How to Make Even Better Guacamole

How to Make Even Better Guacamole

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We're revisiting guacamole to determine how we can make it even better than the last.

Making "the perfect" guacamole is not a novel idea. Heck, we’ve even done it twice before, and have two different interviews with celebrated chefs from New York City hot spots Dos Caminos and Rosa Mexicano about how to make the perfect version.

Just because we’ve examined the art of making guacamole once or twice before doesn’t mean we’re done, though, because techniques, products, and recipes are constantly evolving and changing, and we as cooks are always craving more and more tips and opinions from the experts.

This time around we spoke with George Duran, international chef and entertainer. The host of Food Network’s Ham on the Street and TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off and author of Take This Dish and Twist It, Duran is known for his colorful and lively personality and helpful and informative cooking tips.

Duran’s guacamole mantras are similar to ones of past experts that we’ve spoken with, but he also has some additional tips to share. Like knowing how to spot the perfect ripened avocado and how to make your guacamole your own, whether it’s through add-ins like diced apples or the chips you serve it with. And don’t forget about the best ways to serve it, because Duran has some pet peeves about when it’s served wrong.

Guacamole is a dish that will never fade, and so we’ll continue to try and perfect it over and over again. Here are 10 tips for how to make an even more perfect guacamole.

Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce

8 Ways To Make Your Guacamole That Much Better

We don't mess around when it comes to guacamole. We understand the importance of this simple avocado dip. It makes happy hours that much better, parties worth leaving our house for, and Cinco de Mayo a holiday to that can rival (almost) Thanksgiving. Without guacamole, margaritas wouldn't go down as smoothly and tortilla chips wouldn't even matter anymore.

Guacamole is just one of those foods that makes life a little bit better. So, when making it homemade it's important to get it right. We've whipped up countless recipes and have eaten even more bowls of the stuff than we care to admit, all in search of the perfect guac. This abundant avocado dip consumption has gotten us to the bottom of what makes a guacamole great -- and all the simple tips and tricks that can make your homemade guacamole that much better.

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How to Keep Guacamole From Turning Brown

The solution lies with good ol&apos H2O. Topping off guacamole with water keeps air, at least in part, from being able to penetrate the guacamole, which keeps it from browning. By using this simple technique, you can keep guacamole from browning for up to three days.

  1. Once you&aposre ready to store your guacamole, place it in an airtight storage container (like this Amazon best seller). You may also use a bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
  2. Use a spoon to flatten the surface of the guac and remove any air bubbles.
  3. Add about a ½ inch of water to the top of the guacamole. Make sure the water covers the whole surface of the guac.
  4. Put the lid or covering on the container, and store the guac in the fridge for up to three days.
  5. When you&aposre ready to enjoy your guac, gently pour out the water and stir before serving.

Especially in the spring and summer, mangoes and pineapple are at their most juicy and delicious. Adding in sliced tropical fruit — like the Pioneer Woman does in this recipe — adds a whole new element to classic guacamole, and ups the sweetness.

If you're looking to add a little more flavor, texture, and protein to your guacamole, try adding black beans, like Martha Stewart does in this recipe.

An ingredient in many Mexican and South American dishes, black beans are a delicious and inexpensive addition to any classic guacamole. Plus, you likely have a can hanging around somewhere in your pantry.

12 Awesome Ways to Rock Some Guac (Besides Chips)

Guacamole is quite possibly my favorite sauce. No, not dip. Sauce. You see, I only eat dips in certain situations. Weekends. Parties. Football tailgates. Situations that involve 1) me being social and 2) me sharing a bowl with everyone. Don’t get me wrong – I love an excuse to get together with friends. But I don&apost love the limitations it puts on my guacamole intake. And that&aposs just sad. At just 25 calories per tablespoon, we should all be consuming more of this creamy, subtly-nutty, heart-healthy fat-filled fruit.

Struggling to cook healthy? We'll help you prep.

It&aposs not the guacamole we should be worried about. It&aposs all those calorie-dense chips we have to consume just to get our guac fix.

I think I have another solution.

The other day I stumbled upon this little tidbit:  the Aztec name for guacamole was ahuacamolli, a name that derives from the Nahuatl words ahuacatl (avocado) and mulli (sauce), and literally translates to 𠇊vocado sauce.”

