Classic Guacamole

published Feb 7, 2024
Guacamole Recipe

This classic guacamole is so good, it will become your signature “house” recipe.

Serves4 to 6

Makes2 cups

Prep15 minutes

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overhead shot of guacamole in a small bow surrounded by tortilla chips, and a hand holding a chip with guac on it.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe ; Food Stylist: Brett Regot

Guacamole is rooted in Mexico’s history. It was originally created by the Aztecs, who enjoyed it over tortillas much like we do today. Mexico currently produces 30% of avocados worldwide and they are primarily found in the state of Michoacan. 

In Mexico, we make several versions. I’ll walk you through how to make a classic guacamole with ripe avocados, onion, lime, jalapeño pepper, tomato, and cilantro. It’s so good that the recipe tester exclaimed that this will be their “house” guacamole recipe from now on!

If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can use mint in its place, and you can even top the guacamole with pepitas. Enjoy it over your favorite tacos (if you’re looking for a new recipe, we have you covered with more than 30 of our best tacos recipes), on top of grilled meats, or as a dip with tortilla chips

Key Ingredients in Guacamole

With only six ingredients, you can make a guacamole that is full of flavor and freshness. 

  • Ripe avocados. To pick the best avocados, look for fruit that is dark black and shiny, but with some bumps on the skin. When you touch it, you should feel a gentle pressure. If your finger sinks down too fast, then it’s overripe, which is great for baking, but not for guacamole. If it’s too hard, here’s the best way to ripen avocados quickly. (We’re also written a handy guide for figuring out if an avocado is ripe.
  • Tomatoes and onion: Contribute to a pico de gallo-style salsa that’s folded in with the mashed avocado. 
  • Jalapeño pepper: Adds a subtle heat, but won’t make the guacamole too spicy. For a spicier guacamole, keep the seeds in the jalapeño, or substitute a serrano pepper.
  • Lime: Adding lime juice to the onion gives it a pickling effect and makes it milder. Also, it will help prevent the guacamole from browning.

How to Make Guacamole

 Making this homemade guacamole recipe is easy. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide. 

  1. Make a pico de gallo-style salsa. Combine the prepared onion, lime juice, tomato, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in a bowl. Preparing it separately from the avocados prevents the tomatoes from getting mushy.  
  2. Prep the avocados. Halve, pit, and mash the avocados. 
  3. Combine the salsa and avocados. Once you’re ready, fold the salsa into the mashed avocado. This will yield a fluffy and delicious guacamole. 

How to Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown

To keep guacamole from turning brown, add a half teaspoon of lime juice or white vinegar on the top layer. Then, cover the guacamole tightly with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. Reducing air exposure is key to preventing its oxidation. (You can also read up on other methods we’ve tested to prevent guacamole from turning brown.) 

Can You Freeze Guacamole?

While avocados are available year-round, their peak and most flavorful season is from January to March. (We’ve also got you covered with other avocado basics.) If you want to save some of those flavor-packed avocados for future guacamole, you can freeze it! 

Simply mash ripe avocados and place them in a freezer bag, carefully removing any air from the bag. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw out, place the bag in the refrigerator for 8 hours (alternatively, you can place the bag in water). 

Once it has thawed out, add the salsa or desired flavorings. If you freeze guacamole with tomatoes and onions, they will release water as they thaw, so for the best outcome, it’s best to just freeze the mashed avocado all by itself.

Guacamole Recipe

This classic guacamole is so good, it will become your signature “house” recipe.

Prep time 15 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1/4

    small white or red onion

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 1

    medium Roma tomato (about 4 ounces)

  • 1

    medium jalapeño pepper

  • 5

    fresh sprigs cilantro

  • 1 pound

    ripe avocados (3 medium or 2 large)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)


  1. Finely dice 1/4 small white or red onion (about 1/3 cup) and place in a small bowl. Juice 1/2 medium lime into the bowl (about 1 tablespoon), and stir to combine.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of onion as you complete it: Quarter 1 medium Roma tomato lengthwise. Using a small spoon, scrape out the seeds. Dice the tomato (about 1/2 cup). Trim and halve 1 medium jalapeño lengthwise; scrape out the seeds and membrane with the spoon. Finely dice the jalapeño (about 2 tablespoons). Finely chop 5 fresh cilantro sprigs (about 1 tablespoon). Stir to combine.

  3. Halve and pit 1 pound ripe avocados. Scoop out the avocado flesh with a large spoon and place in a medium bowl. Using the back of a fork, smash it into a chunky consistency. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a dash of hot sauce if desired, and mix to combine. Add the tomato mixture and gently fold to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and lime juice as needed.

Recipe Notes

Spicier guacamole: For a spicier guacamole, keep the seeds in the jalapeño, or substitute a serrano for the jalapeño.

Storage: To keep the guacamole from browning, pack it tightly in the smallest airtight container it will fit in. Squeeze lime or lemon juice over the top, seal the container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.