Making authentic guacamole is both easy and rewarding. Follow our 4 ingredients guacamole recipe and your tasty party dip will be ready in just a few minutes.
Guacamole sounds exotic. However, the word guacamole literally translates to avocado sauce and that’s what it is. Sort of. While you could simply mash a few avocados and place them in a bowl by themselves, that pure avocado dip wouldn’t taste very good. That’s why it’s key to add various ingredients to make this avocado dip special – to make it sing with flavor.
You can punch up guacamole in so many ways. You can add tomatoes and/or garlic. We’ve even seen guacamole recipes that include bacon, mango and pomegranate. That’s a hard pass for us – creativity is a fine thing but we like our guacamole to taste like guacamole.
Our guacamole recipe requires a simple quartet of ingredients (plus some salt and optional cilantro). It creates a wonderful yet authentic guacamole in which the rich vegetal fattiness of avocado is countered by a flavorful combination of tangy acid and piquant chili heat. It’s tastes great with chips or with chicken fajitas.
When it comes to tasty guacamole, rich avocados provide the essential rich mouthful in guacamole while the other ingredients serve as the sauce’s foundation. Ingredients like onions, chili, lime (along with salt and optional cilantro) provide a flavor platform that’s comparable to a soffrito.
These are the ingredients we use in our four ingredient guacamole recipe:
We know what you’re thinking – salt and cilantro bring the ingredient count over four. To us, salt is like water – everybody has it and it’s practically as ubiquitous as water. As for cilantro, it’s a finishing herb that’s totally optional. Our recipe – our rules.
To make great guacamole, you need one non-negotiable item and that ingredient is ripe avocados.
To those who don’t use the black skinned fruit every day, ripeness can be a bit of a mystery. But don’t worry – gauging avocado ripeness is actually easy. Just feel the bottom of the fruit. If you press your fingers and the resistance feels like putty, the avocado is ripe.
Finding ripe avocados can be a bit of a challenge depending on the season and where you live. If that’s the case, it’s best to leave avocados out in a sunny space in or near your kitchen for 5 to 7 days.
We’ve found that ripe hass avocados keep in the refrigerator for up to one week or on the counter for three days.
You can use any variety of fresh green Mexican chilis so long as they bring a little heat. We use serranos because of their intense piquancy and bright, biting flavor.
Wear a rubber glove on your non knife hand when you mince serrano peppers. This will prevent you from getting too much capsaicin on your hands and burning your eyes.
The goal is for guacamole is for it to have an acidic zip. Lime provides that zip.
Our recipe starts its flavor base with half of a lime (about 1/4 oz or 1/2 a tablespoon of lime juice). You may want to add more lime juice to the finished guacamole depending on the size of your lime.
A small amount of minced onion brings additional bite and a slight vegetal crunch to guacamole. A quarter cup of onion should be good for two to three medium avocados.
How To Make Authentic Guacamole
We use a mortar and pestle and, while not mandatory, doing so makes a big difference in the guacamole’s final flavor. If you have a molcajete – use it – it’s even better since you can mash the avocados and finish the guacamole in one bowl.
Don’t give up if you have neither of these tools. Instead, use tools that you DO have to mix and chop the onions and chilis and then a spoon to mix in the fresh lime juice and salt.
Start by mixing chopped onions, chilis and coarse salt in a mortar and pestle with the lime juice.
Once you’ve created your flavor base, slice open the avocados by removing the stem and splitting your them down the center.
Once split, carefully remove the avocado core by turning the pit out with a sharp knife or, if it makes you feel more comfortable, a spoon. Once you’ve cored your avocado, score it in a criss-cross pattern and use a spoon to dig out the flesh.
Place the chili-lime-onion mixture in medium metal mixing bowl. Add cubed avocado chunks to the mixture.
Use a potato masher or fork to mash and mix the guacamole. Feel free to add salt and lime juice to pump up the flavor.
Transfer the guacamole to a serving bowl and optionally garnish the green dip with cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
Dip the chips in the guacamole and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Guacamole, which literally translates to ‘avocado sauce’ is an avocado dip made with avocado, chilis, onions and lime juice.
Guacamole is an ancient dish with roots in Meso-America.
Avocados, chili, onion and lime juice. The dish also has salt and can be garnished with cilantro.
Press plastic wrap directly on the guacamole and place it in an airtight container. If you don’t do this, the guacamole will oxidize and turn brown.
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4 Ingredients Guacamole Recipe
- 2 avocados (cored and cubed)
- 1 serrano chili pepper (minced)
- 1/2 ounce lime juice (or to taste)
- 1/4 medium onion (chopped fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped – optional)
- Place the onion, chili, lime juice and salt in either a molcajete or a mortar and pestle. Grind until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Place the mixture in medium mixing bowl.
- Spoon the avocado into the same bowl. Use a potato masher or spoon to mash the mixture into a smooth yet rustic paste.
- Optionally garnish with cilantro.
About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: December 7, 2023