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Easy Homemade Spicy Guacamole Recipe

What makes food “California style”? If you said avocado, you’re right! California produces about 90% of our nation’s avocados, about 35% of which come right out of San Diego county (my home!). With all that green tasty goodness right in our backyard, we want to celebrate the avocado in its most iconic dish with this spicy guacamole recipe.

What is Spicy Guacamole?

Guacamole is a traditional sauce or dip made from avocados, cilantro, lime, and salt. It is often combined with onions, jalapenos, and sometimes tomatoes. What makes a spicy guacamole is the jalapenos or the preferred chili pepper you have on hand. 

Close up of spicy guacamole served on a bowl

The name guacamole comes from the words “ahuaca” (sounds like ah-hwa-ka) and “mole” (moh-lay), which translates into avocado sauce. This translation should come as no surprise to any fans on Oaxacan cuisine, as you’d know moles are just another word for sauces. 

If you read our spicy pico de gallo recipe, you may remember that “salsa” also means sauce in Spanish (this is because they come from different dialects). 

Adjusting the Spice Level

While the most common spicy guacamole recipe involves jalapeno peppers, we recommend taking a step up on that old Scoville scale. To give the guacamole a spicy kick, you should use serranos, which are the jalapenos’ more potent cousin (seeds and all). 

Keeping Guacamole from Turning Brown

Guacamole turns brown due to a reaction between polyphenol oxidase and air. In order to keep those avocados green, you are going to want to limit air content and bring as many air blockers to the dip as possible. 

Squeezing a lime to keep guacamole from turning brown

The beauty of guacamole is there are two big antioxidant factors already in the mix: lime juice and red onions. 

When it comes to storing your spicy guacamole with cling film, make sure you press the film all the way down. It should touch the guacamole and not leave any air in the bowl. 

Follow these tips and you should be able to stave off browning for a couple of days in the fridge!  

Tools Required

Traditionally, guacamole is made with a shallow mortar and pestle called a molcajete. We’ll just be using simple everyday tools, like a bowl and a fork or spoon for smashing.

  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon 
  • Bowl  

How to Make Homemade Spicy Guacamole

This homemade spicy guacamole recipe takes about 20 minutes to make and serves 4.

Close up of spicy guacamole served on a bowl

Homemade Spicy Guacamole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium avocados (or 2 large avocados)
  • 1/4 red onion (highly recommend red onion as it is sweeter than white and complements the rich avocado more)
  • 5-7 sprigs cilantro (leaves only, don’t use the stems)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 lime juice
  • Salt / Pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion and tomato
  2. Remove the cilantro from stems and chop 
  3. Cut avocado, remove core, and score the meat
  4. Add onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado and seasonings to bowl  
  5. Squeeze lime juice into bowl 
  6. Mix with spoon until desired consistency

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. With inspirations like Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey, Nathaniel focuses on simple processes to make amazing food.