Perfect Guacamole

Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words—ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). All you really need for guacamole is ripe avocados and salt. After that, a little lime or lemon juice—a splash of acidity to balance the richness of the avocado. Then comes chopped cilantro, chiles, onion, and tomato, if you want.

The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.

Updated, from the recipe archive. First posted 2005.

Perfect Guacamole


Perfect Guacamole Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of minced red onion or thinly sliced green onion
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Garnish with red radishes or jicama. Serve with tortilla chips.


1 Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl. (I find it easiest to score the inside of the avocado with a blunt knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. See How to Cut and Peel an Avocado.)

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2 Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don't overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.) Sprinkle with salt and lime (or lemon) juice. The acid in the lime juice will help delay the avocados from turning brown. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chiles.

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Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.

3 Place plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole cover it and to prevent air reaching it. (The oxygen in the air causes oxidation which will turn the guacamole brown.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4 Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so if you want to add chopped tomato to your guacamole, add it just before serving.


For a very quick guacamole just take a 1/4 cup of salsa and mix it in with your mashed avocados.

The simplest version of guacamole is just mashed avocados with salt. Don't let the lack of availability of other ingredients stop you from making guacamole.

To extend a limited supply of avocados, add either sour cream or cottage cheese to your guacamole dip. Purists may be horrified, but so what? It tastes great. In fact, guacamole with a little cottage cheese added to it is my favorite.

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What's in a Name? The Avocado Story - how the avocado got its name, from NPR's Guacamole Central - more versions of guacamole

Perfect Guacamole

Guacamole on Simply Recipes

Showing 4 of 141 Comments

  • Daphne

    This is the best guacamole recipe ever. Make it! Everyone will love it, but go easy on the serrano chiles if you have people who are spicy-sensitive. Again, it’s delicious. I’m about to make some right now.

  • cpr

    Thanks for the great guacamole recipe! Mmmm. Minced garlic is a great addition to homemade guacamole too.

  • Martha

    Southern California girl here and I agree, add the garlic and for some reason a splash, and I mean a splash, of vinegar adds something, not sure why but my college roommate taught that and her people were from (no kidding) Chihuahua Mexico…
    Don’t forget to save a pit from the avocado for any leftovers. If you put it in the leftovers, they don’t seem to brown as bad…

  • Rita

    Your Guac recipe is about the same is mine. I use green onions instead of the red onion and I use jalopenos vs. the serrano chiles.

    I’m a purist when it comes to good Guacamole. You will never find mayo, sour cream or anything else like that in mine. I also use Haas avocados for the best flavor.

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