Simple guacamole

My first exposure to guacamole was during college at a Mexican restaurant in Chapel Hill called Bandidos. I was and still am somewhat squeamish around creamy, gloppy dips and spreads, but slowly and occasionally I sampled this novel green substance with chips, likening the strange flavor to freshly cut grass (that was probably the cilantro I was tasting).

It wasn’t until the summer after undergrad that Melanie’s housemate at the time, Holly, made some homemade guacamole (hers with chopped onion and tomatoes), and I was in love. Nowadays the avocado tends to remind me of the flavor of banana, which suggests it might be time to try an avocado milkshake.

My recipe is very simple, most notably excluding onions and tomatoes, which I think makes for a creamier dip without masking the flavor of the avocado. Modify it as you see fit, but the ratio of 2 avocados to 1 lime is sound, I think. Serves about 2-3, recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled…



  1. Cut each avocado to the pit and around the long way, twist to separate (to remove the pit, gently hack a chef’s knife into the pit and twist the knife)
  2. Spoon avocado out of its shell into a medium sized bowl and mash with a fork until smooth with small lumps
  3. Mix in garlic, lime juice
  4. Mix in crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper (to taste)
  5. Mix/garnish with fresh cilantro

Enjoy with tortilla chips. the saltier the chip, the less salt necessary in the guac.

Update: For a great guacamole-making technique, check out Michael Ruhlman’s How To Make Guacamole. He says:

I mash garlic and salt to a paste, then add minced shallot (you could mash the shallot too if you wanted). Then I add lime juice. This is one of those great all-purpose techniques I use in many preparations, from mayo to vinaigrettes. First, the juice dissolves the salt so that it can distribute easily throughout the creamy or fatty environment (salt has a hard time dissolving in fat). But most important, macerating the garlic and shallot in acid for ten minutes eliminates all their harsh qualities, leaving only their sweetness and flavor.

Brilliant! I must try.


Might try cutting it with a bit of cream cheese, perhaps even of the low fat variety, if fat is an issue. But leave out the onions? at the moment that’s unimaginable — ergo, gotta try it. /bg

bernard, it’s a shame we didn’t cross paths before i left for california. i hope you’re well.

re: the guac, good tortilla chips make all the difference, especially if the salt of the chips balances the umami of the guacamole—which i like to alternate with a good fresh salsa.

I like the “gently hack.” It’s just so contradictory and expressive at the same time.

i love avocado. but they seem expensive in chapel hill and i never see the green florida ones. even raw or just between two slices of bread its good.

hmm, i’m pretty sure i’ve seen the green ones, either at weaver or whole foods… but the hass ones seem more prevalent.


Sound yummmm! I think I know what to bring at the neighbor at next cookout ;)


Hi again. :) A simple variation you might enjoy I learned from a mexican friend. Mash hass avocados with some fresh tomatillo salsa made by blending -in a blender or using a molcajete- raw tomatillos (tomates verdes), green onions, jalapenos or serranos, cilantro, salt and lime juice. This is not a chunky guacamole because of the ground texture of the salsa but it is so Yummy.

I’ll have to try it, but I’d almost consider that to be a salsa with avocado. I’m guess somewhat of a fundamentalist when it comes to guacamole.

Updated the recipe based on my recent implementation at Marcia’s birthday. I decided to make the crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper standard instead of optional, and since I’ve been making it without cilantro for so long—that’s up to you.


oh my god, did you know that the Mexican themed supermarket here has mountains upon mountains of avocados, tomatillos, mangos, pinas, and poblano peppers? You have to go next time you’re home.

Wait, you mean Fiesta? Or it is some fancy H.E.B.? Or perhaps an actual Mexican tienda?


I mean Fiesta, but there’s some great actual Mexican stores too, I just can’t read all the signs.

Yeah, I lived in Austin for more than three years and frequently drove by Fiesta on I-35, but never went there.


That’s way too much lime man. Sour city.

Brent, I guess it depends on how juicy the lime is. I’ve bought some that I couldn’t eek more than 2 tablespoons out of. If your lime is particularly big or juicy, you might want to use half to 2 avocados. I prefer a fruitier guacamole, so I use the whole lime.


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