Basic Guacamole {recipe} and a Culinary Confession

Basic Guacamole - with avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and jalapeno
No doubt, at least one person will be bringing guacamole to your barbecue this weekend. If not someone else, then it’s on you because a BBQ is not a BBQ without guacamole, even if you’re serving a food that seemingly has nothing to do with guacamole. No one will not eat a burger, steak or even grilled lobster with a little guacamole smeared onto it.

You think I’m kidding? Try it. Serve sushi this weekend. Or Korean barbecue. Or even a Boeuf Bourguignon. If you put guacamole out on the table, it will get eaten.

Unless there are tomatoes in it.

See, we never understood the addition of tomatoes to guacamole. (We never understood cilantro, either, but that’s sort of a different topic.)

If You Say Tomato, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Our guacamole has never been tainted with the ripe red of chopped tomatoes. It has always been (and always will be, now that we’ve actually developed a very real allergy tomatoes in the last year) bright creamy green, confetti-ed with different shades of green only from jalapeno peppers, sometimes scallions, and sometimes parsley (yes, we know, totally wrong, but we can’t, just can’t eat cilantro).

Guacamole is made from avocados; salsa is made from tomatoes.

And now that we’ve gotten that off our chests…

Culinary Confessions

We have a confession to make about our guacamole.

We also use an ingredient that embarrasses us (and it’s not the substitution of parsley for cilantro). It’s not that we’re ashamed to keep the ingredients locked away in our spice cabinet, all the way in the back, dark corner where no one who happens to be guest-cooking in our kitchen might see it. No, we just don’t think anyone could really trust us if we ever admitted that one of the ingredients we use in our basic “fresh” guacamole is…

garlic powder.

Gack! We admitted! We admitted it! We can’t take it back now! Yes! We use garlic powder in our guacamole! We can’t believe we confessed!

Wow. That was strangely liberating.

We used to make guacamole with super finely minced fresh garlic which tasted great, except for those few times when we’d bite into what felt like an entire whole clove of garlic. Because let’s be real, no matter how finely you mince, no matter how hard you press the garlic with coarse sea salt into the chopping board with the side of your knife, you will inevitably have that once piece that will render one bite of guacamole as above – like you’re biting into the whole clove.

So one day when we were making guacamole, we discovered that we were out of garlic so we desperately added a generous pinch of garlic powder hoping no one would notice. The guacamole tasted good, maybe even better than usual, and because we are never out of garlic in this Korean-based kitchen, we took it as a sign from Dios that perhaps this entire lifetime, we should have been making guacamole with garlic powder.

But still, never with tomatoes.

Do you make your guacamole with something somewhat “unconventional?” What is it?

Basic Guacamole

This entire recipe will eventually depend on your taste, as in you will have to keep tasting as you go along, adding more of this or that, to make sure it tastes good to you. If you’re going to serve as a dip with chips, taste it with the chips. Some chips are a lot saltier than others, so you may need less salt in the guacamole.

Some people add chopped tomatoes to their guacamole, but did you not read the entry above?!


2 ripe large avocados
juice from half a lime
½ teaspoon finely ground garlic powder
about ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
about ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
¼ to ½ mild or sweet white onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped (obviously, normal people would use cilantro here)


Cut avocados in half lengthwise, remove pits, and scoop flesh out into a large bowl. Add lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then mash avocado with fork until chunky. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Add onions, jalapeno pepper, and parsley (or cilantro — gag), and stir to combine.

Serve immediately, since it doesn’t keep well at all.

However, if you have to, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole, and store in fridge. Still, I wouldn’t do this. Just make it right before you’re going to eat it. Unless, of course, you don’t want anyone to see you using putting garlic powder into your guacamole.

by Sarah J. Gim on May 29, 2011 · 21 comments

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristina @ spabettie May 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

THANK YOU in reference to cilantro. It simply ruins guacamole for me…

jalapenos are a favorite addition, and always garlic. I can definitely see how a garlic powder would be good.


Christine @ Nourish the Budding Lotus May 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I actually make my guac withOUT something conventional… I don’t digest raw garlic and onion (or powder) very well, so I make my guac without. This may be a shock to some serious garlic lovers, but it is still delicious with all of the the other seasonings! And definitely some high quality olive oil mixed in!


Alanna August 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Might be interesting to you and others, but for those of us that do not like cilantro, it is very possible that it might be a genetic thing. Genetically you will either like cilantro or hate it.

Rich W May 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Sorry, guac isn’t guac w/o cilantro. It’s an odd thing but to us it’s actually parsley that tastes soapy when cut into guac, not cilantro.

That said, we often add a tsp of ancho chile powder to 2 avocados. But not garlic powder.

