The saying goes: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” In the case of this Copycat Chipotle Guacamole, however, imitation is the sincerest form of my needing to have access to mind-blowing guacamole 24/7.
I give Chipotle Mexican Grill credit for inspiring my version, which came about out of desperation when their business hours didn’t jive with my cravings.
What’s So Great About Chipotle’s Guacamole?
Uh, everything! Whereas most chain restaurants’ guacamole seems to be squeezed from a plastic bag, or worse yet, scraped from an industrial tub, Chipotle’s guac is full of avocado chunks and speckled with fresh produce.
For me, the selling points of Chipotle’s guacamole have always been the hint of spice from the jalapeños and that shot of lime that hits you in the back of your jaw (in the best way possible, of course). Those are the flavors you won’t taste from a bucket of mass-produced dip.
How to Make Copycat Chipotle Guacamole
Most restaurant recipes are easily replicated at home—you just need to have the right recipe in order to replicate it and make it as authentic as possible.
I sacrificed myself for you and gorged on an obscene amount of Chipotle’s guacamole, because exhaustive research is important! I even sifted through the original dip to decode all of the ingredients.
The results were in! And they revealed that I didn’t need to exert that much effort. The ingredients were straightforward and easily identifiable: ripe avocados, red onions, fresh garlic and cilantro leaves, and that vibrant lime juice, of course.
How to Pick the Best Avocados for Guac
The main ingredient in Chipotle’s guacamole is buttery-soft Hass avocado. Many people stress over how to pick the perfect avocado, and I’m here to give you my best tips. Not to brag, but I’ve been referred to as the avocado-whisperer.
Picking the perfect avocado is an easy task:
- Does the avocado still have its nubby stem? Chances are it’s not brown on the inside. I refer to that nub as the avocado’s lifeline, which keeps it from ripening faster, so always choose an avocado with that woody stub still attached.
- Choose an avocado that, when pressed lightly with your thumb, yields to the pressure ever so slightly. If it feels extremely soft, it’s too far gone. If it's rigid and hard, it isn’t ripe. Your avocados are guac-ready (AKA ripe) when you press them and it feels like pressing into a just-ripened yellow banana. Not too hard, but not terribly mushy, either.
How to Keep Guacamole From Turning Brown
You can’t prevent the inevitable. Avocados will brown when exposed to air. It’s just the nature of the beast. Delaying that process is possible, but I believe that the oxidation of avocados motivates us to eat the guacamole quicker, so is that really a bad thing?
To keep your guacamole from turning brown quickly, refrain from making it too far in advance. Once you’ve cut and mashed the avocado, the clock starts ticking. Try to eat your prepared guacamole soon after it's assembled (that shouldn’t be too hard).
If you must store it, though, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole, then wrap the bowl in more plastic film, or cover it with a lid. This is the best way to prevent your avocado from browning excessively.
Acid from the lime juice in this recipe will also help delay oxidation of the guacamole. But, if you do end up with a layer of guacamole turned brown from the air, just use the edge of your spoon to scrape it off and discard.
Wanna know the best way to slice an avocado? We have a nice refresher here.
How Should I Store Guacamole?
Prepared guacamole should be stored in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the dip. It will keep for no longer than three days. Any longer, and you’re condemned to scooping up dismally greyish brown guacamole.
Love Guac? Try These Other Recipes!
- How to Make Perfect Guacamole
- Bacon and Blue Cheese Guacamole
- Strawberry Guacamole
- Guacamole Deviled Eggs
- 6 Best Mix-Ins for Guacamole
Copycat Chipotle Guacamole
- 4 ripe Hass avocados
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1/2 large jalapeño, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (squeezed from 1 large lime)
- To Serve
- Tortilla chips, store-bought or homemade
Make the garlic paste:
Roughly chop the garlic cloves. Once the garlic has been chopped, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt over it and crush the salt and garlic together by dragging the flat side of your knife over the mixture. This step should take no more than 1-2 minutes.
Mince the vegetables:
Mince the red onion and jalapeño pepper. Cut the pieces of both into cubes smaller than 1/4 inch (for the onion) and 1/8 inch (for the pepper). You should have about 1/4 cup of red onions and 1 tablespoon jalapeños. Discard the jalapeño seeds for a milder dip.
Mix the guacamole:
Slice and scoop out the avocado, then add it to a large bowl. Mash the avocado lightly with a fork, but leave it a little chunky for now. The avocado will become smoother once you mix everything together.
Add the garlic paste, red onion, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro to a large bowl.
Pour the lime juice into the bowl and fold the ingredients together, gently, until everything is mixed. Taste the guacamole and add more salt, to taste.
Cover and store:
If you don’t intend to eat the guacamole right away, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto its surface, and cover the bowl with a lid. Keep the guacamole refrigerated for up to 3 days. The surface of the guacamole might still brown, but just scrape the top off to reveal the bright green guac below!