There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a bowl of basic guacamole, but when you want to spice it up, these creative but easy guacamole recipes will really enliven your Cinco de Mayo spread (or any Tuesday taco night for that matter).
Guacamole is one of my favorite foods ever. Heck, if I had to make a list of my most beloved things in this world, period, it would still be high up there, right behind sunsets and puppies. I love making it, and have avocados and limes at the ready pretty much all the time, just in case a craving strikes.
Related Reading: 9 Game-Changing Avocado Recipes
Being an avid guacamole fan, I can’t help but cry a bit on the inside any time I head to a get-together and see a plastic tub of store-bought stuff set out. I appreciate the thought, but c’mon, you can do so much better. Real-deal guacamole is so easy to make and way fresher and tastier than that sad, browning sludge from the supermarket.
Molcajete, $44.95 at Sur La Table
This Mexican mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock is the traditional way to grind avocados into guacamole, and doubles as a serving vessel too.
There’s one other thing that makes the homemade version far superior: Although the classic kind will always be a hit, guacamole can also be a vehicle for showing off your finesse and creativity. Add-ins and extras can take it from basic to brilliant in a flash.
For some out-of-the-box guac inspiration, here are 11 inventive recipes that are good to the last tortilla chip.
This one’s a no-brainer. Avocado, bacon, and tomatoes are a tried and true sandwich pairing, so it’s only natural that they would be best friends when mashed together in a bowl. This recipe also introduces chipotles, which bring just enough extra smokiness for taste buds to take note. Get our Bacon and Tomato Guacamole recipe.
For a more subtle guacamole twist, try adding tomatillos, which release their juices for a looser condiment that’s as easy to use as a dip as it is to drizzle on nachos, tacos, and more. Get our Guacamole Taquero (Tomatillo Guacamole) recipe.
Yes, green pea guac caused a kerfuffle back in 2015, but we’ve all matured since then, right? Peas don’t just help maximize the greenage in guacamole. They also add a welcome sweetness that pairs perfectly with charred jalapeño and crunchy, nutty sunflower seeds. Get the Spring Pea Guacamole recipe.
You may be used to lime in your guacamole, but its main reason for being there is to offer acidity, which is something that any citrus can provide. By swapping in juicy grapefruit, you get all the lush, floral notes that are unique to that fruit, which are heightened even further through the addition of cumin. Get the Grapefruit Guacamole recipe.
This recipe could get by on looks alone, with its stunning contrast of pomegranate’s ruby red against avocado’s opaque green. Luckily, it tastes good, too, bringing all the fruity spunk you never knew you wanted in your dip. Get the Pomegranate Guacamole recipe.
In this world of all manner of unholy food mash-ups, guacamummus (or hummamole, if you must) seems like less of a trend-riding novelty than a commentary on modern-day society. It’s an allegorical representation of two tribes—one of the avocado, and one of the chickpea—that are often at odds with each other, yet united in a common goal of dip democracy. Their only solution is to unite and stand as one kickass spread. Get the Avocado Hummus recipe.
OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, $9.99 on Amazon
Split, pit, and slice your avocados perfectly every time, without risking avocado hand.
To any naysayers who dare think guacamole is boring, this recipe’s for you. Cucumber brings a clean lift and snappy crunch, while juicy, sweet-tart pineapple—well, pineapple always knows how to be the life of the party, but try mango too. Get our Pineapple and Cucumber Guacamole recipe.
If your favorite part of guacamole is the creamy factor, you can take it one notch further by adding white beans to the mix. Get the White Bean Guacamole recipe.
Mixing shredded cheddar straight into your guac is so simple, yet so effective. And it fulfills the cheese component of the menu without requiring you tend to a pot of queso that threatens to congeal with every moment that passes. Get the Cheesy Guacamole recipe.
Nubbins of soft yet chewy dried apricot and crunchy, nutty toasted almond slices make for a truly memorable guacamole that’s interesting enough to eat on its own (though digging in with a spoon might be awkward in a party situation). Get our Toasted Almond Guacamole with Apricots recipe.
This is it. This is the recipe for when you’ve committed to pulling out all the stops and have nothing to lose. Mix a half pound of sweet, meaty Dungeness crab right into your guac and pile it on leaves of endive for an appropriately fancy effect—or just serve it with your usual tortilla chips, because that’s still a delicious dipping medium. Get our Dungeness Crab Guacamole with Endive recipe.
Header image by Chowhound.