How to Make Guacamole

Two Parts:Making Traditional GuacamoleSpicing up your Guacamole

Guacamole is a popular Mexican avocado salad or dip that’s quite easy to make. The base of most any guacamole is mashed or chunked avocado. Mix in onions, cilantro, chilies, seasonings and serve it with tortilla chips. This is a basic guacamole formula, but don't be afraid to mix in other things to make it your own.


Main Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice

Optional Ingredients

  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

Part 1
Making Traditional Guacamole

  1. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 1
    Start by dicing your onion. Avocados oxidize quickly. Cutting them at the absolute last moment ensures that they stay fresh and green. Start by cutting an onion in half. Halve again until you have one quarter. Dice the onion with a sharp knife. Set aside in a small bowl.
    • If you want onion with a less acidic bite, wash your diced onion under cold water in a colander and drain. Water will help remove some of the sulfuric acid in onions (the same sulfuric acid that makes you cry when you cut an onion).
  2. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 2
    Mince the pepper. Mince your serrano or jalapeno pepper and combine in the same bowl with the onion.
    • If you want less spicy guacamole, remove the seeds and veins from the pepper before you mince it. Seeds and veins are especially hot.
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    Chop about 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro. Bunch the cilantro together with one hand. Carefully chop it with a sharp knife and combine with onions and peppers.
    • If you want, feel free to cut the cilantro stem along with the leaf. Unlike parsley, which has a fibrous and unappetizing stem, cilantro stems are pleasing additions to guacamole.
  4. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 4
    Mince one small garlic clove (optional). Guacamole doesn't need garlic, but many consider garlic an essential ingredient. If you do plan to use garlic in your recipe, mince a small clove and combine in bowl with onions, peppers, and cilantro.
  5. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 5
    Thoroughly combine onions, peppers, and cilantro. In order to get the best possible flavor, consider spending some extra time mashing the onions, cilantro, and serrano chili pepper with a fork so that they release their oils. This isn't absolutely essential if you're in a hurry, but it makes a big difference in the end.
    • If you happen to have a mortar and pestle (or traditional molcajete), now's the time to gently grind the onion, pepper, and cilantro together.
  6. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 6
    Slice the avocados in half and remove the pit. Take a sharp knife and slice the avocados in half lengthwise. Pull the seed out from the avocado half and make sure no seed bits remain in your avocado.
    • It's better to use an avocado that's too soft than too hard. Since this is the main ingredient in guacamole, it's important to choose nice avocados whose flavors will highlight your dish.
    • It might help to twist the avocado halves as you're pulling them apart.
  7. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 7
    Cube the avocados. Cut a grid-like pattern in the avocado halves. Don't cut through the skin.
  8. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 8
    Scoop the avocados into the bowl with the remaining ingredients. Take a spoon and scoop the cubed avocados from the peel into the bowl with your onions, peppers, and cilantro.
  9. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 9
    Use your spoon to combine the avocado with the rest of the ingredients. If you like chunkier guacamole, use your spoon to gently break up the avocados until the onions, peppers, and cilantro are evenly distributed but the avocado isn't completely smooth. If you like smoother guacamole, mash the avocados until the avocado is creamy.
    • If you'd like to, add lime to your guacamole while you break up the avocados.
    • Be sure to salt your guacamole, too. Sea salt adds a nice crunch to guacamole that table salt doesn't give.
  10. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 10
    Introduce ripe, diced tomatoes into the guacamole (optional). If you have less-ripe tomatoes, combine them before you break up the avocados. If you have ripe tomatoes, introduce them now; ripe tomatoes are delicate and are worth highlighting.

Part 2
Spicing up your Guacamole

  1. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 11
    Add sweetness with diced mango or pomegranate seeds. Fresh mango adds a tangy sweetness to your rich guacamole. If you enjoy sweet flavors in your dips, try out a Mayan salsa called xec. Pomegranate seeds make your guacamole visually appealing as well as slightly sweet.
  2. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 12
    Add a smoky element to your guacamole with roasted tomatillos or pumpkin seeds. Roasted tomatillos or toasted pumpkin seeds give your guacamole a whole new depth of flavor.
  3. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 13
    Play around with other unique additions. Don't be afraid to make your own additions. It's hard to mess up guacamole and easy to create your own unique version. Drizzle olive oil on top. Include the zest of a lime or Meyer lemon. Try adding a small amount of grated queso fresco cheese.
  4. Image titled Make Guacamole Step 14
    Garnish the guacamole. Sprinkle cilantro over the top and serve immediately. Other options for garnish include:
    • Thinly sliced radish
    • Oven-roasted corn
    • Chips or tortillas arranged around the side of the guacamole bowl


  • For a firmer, less watery guacamole, remove the seeds from the tomato before adding it to the mix.
  • The guacamole will oxidize when in contact with open air. [1] To avoid this, use the guacamole immediately or cover it with plastic wrap before serving.
  • A tip to keep an avocado from turning brown is to drop it into boiling water for ten seconds and then immediately place in a bowl of ice water. This kills the enzyme that reacts with oxygen & turns it brown. If covering with plastic wrap, press the plastic directly onto the guac to eliminate air contact.
  • To check if your avocados are ripe, squeeze them gently. If they give a little and are a bit soft, they are good to use. [2]
  • To tone down a spicy guacamole, add a dollop of sour cream or cottage cheese.
  • Use cilantro sparingly at first as it has a very strong flavor and can easily overpower the dish.

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