So there you have it. Once I embraced this delectable sauce as a sauce rather than a dip, well, let’s just say life got a lot tastier. Basically any recipe that calls for avocado can have guacamole instead. And why not? Guac is just a creamier, more-seasoned version of the fruit anyway, right? Here,ਊ dozen ways with guacamole, and not a single chip necessary:

1. On a burger. Because sometimes the classic-condiment-trinity of ketchup, mustard, and mayo need a break.

2. Stirred into chopped hard-boiled eggs for a zesty, better-than-the-classic quick-and-easy egg salad.

3. Piled on top of a baked sweet potato. Sub 2 tablespoons guacamole for a tablespoon of sour cream and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and save 4g sat fat.

4. As the devil to your eggs. Skip the mayo and use guacamole in the filling of your favorite recipe to save 25ꃊlories and 3g fat per egg!

5. Dolloped over your Cobb, Caesar, or Southwestern-style salad. Even better? Turn it into the dressing and drizzle it on top.

6. As the sauce to your shrimp cocktail. ਌ocktail sauce has 150mg sodium per tablespoon.  Guacamole has less than 50. Go green.

7. On a game day dog. A tablespoon of guacamole saves 250mg sodium over the standard pickle relish, mustard, and ketchup topper. See our roundup of healthier hot dogs.

8. With sushi. Everyone loves a little avo with sushi, right? Skip the soy sauce (you’ll save 500mg sodium per tablespoon), and dunk in guacamole instead. If you love your soy sauce as much as I do, just stir 1/2 teaspoon of the lower sodium variety into the guacamole for a salty-but-still-lighter-than-just-soy-sauce-kick.

9. With salmon. Because two tasty heart-healthy fats are better than one.

10. Scmeared on a sizzling steak sandwich.

11. As icing to your savory cake. Crab cakes, quinoa patties, corn fritters, sweet potato cakes… Serve with guacamole. Trust me on this.

12. Dolloped on a creamy soup. Load that potato soup with guacamole instead of cheese and sour cream to slash calories. Also tasty on black bean soup, lentil stew, tortilla soup, even਌hili!

A Controversial Trick for Store-Bought Guacamole Makes It Taste Homemade

My mother is an expert zhuzh-er. When I was growing up, I would sink low into my chair while she added salsa, hot sauce, and extra lime (stolen from the rims of everyone’s margarita glasses) to the guacamole at our local Mexican restaurant.

It left me red-cheeked with embarrassment then, but these days, I can fully appreciate her talent of knowing just what any dish needs—whether it be her own cooking, an appetizer at a restaurant, or a store-bought prepared food.

There are a lot of “good” store-bought guacamole out there, but with a few simple tips, you can make them great. Here’s how (thanks, mom!):

Sprinkle in Some Salt and Pepper

This might seem obvious, but something as simple as salt and pepper can really bring out the flavors in a bland, store-bought guacamole. I recommend adding sea salt and fresh cracked red pepper for the best flavor transformation.

Squeeze a Little Lime

It’s just a fact that all store-bought guacs need more lime. And if you like some tang, now is not the time to be conservative go ahead and add in a whole lime—it’s hard to overdo it! As an adult, I’ll even sacrifice the lime on my own margarita glass, knowing it will bring the guac to a whole new level of delicious.

Zulay Metal Citrus Press, $14.99 from Amazon

Squeeze out every last drop.

Spice It Up

This can take the form of anything spicy you have lying around, including crushed red pepper, chopped jalapeno, or any bottled hot sauce. Just add it in to taste and watch your guac transform before your eyes. If you’re looking for a smoky flavor, you could always opt for smoked paprika and chili powder, which will add some strong flavor without a lot of spice.

Add a Dab of Dairy

Antoni from “Queer Eye” got a lot of flack for adding Greek yogurt to guacamole, but honestly, it’s a delicious way to take your guac to a whole new level of creamy. As an added bonus, Greek yogurt is also full of protein and beneficial probiotics—and it keeps your guac from turning brown. All you need is a dollop, and you can also use sour cream for something even more decadent.

