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The Best Authentic Guacamole Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole

Authentic Mexican Guacamole Recipe

Mexican guacamole is addictive, good for you and popular the world over. What's so special about this guacamole recipe? Tangy Key lime, the real lime of Mexico, lends authenticity to this salad and is the perfect complement for mild avocado. Unlike ordinary lemon, Key lime juice is acidic enough to keep guacamole green for hours. Although you will find variations at the end of this article, fresh garlic isn't included in the basic recipe, as it tends to overwhelm avocado's delicate flavor.

Which variety of avocado is best for guacamole? Hass and Fuerte are the two most common commercial varieties in the United States. Hass, a small avocado with thick, purplish-black, bumpy skin and creamy flesh, has mostly taken over the U.S. market.

If you live in California or outside of the United States, you may be able to find Fuerte, considered by many to be the most delicious commercial variety. Of medium to large size with smooth, green skin and rich, yellow flesh this avocado has notes of hazelnut and a citrus, grassy finish. Either avocado makes a memorable guacamole.

The Inspiration for This Recipe

Last year we traveled to Moquegua, a leafy town in Southern Peru known for its avocado groves. We returned loaded down with bags of the unripe fruit. My musings immediately turned to guacamole: real, authentic Mexican guacamole addictive enough to be eaten by the spoonful.

In Moquegua, we feasted on avocados for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Usually sliced and spread on bread or cut in half and topped with potato salad, they were so abundant that only bruise-free, perfectly ripe avocados made it to the table.

One day our host, Felipe, offered a tour of his avocado grove. As we followed him through the narrow pathways, he rattled off names unfamiliar to us: Ettinger, Bacon, Zutano. Stopping at a particularly bushy tree, he grabbed a branch and deftly clipped off a pear-shaped fruit. His eyes flashed with pride. "This is my own hybrid. The flesh melts in your mouth like butter, and it's especially decadent drizzled with wild honey from my own combs." Felipe's sun-baked complexion looked a lot like the skin of the avocado, or palta, he held in his hand.

Felipe taught us how to test an avocado for ripeness. With your thumb, press gently near the stem end. If the avocado gives slightly to your touch, it's ready to eat. Stash avocados in a paper bag with a banana to speed up the ripening process. To slow down the process, store them in the refrigerator. We hope you enjoy this delicious and authentic guacamole, inspired by Felipe's avocados.

Table of Contents

  • Tips for Great Guacamole
  • Recipe: Best Mexican Guacamole
  • Photo Tutorial
  • Variations
  • Serving Ideas
  • Lime Squeezers and an Avocado Tool

Guacamole Tips

  • Nestle an avocado pit in the center of guacamole to keep it from oxidizing, or turning brown. Placing a piece of plastic wrap on the guacamole's surface will also do the trick.
  • Plum (Roma) tomatoes or another fleshy variety are the best choice for this guacamole. Be sure they are ripe and flavorful but still firm.
  • Due to the variability of fresh ingredients, taste as you go. Adjust lime and salt to taste.
  • Omit cilantro if you dislike the flavor.
  • If you don't enjoy raw onion, try diced green onion instead or just omit it.
  • Unforgettable guacamole depends on the quality of the avocados. Test avocado flesh by rubbing it between your fingers. If it feels creamy, try chunky guacamole. If it feels watery or firm, make smooth guacamole by smashing with a fork or in a food chopper.
  • Kosher salt is an important choice for guacamole. Due to the avocado's delicate flavor and texture, it is easily overwhelmed by the harsh metallic taste of table salt. Kosher salt is great for the rims of your margarita glasses, too! If you can find it, Maldon or pink sea salt is even milder.

Best Mexican Guacamole Recipe

Prep timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

approximately 2 cups of guacamole

Ingredients

  • 2 medium avocados, about 1 pound total weight
  • 2 small tomatoes, ripe but firm to touch
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 key lime, juiced (should equal 1 Tablespoon of juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco), optional

Instructions

  1. Slice the tomatoes in half and throw away the seeds. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a small bowl.
  2. Finely chop cilantro leaves. Add about 3 tablespoons to the small bowl of diced tomatoes.
  3. Dice the onion. Combine with tomatoes and cilantro.
  4. Split avocados and remove the pits. While still in its shell, slice the avocado's flesh left to right then top to bottom. Use a butter knife and try not to cut through the skin. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from its shell.
  5. Place avocado in a medium-sized mixing bowl along with 1 cup of the tomato, onion and cilantro mixture. Add kosher salt, lime juice and other optional ingredients.
  6. If making chunky guacamole, gently fold ingredients together with a spatula. If the avocado is still firm, you may need to smash it with a fork to achieve a creamy consistency.
  7. Enjoy!

Photo Tutorial: Best Mexican Guacamole

.Start with fresh produce

.Start with fresh produce

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Delishably

Seed the tomatoes . . .

Seed the tomatoes . . .

. . . and chop them.

. . . and chop them.

Finely chop cilantro leaves.

Finely chop cilantro leaves.

Dice the red onion.

Dice the red onion.

Halve the avocados.

Halve the avocados.

Remove the pit.

Remove the pit.

Use a butter knife to slice avocado while still in its shell: top to bottom, left to right.

Use a butter knife to slice avocado while still in its shell: top to bottom, left to right.

Scoop out flesh with a spoon.

Scoop out flesh with a spoon.

Season with salt and lime juice.

Season with salt and lime juice.

Gently fold avocado into diced veggies.

Gently fold avocado into diced veggies.

Variations

Although purists may shudder, here are some common guacamole variations:

  • Extra-creamy dip: Add 1–2 tablespoons sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese and blend thoroughly.
  • Tex-Mex flavor: Stir in 1 teaspoon of ground cumin. Add a few shakes of garlic powder for good measure.
  • Spicy guacamole: Mince 1–2 jalapeños or another hot pepper.
  • Garlic lovers: Add one garlic clove, pressed or minced.

Serving Ideas

  • Guacamole makes a great spread for veggie sandwiches or pita pockets.
  • Serve with veggie sticks such as carrot, bell pepper, and celery.
  • Spoon over an omelette or scrambled eggs.
  • Guacamole adds Southwestern flare to burgers.
  • Use as a topper for grilled chicken breasts.
  • Serve guacamole with Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, tacos, burritos, taquitos, tostadas and fajitas. Or try guacamole with your own homemade corn tortillas.
Authentic Pico de Gallo

Authentic Pico de Gallo

Quick and Easy Guacamole

Place two peeled, pitted and chopped avocados in a medium mixing bowl. With a spatula, fold 2-3 tablespoons of The Best Authentic Pico de Gallo into the chopped avocados.

Lime Squeezers and an Avocado Tool

Lime squeezers are, hands down, the best way to juice Key limes. Although OXO makes a respectable juicer, the Chef'n FreshForce juicer is my favorite for durability and ease of use.

Kuhn Rikon, makers of the Mercedes of all garlic presses, markets a very interesting and unique avocado tool. If you eat avocados frequently, this tool is a must-have.

The serrated blade of Japanese carbon steel cuts quickly through tough skin while a nonstick coating ensures smooth cutting action. Dual prongs safely spear and remove pits, and the curved tip is perfectly arched to separate skin from flesh without leaving behind delicious avocado. A rounded handle provides comfort and control while cutting.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes

The Avocado Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. How many avocado varieties exist in the world?
    • over 500
    • over 200
    • less than 100
  2. The Aztec word for avocado, ahuacatl, means:
    • "Pear Tree"
    • "Testicle Tree"
    • "Lollipop Tree"
  3. Avocados are native to which country?
    • South America
    • New Zealand
    • United States
  4. Which is the most common avocado variety in the United States?
    • Hass
    • Fuerte
    • Lula
  5. Avocado trees are classified in the same plant family as:
    • bay laurel
    • camphor
    • cinnamon
    • all of the above
  6. What's the best way to keep guacamole from turning brown?
    • Place plastic wrap on the surface
    • Nestle an avocado pit in the center of the guacamole
    • Use Key lime juice, which is acidic enough to keep guacamole green for hours
    • All of the above
  7. Where in the world are most avocados produced?
    • Mexico
    • California
    • Chile
  8. Why are avocados so nutritious?
    • They have the highest protein content of any fruit.
    • They contain 30 grams of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
    • They contain more potassium than bananas.
    • They contain 81 mcg of lutein, important for eye health.
    • All of the above

Answer Key

  1. over 500
  2. "Testicle Tree"
  3. South America
  4. Hass
  5. all of the above
  6. All of the above
  7. Mexico
  8. All of the above

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