This easy and delicious vegan guacamole recipe is the perfect dip or topping for any Mexican-inspired meal. It’s loaded with fresh flavors from cilantro, lime, onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers!
Customize the spice level to your liking for an ultimate crowd-pleasing appetizer.
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Is Guacamole Vegan?
Most guacamole should be vegan, whether you’re looking at store-bought or restaurant options. Guacamole should be made from a base of avocado with some other plant-based flavors like cilantro and lime.
However, it’s always worth reading labels and asking at restaurants because some add non-vegan ingredients. Whether to add creaminess or save money (avocados are typically expensive) sour cream, yogurt or even mayonnaise can crop up in a guacamole dip.
Plant-based Guacamole Ingredients
There's plenty of guacamole recipes out there, but this is my take on it! It's a customizable dip so adjust the amounts of any ingredient to your liking.
- Avocado: The base ingredient for guacamole is avocado. Pick ripe avocados that can mash easily; the recipe won’t work if they’re too hard.
- Red onion: For a touch of color and great flavor, I like to add onion to my guacamole. Any type of onion can work so use what you have. I’ve kept all the ingredients in this recipe fresh, but you can use onion powder as a substitute.
- Garlic: As with onion, I love the flavor garlic brings to guacamole. Since the garlic is raw, you may want to use a smaller amount as the pungent flavor comes through quite strongly. You can leave the garlic out of the recipe or choose garlic powder instead for a milder flavor.
- Cilantro: I love cilantro and think guacamole isn’t complete without it. I use lots in this recipe, but you can use less (or more) depending on your taste preferences.
- Lime juice: This is a key ingredient in good guacamole. The acidity from lime perfectly balances the rich, creamy avocado and helps bring all flavors together. Feel free to add extra lime juice if you like!
- Salt: Some salt also brings out other flavors in this recipe. I use a fair amount of salt, so if you aren’t a fan of saltier foods, you may want to start with a smaller amount and add in more to taste.
- Chili powder: This isn’t a traditional guacamole ingredient, but I love the flavor chili powder adds. I use an American-style chili powder which is a blend of spices and not just dried ground chili peppers. You can leave this out or use ground cumin for a smokier taste.
- Jalapeno peppers: Add a spicy kick with some fresh jalapeno peppers! This is optional; if you don’t like heat, leave it out. I remove the seeds from the jalapeno to reduce the heat they bring, while still getting a great flavor. Add as much or as little as you like.
How to Make Vegan Guacamole
Guacamole is incredibly easy to make! Read the detailed directions below or watch my short video in the recipe card to learn how I make guacamole.
Step 1: Prep the Ingredients
It’s always helpful to prep ingredients before you start. For this recipe, you’ll need to mince some red onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers. You can use a microplane to finely grate these ingredients if you prefer a finer guacamole texture.
You’ll also need to chop some cilantro. I typically remove the cilantro’s large stems before chopping.
Step 2: Make Guacamole
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, then scoop the avocado out from its skin. Add the avocado to a mixing bowl.
Mash the avocado; it should be ripe enough to easily mash with a fork. I like to keep a slight texture in my guacamole and leave a few small pieces of avocado. If you prefer, mash the avocado until it’s smooth, or even use a food processor for a super-smooth guacamole.
Add minced onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper and cilantro to your mixing bowl, then juice some fresh lime juice into the mixture. It’s easy to juice halved limes using a fork.
Next, add salt and chili powder.
Stir the ingredients together until they’re well-combined.
You can serve right away, or refrigerate the guacamole for 15-20 minutes before serving. This gives the flavors some time to come together. Just don’t wait too long as avocados are notorious for browning quickly.
How to Create a Balanced Vegan Meal
You can serve guacamole as a dip-based appetizer with tortilla chips. I don’t worry too much about appetizers being “balanced” as they’re typically followed with a main meal.
One of my favorite ways to serve guacamole is on a burrito bowl along with spiced black beans, rice and other tasty toppings!
You can also use guacamole to add flavor to any Mexican-inspired meal or use it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. Some of my favorite meals to add guac to include:
- Vegan sloppy joes
- Lentil walnut tacos
- Quinoa tacos
- Breakfast burritos
- TVP tacos
- Eat on toast as-is!
- As a dip for fries
Easy Guacamole Variations
There are as many ways to prepare guacamole as there are to serve it! The possibilities are endless.
People often add chopped tomato to guacamole. I’m not a fan of this, so have kept it out of the recipe but you can certainly add some if you like.
I’ve also seen people add chopped bell pepper to guacamole. This is a great option if you want to leave out jalapeno peppers and use a mild bell pepper instead.
Another fun variation is adding diced mango or peaches to the guac. While this isn’t traditional, it’s a great option to try!
How to Store Leftover Guacamole
Avocados are known for turning brown very quickly and are quite difficult to store. Since guacamole is made from avocados, it runs into the same problem.
It’s best to eat all the guacamole you make on the day it’s made, ideally within a few hours.
If you need to store leftovers, I have a few tips to prevent the guacamole from turning brown. First, store it in an airtight container. Adding extra lime juice and/or plastic wrap to the surface may also help. If using plastic wrap, it should lay directly on the surface of your guacamole.
I know many people swear by saving avocado pits and placing them on top of the guacamole before storing too. Keep in mind that even if the guacamole turns slightly brown, it’s still okay to eat one or even two days after making it. If it’s turned a very dark brown or looks black at all, you may need to toss it. You can also lightly scrape off the browned top layer of the guac and eat the greener dip below.
Step 1: Prep the Ingredients
- Finely mince or grate the red onion. Mince your garlic if using.2 tablespoons red onion, 1-2 cloves garlic
- Remove large stems from the cilantro and roughly chop.¼ cup cilantro
- If using, remove seeds from the jalapeno pepper and mince finely.1-2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper
Step 2: Make Guacamole
- Scoop the avocado from its skin and remove the pits. Add to a mixing bowl.2 large avocado
- Mash the avocado, using a fork, to your desired consistency. I like to leave some very small bits of avocado for texture.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the mashed avocado.2 teaspoons lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Stir to combine. Taste, adjust seasoning to your preferences, then serve.
More Vegan Sauce and Dressing Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a long-time vegan with a Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes.