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This Homemade Guacamole recipe is easy, authentic, fresh, and out-of-this-world good with lime, garlic, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno mixed in with wonderful ripe avocados. This is the best guacamole recipe ever. For real.
This post was originally shared in May 2019, but has been updated for content.
You know the old, "if you were stranded on a desert island, what five foods would you bring to eat" hypothetical? This homemade guacamole makes the cut.
Quick confession time: I used to be all about the ease and convenience of premade guac which I would buy in bulk from Costco because seriously, we eat guacamole like you cannot even imagine over here. When our youngest, Rose, was a toddler, guacamole was practically a food group for her.
But once I learned how to make guacamole this way my world changed forever. When it comes to wanting the best guacamole EVER and I'm craving some serious Mexican food, there is just no substitute for this homemade guac recipe that is better than any version I've had anywhere, thanks to one simple technique and a secret ingredient or two.
Why This Recipe Works
- We're talking 10 minutes total from start to finish to whip up a batch of guac!
- Simple, wholesome ingredients and fresh flavors from cilantro, garlic, lime, and jalapeno take this easy guacamole recipe to the next level.
- Crushing the cilantro, garlic, onion, and jalapeno with a molcate (mortar & pestle) or just the back of a spoon against the side of the bowl releases oils & juices to permeate the guacamole with the most amazing flavor.
- Avocados: You can check to see if your avocados are ripe by gently pressing the outside of the avocados. If they feel hard, the avocados are not ripe yet and won't have good flavor. If the avocados give just a little but aren't squishy, then they are ripe and should be just right for making guacamole. Once they are ripe, you can stick them in the fridge for a few days to slow down the ripening process so they don't go bad as quickly.
- Cumin: This is my secret ingredient for a smoky intensity to the guac that might be hard to identify but really boosts the flavor quotient. You'll see it used a lot in Mexican cuisine.
- Jalapeno: I list this as optional because some people are afraid of spicy guacamole, but I always use it when I have a jalapeno on hand. As long as you remove the seeds and stems from the jalapeno, it doesn't actually make this guacamole spicy at all.
How to Make This Recipe
I use a large molcajete (the stone mortar and pestle thing you see in the pictures), but you don't need one to make authentic guacamole. A bowl and large spoon will do you just fine.
The real secret to making the best guacamole is to crush the chopped cilantro, garlic, onion, and jalapeno against the bottom or sides of the molcajete or bowl you are using to make the guacamole in using either the pestle tool or the back of a sturdy spoon. You could even do this on a cutting board using a fork to mash everything up.
You will notice an almost instant uptick in the aroma of the cilantro and garlic especially as they release some of their juices and oils.
Then add the avocados, lime juice, and season with a little salt and a pinch of cumin. You can mash the avocados as much or as little as you like, but I prefer moderately chunky guacamole that isn't too smooth.
Stir in the chopped tomato last, then ge sure to taste and adjust the salt and lime juice as needed. The lime juice not only adds wonderful flavor to the guacamole, but it helps keep it from turning brown too quickly.
That's all there is to it! It takes all of 5 minutes to make the best homemade guacamole ever for parties with tortilla or plantain chips, in burritos, on fajitas or chimichangas (or whatever else your heart longs to top with guacamole)!
I'm not a registered dietician, but yes, I think it's generally accepted that guacamole is healthy, at least in moderation. Avocados contain good essential healthy fats that we should consume every day. Plus they are high in fiber, rich in vitamin B, E and K and have 60 percent more potassium than bananas. It's more the other things that guacamole is typically paired with that are the bigger health concern, like salty, fried tortilla chips.
Store any leftover guacamole in an airtight container. Pour a little extra lime juice or drizzle a little olive oil over the exposed surface of the guacamole before covering it with a lid. Also, don't throw away your avocado pits! Many say that storing uneaten guacamole with the avocado pits helps prevent it from going brown quite as quickly.
We love adding a little tomato to our guac, but it's not really, truly traditional. Feel free to leave it out if you want, but personally, I love it!
- As a note, you can buy hard avocados if that's all the store has and then wait a few days until they ripen on your counter before making the guacamole. If there is a lot of give (or worse, they feel mushy) when you gently squeeze the avocados, then they will be beyond ripe and not good.
- Even with these tips, guacamole will still start to turn brown on top after just a couple of days. You can scrape the brown part off and just eat the fresh, green guacamole underneath, but even then a batch of guacamole doesn't keep for more than 3 days in the fridge in my experience.
- Guacamole goes on almost everything, but especially your favorite Mexican foods like fajitas, chimichangas, and carne asada. But I also love this homemade guacamole on burgers or on top of eggs for breakfast.
More Mexican Food Recipes
Best Homemade Guacamole Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 3 Tablespoons white onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno stem and seeds removed, finely diced (optional)
- 3-4 large ripe avocados
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice about 2 limes
- 1 Roma tomato chopped
- In a large bowl (or molcajete if you have one), crush chopped cilantro, garlic, and onion (and jalapeno, if using) using the back of a spoon, grinding it against the bowl a bit to release its juices and aroma.
- Add the avocados, lime juice, salt, and cumin and mash with a fork until the avocados are mostly broken down and only smaller chunks remain. If you prefer chunkier guacamole, just don't mash it quite as much. If you prefer smoother guac, keep on going until it's the consistency you desire. Stir in the chopped tomato.
- Top with extra chopped cilantro and store covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.