Feature Fresh Veggies

Most of us have at least one spare onion or pepper lying around somewhere. Now is the time to put them to good use because adding some fresh chopped veggies can take a store-bought guac to such a delicious place, you’ll forget it came from the store at all. Just dice the onion or pepper nice and small, stir them in, and enjoy the amazing crunchiness and freshness of your new creation.

Stir in Some Salsa

If you don’t have any fresh veggies around the house, check the fridge and pantry for a jar of salsa. You can add a couple tablespoons of salsa to any store-bought guac and get spice, acid, and extra veggies all at once. In fact—and this might be a controversial opinion considering the heated debate over pineapple on pizza—but sometimes I add pineapple salsa to store-bought guacamole for a touch of sweetness. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it!

Fold in Fresh Cilantro

Fresh cilantro is a staple herb in so many Mexican dishes—and for good reason. It not only packs a ton of flavor and health benefits, it also makes your guac smell amazing and incredibly fresh. Just chop the leaves of fresh cilantro finely and add to taste.

Whether you’re leaning on store-bought guac for convenience, price, or because you just can’t bear to miss another avocado’s fleeting window of perfect ripeness (How can it be rotten when it was hard as a rock 48-hours ago?!), the seven tips above can make sure that you never have to sacrifice on flavor.

Homemade guacamole can be prepared in two ways: with a bowl and fork or in the molcajete, a Mexican mortar and pestle. Making it in the molcajete gets the most incredible results. Let us show you both simple methods of preparation.

Freshly Made Guacamole

How to Make

Start With the Ingredients

Fresh ingredients make the dish. Guacamole just requires a few ingredients:

Because it is an uncooked dish, what you choose to make it with really counts. Unripe or poor quality ingredients have nowhere to hide. And, please, please, please don’t add those guacamole seasoning packets. They have no place in a properly made guacamole dip.

Guacamole Ingredients

How to Tell if an Avocado is Ripe

When you are choosing avocados, you want ones that are ripe but not overly mushy. To tell if an avocado is ripe, use your thumb and gently push on the top where the stem connects. This is the narrower end of the avocado. The flesh should give a little. If it doesn’t give a little, it isn’t ripe enough. If it gives too easily, it is too ripe and won’t make a good guacamole but it will make a great salsa in the blender. Don’t throw out mushy avocados.

How to Pit an Avocado

Avocados have large pits that need to be removed.

The most common method for removing the pit is to use a kitchen knife cut all the way around the avocado lengthwise then twist the two halves of the avocado until one side pops off.

Then holding the side of the avocado with pit in the palm of your hand with the pit facing up hit the pit with the sharp side of the knife blade to embed the knife in the pit. Twist the knife sideways and the pit will pop out.

A word of warning: Avocado injuries that send people to the emergency room are common. Use a great deal of caution when removing the pit to avoid cutting your hand.

To Lime or Not To Lime?

Should you add lime to your guacamole? I say no. I side with the great Diana Kennedy who says you should never add lime to your guacamole because it spoils the delicate balance of flavors. Can you add lime? Of course. I would recommend that you add lime sparingly to gently give the flavor an acidic boost. You want to enhance the flavor not overpower it.

Method 1 – Guacamole Made in the Molcajete

Our first guacamole recipe is our favorite method of preparation. If you have a molcajete, use it to make the best guacamole. The results are incredible.

(Check out our Video Guide to Using a Molcajete which includes a great recipe for making a rustic salsa. Molcajetes are a must-have in a Mexican kitchen.)


Build the Flavors in Layers

Add the onion, serrano chile, cilantro, and salt to the molcajete and grind until you have a uniform paste. The paste takes on a beautiful dark green color from the cilantro.

Grinding the ingredients releases the volatile oil of the vegetables and more evenly disperses the flavors throughout the guacamole.

Step 1 – Add Onion, Chile, Cilantro and salt Step 2 – Start Grinding Step 3 – Grind for 1 to 2 Minutes Step 4 – It is Ready when You Have a Uniform Paste Step 5 – Add the Avocados Step 6 – Grind Until the Avocados Are Broken Up but Still Chunky Step 7 – Add the Tomatoes Step 8 – Use a Spoon to Incorporate the Tomatoes Serve in the Molcajete With Chips

Method 2 – The Fork and Bowl Method

Our second authentic guacamole recipe is the classic way to prepare it if you don’t have a molcajete.

