you find your signature guacamole recipe.

How to Make Guacamole