The Essentials of Guacamole

by Jenn on May 1, 2011

in Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free,No Cook,Vegetarian


My baby sister is growing up!  It’s really hard not to think of her as a cute little kid, she’s always been my baby sister.  We’re five years apart you see, and while that isn’t such a difference now, it really was a lot when we were young.  She may have had her antics that drove me nuts from time to time (ha, because I was always the innocent one), but as we’ve grown up together our bond gets tighter and tighter.  Her bubbly personality is so infectious, she just lights up a room and everyone in it with her energy and fun spirit.

Honestly, the single hardest part of living abroad is not being able to see my sister or talk to her regularly.  Don’t get me wrong, living abroad is a ton of fun – we get to travel, enjoy new experiences, meet new people, all sorts of crazy awesomeness happens.  But at the end of the day, it’s the essentials of life that matter – family -and that’s what makes living overseas so difficult.   Life has been happening for each of us, and I feel stuck over 5000 miles away apart and isolated.  I really really miss just being able to call her up any time or go grab a coffee and chat, even if it’s about nothing at all.

And now my baby sister is growing up and getting married, to her high school sweetheart!

Happiness is...

The shower is today, and it’s so much fun getting to display prom pictures from when they were first dating.  And now, nearly eight years later, they are tying the knot and saying “I do”, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  My sister and her fiancé are the true definition of soul mates, they’ve been meant to be since the beginning of time.

So the chance to be “home” and hang out with my sister and share in such an awesome life moment is one I cannot turn down.  Coming home has been wonderful – oh how fantastic it is to have a real hug!  And chat without having to plan and schedule across time zones.  And to eat food and share together, and laugh, all in the same room.  All the preparations are coming together, and the big day is fast approaching.  It’s exhilarating, emotional, fun, crazy all at once, and I love every single minute of it.  Because when it comes down to it, all the mountains and fondue in the world can’t make up for family.

With my family, we’re usually pretty casual and relaxed about events.  We’re not really ones to fuss over putting on the fanciest affairs, and in general we try to keep things low key & just plain fun.  For Ashley’s shower, we’re enjoying a variety of hot & cold apps & dips, and then sweets including my dad’s famous oatmeal cake :)  I’m really a cold app lover, especially when it’s warm and sunny out, and I’m pretty sure my favorite cold app is guacamole.  We’re really all avocado lovers, and avocados are a near daily food in our lives.  Even going on family camping trips, I remember making guacamole (which mashes quite successfully in a plastic bag when you don’t have any bowls haha).

However, we all have our own different versions, every one of us :)  I’m slowly figuring out that my guac is a bit more unique than I originally thought.

Essential Ingredients

I don’t use jalapeño peppers.

I don’t use tomatoes.

I don’t add onions. Sound odd yet? Let’s keep going.

I do use chipotles.

I do use a good quality extra virgin olive oil (the kind that comes in a little skinny jar and is pricey).

To me, the core essentials of guac are avocados first and foremost – they should always be the star.  Then comes an acid (like lime), an aromatic (like garlic) and salt.  And after a brief unscientific poll, I’ve decided these four ingredients make up most core guacamole recipes, and additions onto this seem to dictate the numerous variations.  But there has to be at least these ingredients (I’m sure some will say there need to be others as well, I’m certainly no expert in this area!) – they form the foundation on which to build every guacamole.

I happen to like heat in my guac, so I use smokey chipotles in adobo sauce.  And sometime within the last three years (at least according to this old guac post) I started adding a little extra virgin olive oil in at the end as well.


Because olive oil and avocados make a terrific flavor combination.  And because just a little oil makes the guacamole so deliciously creamy, even if the avocados aren’t mashed completely smoothly.  I really don’t know when I started doing this, or what motivated me to try olive oil in my guac.  Maybe it was just meant to be, dictated by the fates.  I’m not sure.  But I do know that I can no longer omit it from my version of guacamole, the dip just feels incomplete without that little finish.  If you haven’t added any olive oil to your guacamole, I suggest you try it once, see what you think :)

Essential Ingredients


And with that, I’m off to go make a toilet paper wedding dress for my sister :)


Olive Oil Guacamole

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes 


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 small cloves (or one large clove) garlic, peeled crushed and diced or minced
  • juice of one lime
  • good quality sea salt to taste
  • chipotles in adobo sauce, to taste (I use 2)
  • small drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • (optional) cilantro or parsley, chopped, minced, however you like, pepper to taste

1. Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits.  Then dice the avocado halves and add them to a medium mixing bowl (or a molcajete or mortar/pestle).
2. To the bowl add the garlic and lime juice.  At this point take a fork (or the pestle) or a large spoon and mash the avocado, garlic and lime juice together – if you like really creamy avocado, you want to make sure that everything is mashed rather well.  If you like a little more texture, then just mash everything until it looks to a point you like.
3. Add the salt, mix again, and taste.  Normally I always add salt last in a dish, but with guac it’s such a critical ingredient I think it’s important to get the core guac tasting just how you like.  Ok, now we have made our core guac, and can add whatever variations we want to it.
4. For my guac, I then start adding the chipotles – dice a couple of chiles, and then add gradually to the guac until you get the amount of heat you want.
5. The last main ingredient I add is the olive oil.  I use a really high quality strongly flavored olive oil, and only pour in a little bit – a teaspoon or so and stir it together.  I find this makes the guac really creamy, and the flavor meshes well.



Rosa May 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Congrats to your sister! You are lucky to be so close to your family…

That olive oil guacamole looks fantastic! Perfect when it’s hot outside.



Jenn May 2, 2011 at 2:11 am

Thanks Rosa! I love no-cook recipes when it’s hot and sunny out :)

Maria @ Scandifoodie May 2, 2011 at 12:27 am

I’m glad you got to visit home for your sister’s wedding. I know all too well how it feels to be so far away from your family!