You just need a large bowl and a sturdy fork. The avocados are mashed instead of ground. If you are making a double-batch a potato masher will make quick work of it.

Step 1 – Add the Avocados Step 2 – Mash With a Fork Step 3 – Mash Until Slightly Chunky Step 4 – Add the Other Ingredients Step 5 – Incorporate the Ingredients and Salt to Taste Fresh Homemade Guacamole

How to Serve Guacamole

Serve guacamole with homemade corn tortilla chips. Guacamole tacos are a thing. To make, spread a couple of spoonfuls on a warm corn tortilla fold and eat.

It is a great side dish for carne asada. It is enjoyed throughout Mexico and for that matter the world.

Guacamole is so rich and nutty, it gives anything you dip into it so much more flavor. If you want something healthier than the usual corn or tortilla chips, why not use vegetables as your guacamole vessel instead?

Be sure to use crunchy veggies so they don&rsquot become soggy as you dip them. Some of my favorites include crunchy options like roccoli, cauliflower, carrot, cucumber, celery, and zucchini. Yum!

What to eat Guacamole with – other than corn chips!

A big platter of corn chips with a bowl of guacamole is certainly the most classic! Actually, in Mexico, the traditional way is to serve with crispy deep fried tortilla cut into corn chips shapes.

Anything suitable dunking works with Guacamole. Vegetable sticks, crackers, torn up pieces of Lebanese bread or other types of flatbread.

It’s also a firm favourite to serve alongside most Mexican dishes – as a dip or dollop for burritos, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, fajitas!

I really hope you do try this traditional recipe. It adds an extra element of “wow” to your guacamole but won’t taste oniony. No one can ever put their finger on why it taste so good, they just know it does! – Nagi x

26 Guacamole Recipes That Make the Classic Dip Even More Delicious (If You Can Believe It)

There are so many reasons to love guacamole. The Mexican dish (which literally means &ldquoavocado sauce&rdquo in the Nahuatl dialect) is creamy, refreshing, spicy, and just about perfect atop nearly any food. The most basic guacamole recipe involves some combination of mashed avocado, chopped onion, lime or lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic. But longtime guac fans know there&rsquos nothing wrong with a little extra seasoning&mdashin fact, adding fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, spices, and herbs only makes us love the versatile dip even more. Check out 26 of our favorite game-changing guacamole recipes below.

1. Super Simple Guacamole

It&rsquos important to walk before you can run. This basic guacamole is a good place to start. With avocados, lime, red onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and salt, it&rsquos a perfect recipe for guac beginners (or purists).

2. Kale Guacamole

Get your daily dose of greens with this healthier guac recipe. Shallots, garlic, fresh herbs, and jalapeño pepper give the brightly colored dip a ton of flavor and spice.

3. Black Bean and Corn Guacamole

This recipe combines all the best parts of a burrito bowl: black beans, corn, and, of course, avocado. Cilantro, lime, and jalapeño pack in extra flavor for even more spice, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes.

4. Grilled Guacamole With Parmesan and Basil

Sticking avocado halves on the grill for a few minutes intensifies the flavor and adds char-y goodness to your guac. This unconventional recipe also features fresh basil, lemon, and Parmesan cheese.

5. Roasted Tomato Guacamole

This is a flavor combo we didn&rsquot know we needed. Roasted cherry tomatoes, avocado, and red onion combine with olive oil, basil, and garlic in this fresh, Italian-style dip.

6. Tropical Fruit Guacamole

Can&rsquot swing a beach vacation this winter? Make this sunny dip and pretend you&rsquore in the tropics instead. Chopped pineapple and mango combine with jalapeño peppers to make this sweet-and-spicy guac an instant go-to.

7. Creamy Guacamole Hummus

Why choose between dips when you can combine two into one awesome dish? First, blend avocado, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin. When that&rsquos all blended, add the chickpeas and mix until smooth. Hummus and guacamole cravings solved.

8. Spicy Apple Guacamole

Fruit-filled guacamole is delish, and apple guac is no exception. Green apples add a tart crunch to the otherwise classic dip (it also calls for red onion, cilantro, and lime juice), and a jalapeño spices things up a bit.

