10 Secrets to the Best Guacamole of Your Life

These expert tips will really take your guac game to the next level! We talk about how to prevent browning and which ingredients to include to make restaurant-quality guacamole.

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Guacamole freshly cooked and served in a bowl, overhead view on woman hand is picking some guacamole dip with pita chip
Shutterstock / Fortyforks

We’ve all had a lot of guacamole, but have you ever had the best guacamole? The perfect guacamole is all about creating balance. From choosing your ingredients to how you mix it up, these tips will help you make a guacamole that rivals your favorite Mexican restaurant, every time.

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Fresh avocado on a wooden table

Choose Perfect Avocados

There’s nothing sadder than a hard, unripe avocado (except maybe a brown, mushy one). Under- or over-ripe avocados won’t mash up the right way, so look for an avocado that has a little give when you gently squeeze it.

Did you know these 13 surprising facts about avocados?

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Fresh avocados in paper bag on wooden background;
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Keep Your Avocados Ripe

If you can’t find any ripe avocados at the store, you’ll have to push your guacamole plans back a few days. There are a few ways to speed up the process, like placing them in a paper bag with a banana for a few days. On the other hand, if you have a perfect avocado but you’re not ready to yet, slow it down by tossing it to the fridge.

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Fresh vegetables for cooking on dark background.
Shutterstock / Tatiana Bralnina

Use Fresh Ingredients

I’ve had a lot of guacamole made with dried herbs and powdered garlic, and it never tastes quite as good as the ones made with the fresh stuff! So mince up some onion and garlic, chop up a bunch of fresh cilantro and finish it off with a squeeze of real lime juice.

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Avocado dip guacamole with tortilla chips in a black bowl on a dark slate or metal background.Top view with copy space.
Shutterstock / Liliya Kandrashevich

Don’t Fear a Little Spice

Guacamole is all about combining a few simple flavors to make something exceptional—buttery avocado, astringent garlic and onion, acidic lime juice, herbaceous cilantro and spicy peppers. Even if you don’t like spicy food, you should still add a pinch of cayenne or minced peppers to bring out the other flavors.

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Flat lay composition with guacamole sauce, salt and ripe avocado on wooden background
New Africa/Shutterstock

Use Plenty of Salt

Salt is a critical ingredient when it comes to avocados. Without it, everyone’s favorite green fruit just tastes a bit bland. When you add a little kosher salt to the mix, you’ll bring out all the avocado’s naturally buttery flavors. (Psst: Did you know there’s a difference between Diamond Crystal and Morton kosher salt?)

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Closeup avocado. Avocado Sliced and diced for salads

Consider Textures

A food processor might speed things up if you’re in a hurry, but be aware that those blades will crush your ingredients. Mash your guac by hand with a fork or a potato masher to create a chunkier guacamole with more nuanced flavors.

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Cooking of Mexican guacamole sauce. Man preparing Mexican sauce guacamole on rustic wooden table
Shutterstock / KucherAV

Don’t Make It Too Early

While there are ways to keep guacamole from going brown, there’s only so much you can do. The best approach is to prep all of your ingredients in advance—chopping onions, garlic, tomatoes, etc.—and add the avocado at the last minute (but no later than the morning of the event).

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Guacamole. Avocado on a black background,
Shutterstock / Natali Zakharova

Keep It Green

If you do need to make your guac in advance, you’ll want to keep it from turning brown. Seal it tightly with plastic, pressing down on the plastic down so it actually touches the guacamole. You can also top it with water. Don’t worry—it won’t water anything down and you’ll just pour it off when you’re ready to eat.

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Fresh guacamole bowl. Guacamole is a avocado based dip, traditionally a mexican (Aztecs) dish. Healthy and easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients.
Louno Morose/Shutterstock

Decide Whether You Want Tomatoes

Many guac recipes include tomatoes, while others keep it pure with just avocados. Make your choice based on what kind of texture you’d like. Do you want a juicier dip with large chunks of savory tomatoes? Then add those tomatoes in! Would you prefer a smoother, creamier texture? Leave ’em out.

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Homemade Pico De Gallo Salsa and Chips Ready to Eat
Shutterstock / Brent Hofacker

Take a Shortcut

If you are planning to add tomatoes and you’re looking for a good shortcut, buy some high-quality pico de gallo. It’ll save you from having to chop any vegetables and the flavors will be just about perfect! If you’re making one from scratch, we recommend this unique zucchini pico de gallo recipe.

Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay has been writing for digital publications for seven years and has 10 years of experience working as a professional chef. She became a full-time food writer at Taste of Home in 2023, although she’s been a regular contributor since 2017. Throughout her career, Lindsay has been a freelance writer and recipe developer for multiple publications, including Wide Open Media, Tasting Table, Mashed and SkinnyMs. Lindsay is an accomplished product tester and spent six years as a freelance product tester at Reviewed (part of the USA Today network). She has tested everything from cooking gadgets to knives, cookware sets, meat thermometers, pizza ovens and more than 60 grills (including charcoal, gas, kamado, smoker and pellet grills). Lindsay still cooks professionally for pop-up events, especially if it provides an opportunity to highlight local, seasonal ingredients. As a writer, Lindsay loves sharing her skills and experience with home cooks. She aspires to motivate others to gain confidence in the kitchen. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking with fresh produce from the farmers market or planning a trip to discover the best new restaurants.