Love the recipe, I’m a huge fan of avocados!

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 2:11 am

Thanks! Yeah, it makes those few precious times when you can get together all that much more meaningful and important. I’m absolutely loving it.

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) May 2, 2011 at 1:05 am

Congrats on the wedding! I love the addition of olive oil. I love it in everything else; I don’t know why I never thought of adding it to guacamole. Will have to try that next time.

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 2:10 am

Yeah I’m so freaking happy for her!! Let me know what you think about the olive oil addition when you try it, I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts!

Sonrisa May 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

My boyfriend recently told me that Costco’s Kirkland brand of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil beat several pricey brands of imported olive oil (organic and non organic) according to a purity test that was done by the University of California: Davis. I was like ‘What?! No.” You can get two huge bottles of organic olive oil for about $20. After reading about the results myself (link: ) I added it to my shopping list. It has the best flavor of any olive oil I’ve taste so far… I’m pleased I tried it. I’m *really* super excited to try it in this awesome guacamole recipe- which looks delicious. I have never used olive oil in a guacamole recipe before! (And no, I don’t work for Costco or something. They don’t know me from Adam. 😛 )

Jenn May 3, 2011 at 4:05 am

Hehe – glad you’ve found an olive oil you liked, hope you enjoy the recipe!

Vickie May 2, 2011 at 2:07 am

I love guac and this recipe looks divine. I can’t wait to try it. Now on to that photo; where you standing on a chair or a ladder to get that awesome shot? Please be careful so you don’t need to be in a cast for you baby sister’s wedding.

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 2:09 am

Ha no we were just outside at the orchard, I may have been in high heels, but that’s about it…

kitchenarian May 2, 2011 at 5:06 am

I do love guacamole. I can’t wait to try your version.

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm


Brooke May 2, 2011 at 6:39 am

Good girl using you “story telling” skills in your guacamole shot! I saw it on foodgawker after I found it in my inbox. I thought “Hey! I know that avocado!” I am still loving your food photography lessons. It is very inspirational to see how far you’ve come! (PS, I got the recipe too late tonight, I just made the guac my regular ol’ way. Now I have to wait for avocados to go on sale again!)

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Thanks Brooke! Hope you enjoy it!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Jenn you know I love these photos and I am intrigued about adding olive oil to the mix. I still remember my first ever guac that I made when I was about 18 with SOUR CREAM. Ewwww! The guac that I make on a regular basis is pretty similar to yours actually sans olive oil. Must try soon! Have a wonderful time with your family!

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Thanks Mardi! Actually I’ve heard of a few people adding sour cream to guac, though that’s not one I’ve ever tried before… Def. try with a little olive oil and see what you think :)

InTolerantChef May 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

How lovely and what a special occaison. Here on holiday in Queensland we have an avocado tree just groaning with fruit waiting to ripen!

Jenn May 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Thanks!! Oooh I am so jealous about your avocado tree, awesome!

Krystal R. May 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Congrats to your sister, and I’m a big fan of guacamole of all sorts. This recipe is screaming at me to be made and the picture is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the presentation of it all. Hope your enjoying time with the family, too!

Jenn May 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

Oh thanks!!! It’s so exciting, I love weddings!!

Kelly May 3, 2011 at 3:11 am

This looks soo delicious and I love all your pictures! Can’t wait to try this myself, definitely a keeper! :)

Jenn May 3, 2011 at 4:04 am

Thanks so much!

Deanna May 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Love guac. My version is about as simple as it gets, though – avocado, garlic, lime, salt, and cilantro. That’s it. (Sometimes, if I’m not feeling the garlic breath love, I don’t even add that. Sacrilege, I know.)

Jenn May 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I don’t know if I could omit the garlic, but there’s nothing wrong with simple and minimalistic :)

Kim May 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I love that you don’t use onions in the guac! I can’t eat onions, but love avocados & guac! I can’t wait to try this recipe!


Jenn May 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Thanks Kim, hope you enjoy it!

Valérie May 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm

You’re right, guacamole is more versatile than we might think. I don’t use tomatoes OR garlic, which is apparently unusual… But I love chipotle in adobo, so I might give that a try instead of jalapeno. And the olive oil tip sounds great, too!

Congratulations to your sister!

Jenn May 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Thanks! If you try it, let me know what you think :)

laura May 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

i love the idea of adding olive oil and the chipotles in adobo. bookmarking this with !

Jenn May 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Thanks !!

Kelsey May 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm

What a sweet post, Jenn. The pictures of you and your sis are adorable.

Jenn May 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Thanks! Ha we were cute kids :)

GeorgeRoberts May 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Thanks for the great recipe! And those pictures are great too, they make me hungry. I had found another recipe here Guacamole 101 | Mission Restaurant Supply – it uses red onions and serranos, but it’s good. I’m going to try the chipotles next time. Does it get fairly hot?

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Thanks! The chipotles do have a bit of heat, so depending on your tolerance/preferences you may want to adjust more or less…

GeorgeRoberts May 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I wonder, if I can make this with a light amount of chipotles, and if then mix more in later to turn up the heat – would that much mixing make the guac too smooth?

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I think that sounds like a great plan.

Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 11, 2011 at 8:47 am

I like the sound of a guacamole with chipotles in adobo!

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Thanks Kevin!

maria elena May 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Jenn, foarte bun guacamole pe care l-ai preparat, o sa gatesc si eu dupa reteta ta, sper sa nu te superi, iti multumesc.

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Thank you, hope you enjoy it!

Mai Mai May 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

Interesting take on guacamole! Will definitely try it out. Great food styling as well!

Jenn May 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Thanks so much, I hope you like it!

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