Here is the starting point for guacamole. This best basic guacamole recipe will give you the jumping-off point for thousands of variations of green goodness. And it all starts with avocados, lime, red onion, garlic, and salt.
While I always add minced jalapeño for some bite and fresh cilantro to give my guacamole a burst of freshness, there are some people in my family who aren’t fans of those ingredients. With just five ingredients you can make the best basic guacamole and then customize this recipe to your heart’s content.
The Quest for the Perfect Avocado
The avocados you get in the store are not ripened on the tree, they soften to the perfect texture and buttery flavor over a few days on the counter. When choosing avocado for the best basic guacamole, look for fruit that is a good darkish color (whether green or deep purple depends on the variety). Check that there aren’t any divots or soft spots that indicate bruised spots. But the most important indication of a perfect avocado is the firmness of the fruit.
Hold the fruit in you palm and gently squeeze your fingers.
- If the avocado doesn’t have any give when gently squeezed, it is about 4-5 days away from being perfect. Store it on your counter to soften or you can speed up the process by placing the avocado in a paper bag with a banana or apple to speed up the process.
- If the avocado has a very slight give but feels mostly firm, it is almost ripe (called breaking) and if you cut it the pit will be hard to get out and the flesh will be hard to mash, be patient and wait a day or two for perfection.
- If the avocado slightly yields when gently squeezed, but not feel mushy. It is perfect. Store it in the refrigerator if you need to hold it for more than a day.
- If the avocado has sunken spots or feels mushy when gently squeezed it is overripe and it would be best to give it a pass.
Check out this post for more information about choosing avocados.
Avocado Serving Amounts
Avocados vary in sizes from small to jumbo. Grocery stores have standardized the size of avocado sold.
- Small avocados are 3.75-4.75 ounces
- Medium to large avocados are 4.75-6.25 ounces
- Jumbo avocados are 6.25-7.5 ounces
The rule of thumb is 1 pound of avocado equals 2-1/2 cups sliced or diced and 2 cups mashed fruit.
Tips for Keeping Guacamole from Browning
Avocados flesh will start to brown when exposed to air. The lime juice in this recipe will help slow down the process. Some people swear by burying the pit in the mixture to stop the browning. You can also press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to keep it bright green. The best method is to serve the guacamole right away.
Try this basic guacamole recipe with:Print
An easy tutorial for the best basic guacamole. This starter recipe is the jumping-off point for thousands of variations of guacamole goodness.
- 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 lime—zest and juice (2 tablespoons juice and 2 teaspoons lime zest)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 jalapeño, finely diced (1 tablespoon) to taste
- 1 Roma tomato, diced, (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Using a serving spoon scoop out the flesh from each half.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the avocados and mash with a fork leaving the mixture chunky.
- Zest the lime and add the zest and lime juice to the bowl. Add the diced red onion and salt and pepper, stir to combine.
- Mix in any desired additions, taste, and adjust seasonings.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips or as a condiment to any Tex Mex dish.
- Serving Size: 5 tablespoons