Guacamole dip is one of those foods that once you make it yourself, you'll wonder how you ever, ever bought it from a store. It's super easy, takes about 5 minutes to make, and homemade guacamole tastes better than anything you can buy in a store.
Plus, when you know how to make guacamole, you basically have a thousand guacamole recipes in one. It's super versatile – it can be chunky or smooth, hot or mild, and made with as much or as little seasoning as you like. You can make it just the way you like it.
And you have complete control over what goes into your guacamole dip. Guacamole is actually a really healthy snack, if you make it yourself. The main ingredient, avocados, are great for you – but some of the store-bought kind aren't even made with real avocados!
The first step to learning how to make guacamole dip is figuring out what ingredients you'll need. Guacamole is so versatile. There are lots of ingredients to choose from to make a dip that's just right for you. Make it as simple or as complicated as you like!
There are a lot of different ingredients you can use in a guacamole dip. But there's just one ingredient that you absolutely must have: avocados. After all, guacamole is an avocado dip!
The most important thing you need to know about avocados is how to pick a good, ripe one, because an unripe avocado is really unpleasant – bitter, hard, and a real pain to peel.
A ripe avocado has deep dark green skin, almost black.
A bright green or light green avocado is generally not ripe yet.
A ripe avocado is firm, but if you press it, it'll yield just a bit.
If the avocado is very hard, it's not ripe.
If the avocado is squishy when you press it, or it feels like there's space between the peel and the flesh, the avocado is too ripe.
The skin on a ripe avocado peels off really easily.
If you can't find any perfectly ripe avocados, you can get one that's not ripe yet. It'll ripen at room temperature in a few days. You can use it as soon as it ripens, or keep in it the fridge once it's ripe.
If you're planning on making guacamole dip, it's a good idea to get your avocados ahead of time. Some grocery store carry ripe avocados, but some don't – you have to buy them ahead of time to make sure they have time to ripen.
Just like apples, avocado goes brown really quickly once it's peeled. Air causes it to oxidize. It's not harmful, but it affects the taste a bit, and of course it doesn't really look nice. So don't prepare your avocado too far ahead of time.
Technically, guacamole doesn't need to be anything more than just mashed avocados. But you can add a ton of flavor with just a few vegetables. Here are some possibilities:
Tomatoes. You can dice tomatoes and mix them into the mashed avocado to add a bit of juicy freshness. Make the chunks as big as you like. If you like smaller pieces of tomato, try using cherry tomatoes.
Onions add a ton of flavor, and make a really yummy guacamole. The best way to add onion is to mince is very finely, so that it blends in really well, and adds lots of flavor, without any overpowering chunks. If you're using red onion, though, you might want to leave bigger pieces in, for color.
If you want something a little milder, you can add green onion or chives instead.
Garlic is always great in guacamole. You don't have to add it, but a bit of minced or crushed garlic goes a long way. I love garlic, so I always add about a cloves per avocado.
If you don't have any fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder.
Peppers. What kind? Pretty much any kind. Hot peppers like chile or jalapeno add a nice bit of heat if you prefer something spicy. But bell peppers can be a nice addition, too. They're not spicy, but they'll add color, crunch and flavor to your guacamole dip.
These are just a few things you can add. The fun part about learning how to make guacamole is experimenting and finding out what you like best! So don't be afraid to try different veggies.
And don't be afraid to try out different quantities. Start by adding a little bit of each vegetable, and then taste the dip. You can always add more if you need to. And the more you make guacamole dip, the easier it'll be for you to figure out just how much to add.
I find that avocados are delicious all on their own, so I generally go light on the seasonings. But it's true that avocados are kind of mild flavored, and the right seasonings can really go a long way towards making your guacamole dip outstanding.
Wondering what to add? Here are some ideas.
Most guacamole dips have some lemon or lime juice in them. It doesn't just add flavor – it helps prevent the avocado from oxidizing, so that your guacamole doesn't turn brown as fast.
You can add anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon per avocado, depending on what you like.
Some people swear by lemon juice, others lime. It all comes down to peoples' tastes, and you can't argue with that! Try both out, and see what you like best. I prefer lime myself, but it's delicious with lemon, too.
Salt doesn't just add saltiness. It enhances all the other flavors in the dip. So you definitely want a bit of salt in the mix. The amount you need depends on the size of your avocados and how coarse your salt is, but a 1/4 teaspoon per avocado is a good guideline
Cilantro is a really popular herb for guacamole. My husband and I can't stand it, so it's banned from our house, but if you like cilantro, it's goes great in guacamole dip. Just chop some up and add it to the dip.
Other herbs, spices or seasonings you can use are cumin, cayenne pepper, chile powder, black pepper, or hot sauce. But you can experiment with any seasoning you like. It's always easy to make more guacamole!
When you're adding a seasoning, remember that it's always easy to add more, but it's not always so easy to take it out of the dip. So start with a bit, mix it in the guacamole dip, and then add more only if you feel it needs more.
A lot of people like their guacamole to keep the nice texture of mashed avocados. But sometimes it's nice to try something a little different. If you want a creamier guacamole, try adding sour cream, yogurt, or a bit of olive oil.
Just stir it into the mashed avocados a bit at a time until the taste and texture is right.
Alright, now that we know what ingredients can go in the dip, it's time to find out how to make guacamole. And it really couldn't be any easier.
Here's how you do it.
Slice the avocados in half and split them apart. Cut the half that still has the pit in half again - you should be able to pull the pit right out. Peel the avocados, or scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
Mash the avocados. You can do this in lots of different ways, depending on how chunky you like your guacamole dip.
Mashing with a fork lets you leave it chunky or smooth, depending on what you want.
A potato masher will give you pretty smooth results.
You can also use a food processor or a blender for the creamiest results. I find that it's usually not worth the clean up, especially since I like a chunkier guacamole dip!
If you're using olive oil, yogurt or sour cream, stir it into the guacamole until the texture is just right.
Mince, chop and dice your vegetables and seasonings, and add them to the guacamole.
Mix well, and you're done!
Storing Your Guacamole Dip
Guacamole is an awesome snack, but it doesn't keep very well. Any contact with air will make the avocados turn brown after a few hours. It won't taste quite the same, and it won't look nearly as nice, either.
Since it's so easy to make, the best thing to do is to make your guacamole dip right before you plan on serving it, but if you really need to make it ahead of time, here are a few tricks.
If you're not serving it right away, keep the guacamole in the fridge. If you don't like cold guacamole, you can let it warm up to room temperature before you eat it.
Minimize the guacamole's exposure to air. You can cover it with plastic wrap (if the wrap touches the surface of the dip, it's even better), place it in a Tupperware, or even in a Ziploc bag with the air pushed out.
Lemon and lime juice help slow down oxidation. So the more you add, the longer it'll take for the dip to get brown. Obviously you don't want to affect the flavor too much, but even a bit of citrus juice will keep the guacamole green for a few hours.
Guacamole dip really is super fast and easy to make. It doesn't take much more than 5 minutes, and doesn't need a whole lot of cleanup. A perfect, healthy snack!