You could be eating authentic guacamole in minutes with this recipe. Don’t miss the tips on storing extra in the fridge or freezer, too.
I grew up eating authentic guacamole. Avocados trees were abundant in California back then. Most of our neighbors had at least one tree in their backyard. Some had several. We didn’t, but that didn’t mean we had to get our avocados at the store.
If you’ve grown zucchini, you know how tiresome it gets after the first week or two. Yet every day there’s more. After a while, you start leaving it on neighbor’s doorsteps or begging friends to take some home.
It’s the same when you have an avocado tree. Either you learn to eat avocados with every meal, or you look for families like mine who didn’t have a tree. Then you sneak a bag full of them onto their porch in the middle of the night. Now that I have to buy my avocados, I miss my childhood neighbors!
How to Make Authentic Guacamole
Authentic Guacamole Does NOT Have Mayo
When I moved to the Midwest as an adult, I discovered folks sometimes add mayonnaise to “guacamole.” That’s an avocado dip, people. It’s okay, mind you, but it’s not the real stuff. I also discovered people buy frozen pop-top cans of it at the grocery store. I’m not sure why — it’s not hard at all to make. So, read on for how to make fresh, authentic guacamole that you can be eating minutes from now.
Keep the Ingredients Simple
Authentic guacamole is just avocados mashed with lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Sometimes, a jalapeño gets thrown in there. If you’re going for a Tex-Mex vibe, you might jazz it up with onion, tomato, and a few other spices. But you never, ever add mayonnaise.
The Only Tool You Need is a Fork
Authentic guacamole isn’t pureed avocado. So, don’t haul out your food processor or blender. Completely authentic guacamole uses a molcajete, but you can get the same texture with a bowl and a fork. Don’t mash the life out of it, though. You want small chunks of avocado in there.
How to Store Guacamole
Should you happen to make more guacamole than you can eat in one sitting, hats off to you. I know no restraint with the stuff. Using the methods below, you can store guacamole in the fridge or freezer and keep it green. If you plan to make it ahead of time for a party, you’re going to need these tips.
Why Guacamole Turns Brown
Exposure to oxygen turns avocado flesh brown. That’s true whether you’ve sliced one open, or mashed several to make guacamole. Adding citrus juice helps slow this process. If the surface of your guacamole does turn brown, don’t fret — it’s safe to eat as long as the layers below are still green. Revive the flavor by stirring in the optional ingredients, along with more cilantro.
How to Freeze Guacamole
Guacamole freezes well if you follow a few tricks. Be sure you don’t skip or scrimp on the lime juice in this recipe. Citrus helps preserve the avocado’s green color.
- Scoop a cup or two of guacamole into a resealable plastic bag.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible then flatten the bag. Seal it well and freeze it right away.
- To defrost, place the unopened bag in a bowl of room temperature water for 10-15 minutes. Mix well before serving
How to Store Guacamole Overnight in the Fridge
There’s no way to completely stop guacamole from turning brown. But, you can slow down the process. Storebought or homemade, you should eat guacamole within 1-2 days. Toss guacamole that smells off or is brown all the way through.
Exposure to air makes guacamole go brown. To keep it green, you need to protect the surface. Pouring a layer of oil, adding more citrus, or pressing a piece of plastic wrap on top will all do the trick. Whichever method you use, stir it well before serving.
1. Float a thin layer of oil on the surface. The idea here isn’t to drown the guac but to “seal” the top layer and keep air away. You can use olive, grapeseed, or even avocado oil to do this. Pour it off and stir the guac before serving.
2. Add more lime juice. The citrus in this authentic guacamole recipe helps slow browning in the first place. Squeeze more on top after it’s in a storage bowl to help keep it bright green. Pour off the excess before serving to avoid changing the taste.
3. Press a piece of plastic wrap on it. Transfer your guacamole to a storage bowl and press plastic cling film over it. Make sure there are no gaps or air bubbles between the plastic and the guacamole. Cover it with an air-tight lid.
4. Use a guacamole saver bowl. If you eat guacamole often, this inexpensive guacamole-saver bowl is the way to go. It works like the plastic wrap method above, without unnecessary waste. Mix, serve, and store your guac all in the clear, round bowl, then put the lid on top and press down to get rid of air.
What to Do with Guacamole (Serving Ideas)
Now that you know how to refrigerate or freeze guacamole, don’t be afraid to make a big batch of it at once. Here are some of my favorite ways to use guacamole, besides scooping it with chips.
- Add a big dollop on top of Spicy Pinto Beans.
- Spread it on burgers.
- Use it in place of mayo when making egg salad or tuna salad sandwiches.
- Swap it for mayonnaise in your favorite deviled eggs.
- Add a big dollop to tacos or enchiladas. (Check out my homemade enchilada sauce recipe — it’s so easy to make!)
- Scoop some onto your favorite green salads in place of dressing.
- Jazz up your standard Avocado Toast by using guacamole instead. Garnish with some chopped red onion and cracked black pepper.
- Stuff it into baked sweet potatoes with a few spoonfuls of black beans and corn for a meatless main course.
- Tuck it into an omelet with some shredded pepper-jack cheese.
- 3 large Haas avocados - or 5 small
- 1 lime
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- Sea salt to taste
Optional (but not authentic)
- 2 Roma tomatoes - seeded and chopped
- 1/2 red onion - minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Slice the jalapeño in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop the pepper and set it aside.
- Pull the cilantro leaves off the stems and roughly chop them. Set them aside.
- Juice the lime and set aside.
- Using the knife, cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Use the spoon to scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl.
- Immediately add half the lime juice to the avocado and begin mashing the fork. Be sure to leave a few chunks for texture.
- Stir in the jalapeño and half the cilantro. Add a little of the salt at a time, tasting as you go. Add the rest of the lime juice to taste.
- Stir in optional ingredients if you're using them. Otherwise, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve.