As long as you have ripe avocados at hand, guacamole is one of the easiest appetizers possible: scoop out the avocado and mash it up with salt and lime or lemon juice. You can dress up that basic combination until the cows come home, but that trio is the backbone of every guacamole recipe, no matter how simple or how fancy. Find a guac recipe to suit your taste below.
Note: Hold an avocado in your hand and squeeze very gently. If it's ripe, you'll feel a bit of give. Rock hard? Simply... leave it out on the counter. Avocados will continue to ripen at room temperature. Speed up the process by putting them in a paper bag. Avocados ready but you aren't? Pop them in the fridge to keep them for a day or two.
01 of 05This is the easiest and most basic of guacamoles: avocado, salt, lime. If you have great avocados, the kind that are so flavorful and smooth that you'd like to eat them with a spoon, this is the guacamole to make since its flavor all hinges on the quality of the avocados.
02 of 05
This is the guacamole—complete with tomatoes and onions and perhaps a bit of garlic—that most Americans think of when they think of "guacamole." Here I've garnished it with some extra chopped tomato.
03 of 05
This is how my mom makes guacamole and it's my favorite by a long shot: mix up avocado with salsa, add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a squeeze of lemon. She insists that how good it is depends entirely on the quality of the avocados. She's right about that, but I think she adds some pixie dust or other magical element because hers always tastes the best. If you don't know my mom or can't convince her to make you some, this recipe will come in handy.
04 of 05
Roasted green chiles and fresh and grassy cilantro and plenty of lime juice give this guac a ton of flavor beyond the simple avocados at its heart. I particularly like it on things, like these Turkey Tacos rather than as a dip.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05There are plenty of tricks out there to keep guacamole green. Leaving an avocado pit in the guac is a particularly popular one. I've found that having some lime or lemon juice in the guacamole helps keep it green, but since it's the interaction of the cut avocado with air that turns it brown, minimizing that contact is your best bet to keeping guacamole green. I lay a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly on the surface of the guacamole to great effect.