And it really helps to score the avocado in the rind into 1/2″ chunks before mashing (or even leave it that chunky) for better texture. Smooth guac sucks.


sarah May 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Lots of Tabasco…
Sometimes celery salt


DeShea May 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I always prefer lemon juice. I think that it tastes brighter instead of using lime.


Jenny May 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

My grandmother would roll over in her grave if I was ever blasphemous enough to either add garlic or omit cilantro to her guacamole recipe. Tomatoes however ARE optional.


Emily May 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I like throwing some fruit in – pomegranate seeds, strawberries, watermelon.
But avocado, lime, s&p and cilantro are just fine on their own.


Eric Loflin May 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Fresh Made Guacamole with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Sage…A Very Unique Twist to the Same Old Blah Green Mush…

You can see a picture of it on my Facebook Food Porn photo album at


Sasha L. May 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

In my opinion, guacamole MUST be made with lemon, not lime. Try it, it’s better!


Anna May 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm

If I’m aiming to do something a little richer, I add roasted garlic and Greek yogurt (the 2%)-my friends seem to like it!


D. Hungerford May 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Note about the garlic powder instead of fresh…when i was a young chef just starting out, I used to be a real snob about always using fresh garlic. Then one day, I was working with a recipe from a Paul Prudhomme cookbook. In his usual long list of ingredients, he had both garlic & garlic powder in the same recipe. It made me realize that garlic powder has a validity as a flavor component which has a quality that is different from fresh garlic.


Guacamole University June 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

You’re treading on dangerous ground here people… For a sample of Acceptable & Unacceptable Ingredients check out our Unholy Guacamole “Guac of Shame”


Alanna August 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I always use fresh garlic but I blend it to get around the getting a big chunk issue. I know some people disagree with blending guac but it also allows me to throw a bunch of hot banana peppers in there :) Yum.
I prefer lemon juice also…


Morgan July 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm

My mom is Cuban and I always use her method of dealing with garlic. Cuban food uses a LOT of garlic in nearly everything and I would go crazy if I had to use a knife. We have a wooden mortar and pestle (pilon). Not one of those shallow bowls with a tiny masher that have you to chase stuff around in, rather a deep cup with a large sturdy pestle. You throw in one clove, lighty whack it once to crack the skin. Remove it, pop it out of the skin and repeat with the others. Throw all the cloves back in with a bit of coarse sea salt, mash it all up for a few seconds vigorously and scrape it out with a spoon. If you’re using other spices you can throw them into the mortar after you’ve mashed the garlic and mash them in too before mixing the paste with any citrus or oils.


Lee July 17, 2013 at 5:40 am

Just ran across this when looking for guacamole recipes without cilantro (my wife hates that stuff). This is perfect for both of us, since I’m not a fan of tomatoes.

Thank you!


lj July 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Looking for guacamole recipes. I finally just had some from the grocery store that I love and can actually eat! No tomatoes, no cilantro (or parsley for that matter), and contained garlic and onion. I am allergic to tomatoes and cilantro just makes me nauseous. I love garlic and onions.


Helen August 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Love this entry! Hate cilantro! (Did you know there is a website called Yes, it’s genetic. One of those funny genes you either have or don’t. And I couldn’t agree more about the tomato thing. Why anyone decided it belongs in guacamole is beyond me! I do use fresh garlic (and lots of it!) but I use a garlic press. A good press mashes it up so well that it really does blend in with nary a crunch of clove to be found.

I found this blog because I did a search regarding using onion powder instead of fresh onion. I have two lovely avocados begging to be turned into guacamole, but no onion in the house. I usually use red onions. I used to use yellow, then one night only had a red in the house and used it instead, and it changed my mind forever as to which onion belonged in my guac. So since you’ve admitted to using garlic powder, you have given me the courage to try onion powder and see what happens. I’ll let you know!!


CINDI August 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm

I cannot wait to try this recipe this weekend. I despise tomatoes & cilantro in Guacamole. Yes “GAG”!
Thank you for this recipe!


Cherelle May 22, 2017 at 1:46 pm

My daughter is 8 and HATES tomatoes but I LOVE them, she LOVES onions and I HATE them. Neither of us like peppers, so that’s a plus!! I like being able to make something, and then being able to split it in portions and adding w.e. to it!! This is also perfect because neither my boyfriend or I knew how to make guacamole!!


rose February 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

I agree, I have despised cilantro from the moment I first smelled it, when I didn’t have any idea what it might be except some kind of horrible rotted parsley or something (I was about ten years old).

Why on earth anyone would want to ruin their food with nasty, oily, gucky crap when there is perfectly delicious parsley readily available, asolutely confounds me.



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