A quick preface: As I write this, it's 2020.
In all likelihood, you have your guacamole recipe well figured out by now. But if you don't have it nailed down yet - or if you feel strongly (like I do) that guacamole has become too complicated and want just the bare necessities - this recipe is for you.
People get wild with their guacamole. All sorts of additions from bacon to goat cheese to corn. And do you remember the cultural upheaval of 2015 when everyone was talking about should you or should you not put peas in guacamole? and then Barack Obama - THE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT HIMSELF - got in on the action?
We basically are living in the wild west. People have strong feelings about what should or should not be in guac and feel a near-primal need to defend their stance. I personally am a fan of guacamole with onions and cilantro and jalapeño and a little bit of tomato, but sometimes I just want fresh guac without all the washing and chopping.
Whipping up a quick and satisfying guac to have on burrito bowls, burgers, tacos, soups, chips - BASICALLY ANYTHING I EAT - with minimal prep is a high priority. Thinking about the times I've wanted guacamole but not made it because we didn't have cilantro makes me so sad about all the guacamole I've missed out on eating over the years.
It turns out, all you really need to make a satisfying guacamole is ripe avocado, lime juice, and salt. From there, you can throw in whatever add-ins you like, should your fancy be so stricken.
My basic formula is:
- 1 medium ripe avocado (since this is a pared-down guacamole, the avocado really is the star of the show here. pick a good one!)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (just enough to bring out the avocado's flavor, not so salty that it's unpleasant to eat with salty tortilla chips)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (must be fresh! 2 teaspoons is just citrusy enough to make a refreshing guac, without being overwhelmingly limey)
Mash together the salt and avocado with a fork. (I like guacamole on the chunkier side, so I stop when it's just a bit too chunky for my taste.) Stir in the lime juice. Sample, adjust seasonings, sample some more. And maybe sample a third time just to be safe.
I usually calculate 1 avocado per 2 people. This recipe is very easily multiplied to party quantities!
Inquiring minds want to know:
What else can I put in my guac?
If you want to doctor it up from the bare-essentials guacamole, here are some additions that are always crowd-pleasers:
- Fresh tomato
Start with small amounts of each and adjust to your liking - I find it's easy to overwhelm guacamole!
How do I pick a ripe avocado?
The eternal challenge! Popular tips include:
- Check the color - Ripe avocados usually have darker skin. Look for an avocado with deep green skin.
- Squeeze 'em - A ripe avocado should give slightly to pressure, but not feel mushy. I can often be found squeezing all of the avocados at our Aldi.
- Look under the stem - If the color and the feel of an avocado are both pointing to ripe, flick off the stem. If the flesh underneath is green, it's most likely ripe. If it's brown, it's overripe.
If you can't find ripe avocados, you can buy them a few days ahead and let them ripen at room temperature.
Can I make guacamole ahead?
Yes! You can make guacamole 1-2 hours ahead without having to worry about browning. Keep an avocado pit on top of the prepared guac and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is pressed into the top of the guac so no air gets in, and store in the fridge.
What do I do with leftover guacamole?
Leftover guacamole will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge. BUT, it will brown at the top. If you'd like to minimize browning, smooth the top of the guac as much as possible and cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is touching the entire surface of the guacamole.
Simplest Guacamole (3 Ingredients!)
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Halve the avocado and scoop out the flesh into a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and mash together with a fork. Stir in the lime juice. Adjust seasoning to taste.