Guacamole is one of my favorite healthy dips and burrito bowl toppings. I love how quick and easy it is to make at home! Today I thought I’d share my go-to method for how to make it.
How to Choose a Ripe Avocado
The key to making perfect guacamole is making sure you start with ripe avocados. You can tell if your avocado is ripe by squeezing it with your hand– it should have a slight give, but not feel mushy. Many ripe avocados become darker, with an almost purple-hued skin, too.
I like to buy avocados when they are very firm, then I let them sit on my kitchen counter for several days until they soften up a bit. (I find this method helps you avoid the random brown bruises you sometime find when cutting into an avocado.) When they start to feel slightly softer, like they are just ripe, I transfer them to my fridge if I’m not going to use them right away. You don’t want them to get overripe, as their flavor won’t be as good in that case.
How to Make Perfect Guacamole
If you ask me, the key to making perfect guacamole is using the right amount of lime juice and salt. I also shy away from polarizing ingredients, like garlic and tomatoes, if I’m making this for a crowd. In-season tomatoes are an excellent addition to guacamole, but any other time of the year they don’t do it any favors. (Mealy tomatoes are the worst!)
Here are the key ingredients needed to make guacamole:
- ripe avocados
- lime juice (helps prevent browning, too!)
- fresh cilantro
- finely diced red onion (or shallot)
- finely diced jalapeno, with or without seeds for your desired spice level
Making guacamole couldn’t be easier. Simply add all the ingredients to a bowl, and mash it together with a fork! No special equipment needed.
At this point, you can adjust the seasonings to your taste. Sometimes I need an extra pinch of salt, or an extra squeeze of lime juice, depending on the flavor of my avocados that day. (I feel like avocado flavor always varies slightly, that’s why tasting is important.)
I recommend taste-testing your guacamole with what you plan on serving with it. For example, if you plant to serve it with tortilla chips, which are already salty, you might not need to add extra salt to the dip. However, if you’re planning to serve it with raw veggies, I like to punch up the flavor of my dip in that case, since the veggies will slightly dilute the overall flavor when served together. Make sense?
How to Store Guacamole
If you’re familiar with guacamole, you know it can turn brown quickly if it sits out for long. This is due to oxidation. The skin of an avocado protects the inside flesh from the air, but once you cut it open it will be exposed and oxidation will begin.
There are 3 ways you can combat this with guacamole:
- Add plenty of lime juice. Limes are acidic and contain plenty of vitamin C, which combats oxidation. I think the amount of lime juice in this recipe is already enough to help your guacamole stay green for up to 24 hours in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Store the pit in your guacamole. Some people swear by this method. Keeping the pit in your guacamole may help prevent oxidation, but I’d still recommend keeping it tightly covered in the fridge. This method kept my guacamole green for 48 hours in the fridge, but it might have just been the lime juice in this recipe, as mentioned above. I think the method below is more fool-proof.
- Cover the guacamole with water. This method makes a lot of sense to me, and produces great results. When storing your guacamole, spread it as flat as possible in your storage container, then cover the top with a 1/2-inch of water. (And still use an airtight container in the fridge.) The water creates a protective barrier so that oxygen can’t get through! When it’s time to serve again, simply pour the water off the top and serve.
Being able to store your guacamole means you can prepare make-ahead burrito bowls for lunch this week, complete with all your favorite toppings. My family has been making our own Chipotle-style bowls at home lately, as a healthy and affordable alternative to the restaurant chain. (Complete with organic chips sometimes!)
How to Make Guacamole (and store it!)
- 2 ripe avocados (I use Hass variety)
- 1/4 cup red onion , finely diced (or shallot)
- small handful fresh cilantro , finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice , freshly squeezed
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt , plus more to taste
- 1/3 jalapeno , finely chopped (with or without seeds)
- In a large bowl, add the avocados, diced onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt, and jalapeno. (Add the jalapeno seeds for extra spicy guacamole, or leave them out for a more mild flavor.)
- Use a fork to mash everything together until relatively smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. I usually add an 1/8 teaspoon more salt, but that varies depending on the size of the avocados I use each time.
- Serve right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours. (See storage tips in the post above.)
Per Serving (1/4 of the batch): Calories: 166, Fat: 14g, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 2g
- Guacamole is easily adaptable to use any ingredients you love or have on hand. I’ve used lemon juice instead of lime in a pinch, and you can leave out the cilantro if you’re not a fan. (Leave out the jalapeno if you don’t like spice, or use a pinch of cayenne instead!)
- When chopping fresh jalapenos, be careful. Take care to touch it as little as possible so that the juice doesn’t burn your skin, and definitely don’t touch your eyes after cutting it! You may even want to wear gloves, because if your skin is exposed to too much juice it will burn hours later. (Trust me, I’ve been there while writing cookbooks!)
- Be sure to review the storage tips above for best practices to keep your leftover guacamole green.
Reader Feedback: Do you make your own guacamole, or burrito bowls, at home? I‘ll be sharing our new go-to method for making “copycat” Chipotle Burrito Bowls soon, but in the meantime, you might also love my Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls.