How to Make Great Guacamole

Guacamole recipes are a matter of personal taste and preference. Always start with mashed avocado, then vary the rest of the ingredients as you like. With diced veggies, spices, chopped herbs, legumes or even Greek yogurt, the possibilities are endless!

Superfast Guac opens in a new tab

My nephew Sam learned how to make great guacamole from a friend’s mother from Mexico. She taught Sam to use a large mortar and pestle. He combines diced jalapenos and onions, kosher salt, lime juice and cilantro in the mortar. Using the pestle, he lightly crushes and mixes the ingredients, being careful to keep the texture chunky. Then, he stirs in diced avocado and mashes it with the other ingredients before spooning into a serving bowl. Made with green onions, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno peppers, our Oaxaca-Style Guacamole opens in a new tab is similar.

Green Pea Guacamole opens in a new tab

Recipes and Add-Ins

The ingredients that make up guacamole are a matter of personal taste and preference. Always start with mashed avocado, then vary it as you like. Here is some inspiration.

  • Add your favorite salsa, salsa verde (green salsa) or pico de gallo. Superfast Guac opens in a new tab is made with roasted salsa verde and sea salt.

  • Try a variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, cayenne, red pepper flakes, black pepper and sea salt.

  • Add lemon juice, lime juice or a splash of your favorite vinegar.

  • Add fresh chopped herbs like cilantro, parsley (flat leaf or curly), chives or slivered basil.

  • To lower the fat content, blend mashed avocado with mashed cooked green peas. Add veggies, spices and seasonings, as desired. Check out this delicious and healthy Green Pea Guacamole opens in a new tab.

  • Experiment with a variety of diced veggies and aromatics like tomatoes (canned tomatoes work too), red, yellow or white onions, green onions, garlic, celery, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, colorful bell peppers and more.

  • Use freshly diced chili peppers — or skip the peppers altogether if you can’t take the heat.

  • Stir in a bit of sour cream, cream cheese, Greek yogurt or your favorite shredded or cubed cheese.   

  • A variety of legumes can be added to or mashed in with the avocado. Black beans or pinto beans make a tasty addition! Green Garbanzo Guacamole opens in a new tab is made with cooked green garbanzo beans, which can be replaced by navy or cannellini beans. Or try Edamame Guacamole opens in a new tab, which is flavored with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Contrary to the urban myth, placing an avocado pit in your bowl of guacamole will not keep it from turning brown. A better way to keep your guacamole fresh is to press plastic wrap down onto the surface, eliminating all contact with air.
Time-saving tip: Although I’ve been making Sam’s recipe since he was generous enough to share his secrets, I often rely on the in-house made guacamole from the Produce or Prepared Foods Department at Whole Foods Market. I love the convenience and fresh great taste.

Green Garbanzo Guacamole opens in a new tab


While guacamole with chips is always a win, there are lots of other ways to enjoy it. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Make guacamole sandwiches with cream or goat cheese, deli ham or turkey, crispy-cooked bacon or turkey bacon, or thinly sliced marinated and baked tofu or tempeh.

  • Garnish soups, stews and chili recipes.

  • Add a dollop to a hamburger or nachos.

  • Spread on toast, pita bread or crackers. Top with sliced cheese or goat cheese.

  • Add to quesadillas, tostados, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, burritos and chalupas. Try our Steak and Guacamole Quesadillas opens in a new tab.

What do you add to your guacamole? Do you like it crunchy with veggies or smooth with just the right spices? Let me know.

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