As guacamole fans know all too well, this lusciously creamy and delicious dip oxidizes—that is, it turns an unappetizing brown when exposed to air—remarkably quickly. Or, it does if proper precautions aren't taken.
Luckily, the acid in the lime juice or lemon juice called for in most guacamole recipes helps delay oxidation, but not enough so that you can make the guacamole ahead of time without it forming an icky-looking brown top layer. Many people recommend keeping the avocado pit in the guacamole until it's ready to serve, which does help a bit . . . but only for a while.
So what's the solution?
The fool-proof method to keep guacamole green, even when it's made well in advance, is to simply cover it with plastic wrap. Sound simple? It is, but there's a trick to it. The key is simple: you need to press the plastic wrap directly and completely against the surface of the guacamole.
When stored this way, guacamole can be made ahead and stored in the fridge up to overnight with nary a brown spot in sight. Preparing for a party just got a whole lot easier.
Don't like to use plastic? No problem. Just use wax paper or parchment paper instead. Using these alternatives will require a tiny bit more effort – try cutting a circle out that will fit on the guacamole fairly accurately, but if you're not fussy, you can press it down and get most of it covered, sacrificing only the edges of the guac.
Tasty Guacamole Recipes to Try
Here are a few of my favorite ways to make guacamole:
- The Best Basic Guacamole calls for just mashed avocado, lime juice, and salt
- Classic Guacamole includes chopped tomato and onion in the mix
- Super Easy Guacamole uses salsa to give the guacamole a nice kick with almost no effort—just add salsa to mashed avocado to taste!
- Chile Cilantro Guacamole includes roasted green chile and bright, fresh cilantro for a fresh twist on this party favorite
Of course, the covering-the-surface trick works on any guacamole you happen to make or have (it works on leftover store-bought guacamole too!).
Yummy Ways to Use Guacamole
Beyond using guacamole as a dip for tortilla chips, it is also a great addition to these dishes:
Guacamole is also delicious dolloped onto salads—you can even use it as a dressing. Or even dollop it onto stews. It's also delicious spread on burgers or other sandwiches or served alongside a grilled steak. And now that you know how to make it ahead of time, there's no reason not to explore all these options.