a foolproof, restaurant-worthy method to making the best guacamole at home, every single time. this guacamole recipe will soon become a staple recipe in your house. don’t be surprised when all your friends start requesting it whenever you see them!
there are a few guiding principles in my life:
- there is no such thing as too many pairs of pretty shoes.
- celebrations call for some bubbly (even if the only thing you’re celebrating is the fact that you made it through monday).
- guacamole belongs dolloped on top of ERRTHANG
my guacamole love affair began the summer before my senior year of college. i landed a waitressing job serving tables at a super-trendy & hip latin fusion tapas place in downtown milwaukee (aka textbook $$$…but rly aka bar fund $$$ #youfeelme??). their biggest claim to fame was a tableside guacamole presentation, which involved a guacamole cart that would be rolled up to your table, even into the wee hours of the morning, for you to witness the greatness in the making up close & personal.
…do you see where this is headed??…
little did i know, upon accepting this job i was also signing myself up to schlep around that damn cart all summer long.
obviously being the queen of a guacamole cart up ’til bar close is not the most glamorous job ever…but it is the gig that taught me how to make the BEST guacamole ever, so i’d say things worked out just fine.
so you wanna know the big fat restaurant secret to the best guacamole ever?!
you take the guacamole’s base ingredients (diced red onion, minced jalapeño, & garlic salt) & literally SMASH them together to release all of their juices (aka flavor!) before mixing in perfectly ripened avocado & lime juice. unlike merely stirring all of the ingredients together, this crucial step is essential for ensuring that your guac is full of flavor in every single bite…aka the best guacamole ever.
in the restaurant, we went the traditional route & used a molcajete, which is a huge mexican mortar & pestle with a porous & abrasive surface that helps impart flavor into whatever you make with it. (aka perfect for guacamole ingredient smashing.) if you have a molcajete, pull it out now & get to making that guac!
if you don’t have a molcajete, don’t worry, i’m not going to tell you that you need to buy one in order to make the best guacamole. i don’t have one either (though it is on my kitchen bucket list!).
instead, for years now, i’ve just been using a ziplock bag & a rolling pin. pop those same base ingredients into a ziplick bag & whack it to oblivion with your rolling pin. (the bottom of heavy pan works great, too!) just be careful to not whack too forcefully because you may cause the ziplock bag’s seams to burst, which results in a completely annoying mess.
once you can see the juices from the onion & the jalapeno start to mingle together, open the bag & dump the guacamole base into a bowl. add in 2 avocados, some salt & some lime juice, & stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated & the avocados are your desired consistency. i always err on the traditional side of chunky because i like the texture, but you can make it as smooth as you want it. i like to top guacamole with LOTS of cilantro & some red chili flake for an extra kick of heat. when i’m feeling fancy, a crumble of queso fresco is always fantastic. you could also top with diced tomatoes (or pico!), more diced jalapeno, or some hot sauce. build it however you like it!
& there you have it…the best guacamole ever. (& it’s so simple to make!) (& even easier to eat!!)
a few more tips for making the best guacamole:
aside from taking the time to create your base flavors, the other crucial part of the best guacamole is perfectly ripened avocados.
there are a couple of tricks for making the right decision in the grocery store & SO much of it has to do with balance: a perfect avocado is juuust right.
first, look for the right color. hass avocados are a shiny brown-ish green when ripe. if the ones in your store are bright green, they’re way under; if they look dull & matte, then they’re way over.
second, give it a gentle (& i mean gentle) squeeze. a ripe avocado will give just slightly to the pressure of your hand. if it is hard, it is way under; if it is mushy or you can feel an air pocket between the skin & flesh, it’s sadly over.
one more tip! don’t let under-ripe avocados discourage you. i actually prefer to buy them pretty green & let them ripen on my counter for another couple of days. this way i can ensure that once they’re ready i have them on hand to make a batch of guac.
when it comes to making the best guacamole, salt & lime juice are your best friends.
avocados are fatty, so when you eat them they coat your mouth & you need a healthy amount of salt & lime to cut through that fattiness & create a balanced bite. when people complain that avocados taste bland, it’s definitely because they’re not using enough salt & lime.
start with what i recommend below in the recipe, but remember to taste & modify as needed. avocados vary in size so the appropriate amount of salt & lime varies too. if you went overboard on salt & have another avocado hanging around go ahead & mix it in…it will help tremendously.
trying to make guac in advance?
ah, sorry. not the greatest idea. while a guac’s flavors do meld & develop over time, the avocado also oxidizes (i.e. turns brownish & mushy & goes a little sour as it comes into contact with oxygen). guacamole is best served fresh.
if you need to prep it in advance i’d recommend prepping the base ingredients using aforementioned ziplock bag method. pack your ziplock bag of flavor, 2 ripe avocados, chopped cilantro & any other toppings you want, & a bowl. when you’re ready to wow the crowd, you can mix up all of the ingredients on the spot & serve!
looking to store your guac?
see above. again, not the greatest idea due to oxidation.
i’ve seen wives tales about storing guac with the avocado pits, but unfortunately these are just wives tales & they won’t actually prevent browning.
the only way to prolong browning from happening is to prevent oxygen from getting to your guac. your best bet is to store in an airtight container. before popping the top on, press a layer of plastic wrap firmly on the surface of the guacamole which will help protect it from its oxygen nemesis. it won’t make the guac last forever, but it will help it survive a couple of days in the fridge.
& one final tip for the best guacamole ever? two words: double batch. you so won’t be sorry.
so tell me…how do you like to serve guacamole? do you go the chips & dip route? do you have any favorite guacamole toppings? or do you like to eat guacamole as a topping on other things?? if so, what?! let me know in the comments below…i’d obviously LOVE to chat! xx
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- 2 hass ripe avocados
- 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, & diced
- 1/4 medium red onion (1/2 small), diced
- 1 heaping tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 lime
- handful of chopped cilantro
- favorite toppings of choice
- add the chopped jalapeño & red onion to a ziploc bag along with the kosher salt & granulated garlic. seal the bag tight, pressing out as much air as you can (this is important!!).
- using a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan, smash the contents of the bag to release the juices of the onion & jalapeño.
- scrape the contents of the ziploc bag into a bowl, adding the flesh of 2 avocados, cumin, & coriander. use a wooden spoon to gently smash the avocados & stir in the onion/jalapeño mixture. add the lime juice, a handful of chopped cilantro, & stir until desired consistency is reached.
- the best part: taste test!! depending on the size of your avocados you may need to add more spice, salt, or lime juice.
- place into serving dish & garnish (totally optional - totally encouraged).
- devour. repeat. (frequently.)
- *depending on how spicy you like your guacamole, you'll want to remove the stems & seeds from your jalapeno. we like a pretty good kick, so we remove the seeds from one & keep the seeds in the other. if you're intolerant to spice, feel free to remove the seeds from both. if you like extra spicy, leave them all in!