9. Charred Jalapeño and Peach Guacamole

Chop red onion, peaches, a jalapeño, and cilantro roughly to achieve this recipe&rsquos sweet and spicy taste and ultra-chunky texture.

10. Pomegranate Guacamole

Paleo friendly and Whole30 compliant, this guacamole recipe is a festive way to stick to your healthy-eating goals. Plus, it&rsquos super easy to make, with just six ingredients: avocado, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, lime, salt, and pepper.

11. Greek Guacamole

Give your guac a Mediterranean-inspired twist with fresh veggies and herbs. Mix avocado with sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and kalamata olives, plus a sprinkle of oregano and parsley.

12. Paleo Guacamole

Stay on track with this crispy Paleo guacamole recipe. Chop up radishes and onions squeeze the juice out of a small lime and then mix with three ripe avocados, garlic powder, and pink Himalayan sea salt.

13. Grilled Guacamole

We&rsquove talked about the pros of grilled avocados before, but this recipe takes it to the next level. Slap avocado halves, onion slices, jalapeño, limes, and chunks of tomato on the grill for a flavor-packed guacamole option.

14. Bacon-Cojita Guacamole

Bacon and cheese make anything taste better, right? This decadent guacamole features crumbled bacon and chunks of cojita cheese. Add a generous amount of cilantro, chili pepper, and lime juice to prevent the rich dip from feeling too heavy.

15. Mint and Pea Guacamole

Peas sound like an odd thing to put in guacamole, but they add a thicker texture and slight sweetness to the dip. Cook 1/4 cup fresh peas (about 15 pea pods), then mash with avocado. Add in coriander seeds and fresh mint for a unique flavor that upgrades guac from game-day snack to dinner party-approved side.

16. Roasted Chili Mango Guacamole

Spice up avocados&rsquo creamy texture with chunks of sweet mango and spicy chili, and keep it fresh by using lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Partygoers will love this colorful and flavor-jammed guacamole recipe.

17. Strawberry Peach Guacamole

This fruity (as in, five of the six ingredients are fruit) take on guac is definitely more sweet than spicy. Just mash avocados, and add chopped strawberries, peaches, tomato, basil, and a squeeze of lemon. That&rsquos all, folks!

18. Guacamame

This hybrid appetizer combines edamame, Greek yogurt, and tomato with classic guacamole ingredients. Pro tip: You&rsquoll need a food processor (or some really strong arms) to grind up the edamame beans.

19. Spicy Cheddar Cheese Guacamole

Feed the troops with this unconventional and filling spicy guacamole recipe. It combines cheddar cheese, black beans, tomato, and green onions. Only downside? It&rsquoll be gone before you know it.

20. Creamy Greek Yogurt Guacamole

Add some lean protein to snack time by mixing 1/4 cup Greek yogurt into your guacamole. Serve with carrot sticks, celery, or whole-wheat crackers for an extra-healthy mini-meal.

21. Roasted Poblano Guacamole

Get your roast on with this crunchy guacamole recipe. Poblano peppers go in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 475 degrees, and sweet corn gets charred in a skillet for 5-10 minutes. Once cooled, mix the two with avocado, cilantro, white onion, and lime juice.

22. Bacon Feta Guacamole

Another heartier recipe is topped with crispy crumbled bacon and creamy, tangy feta cheese. Did someone say football season?

23. Fajita Guacamole

Deconstructed fajitas? Sign us up. This genius recipe uses onions, red and green peppers, lime, and queso fresco to make a Mexican fiesta in your mouth.

24. Crab Guacamole

Add protein to your dip by substituting some of the avocado for fresh crabmeat. It&rsquos a filling and surprising addition, and way easier than making crab cakes. Serve with sesame crackers or crispy bread.

25. Banana Cashew Guacamole

Bananas in guacamole? Yep, it&rsquos a thing, and we love it. Mix a banana with avocados, chopped cashews, and the juice of half a lime. Sprinkle on some garlic salt and cumin, and you&rsquove got an extra-creamy guac with a dose of protein.

26. Magic Green Sauce

While it&rsquos not exactly guacamole, we couldn&rsquot leave this inventive twist on the classic avocado dip out in the cold. It can be added to salads, chicken, crackers, or veggies, and is made with pistachios, avocado, jalapeño, lime, and garlic.