If there was anything to learn from the great green pea guacamole controversy of 2015, it was this: Some people get really upset when you mess with their beloved avocado dip. Purists sneer at the idea of a guac made with anything other than avocado, peppers, onion, and perhaps lime juice. (Some people say you should leave the latter out because it overpowers the avocado, others argue it’s a must-have.) But more flexible guacamole fans can experiment with all kinds of add-ins to jazz up their dip, from veggies like spinach to various fruits, even cheese. You can decide for yourself which version you prefer by trying one of these six creative guacamole recipes.
1. Spinach and Tomatillo Guacamole
Don’t turn up your nose at this unconventional guacamole recipe. Puréed spinach adds a dose of healthy veggies to your dip, while ingredients like tomatillo, lime, and onion preserve the traditional flavor you love. Recipe from Fine Cooking. Serves 4.
- 2 ounces (2 packed cups) baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium tomatillos, husked and chopped
- 2 coarsely chopped medium Hass avocados
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt
Directions: In a food processor, pulse the spinach, oil, and tomatillos to a coarse purée. Pour off any liquid, and then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Season to taste with more lime juice and salt. Serve immediately.
2. Strawberry Mango Guacamole
Fresh strawberries and mango add a touch of sweetness to your typical guacamole, while jalapeño brings some necessary kick in this recipe from the Food Network’s Jeff Mauro. If you prefer your food less spicy, remove the ribs and the seeds of the pepper before adding it to the dip. Yields 4 to 6 servings.
- 3 ripe Hass avocados
- 2 limes, juiced
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced small
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced red onions
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
Directions: Scoop the flesh of two of the avocados into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Dice the remaining avocado. Stir it into the mashed avocado along with the strawberries, cilantro, onions, cumin, mangos, and jalapeños. Season again with salt and pepper. Serve.
3. Sriracha Guacamole
Fans of spice will favor this twist on a classic guacamole recipe from Serious Eats. In addition to the Sriracha topping, using a whole serrano chile brings additional heat to this tasty dip. Serves 8.
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 serrano chile, roughly chopped
- ½ cup picked cilantro leaves, finely chopped, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 ripe avocados
- 2 tablespoons juice from 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
Directions: Place onion, serrano, half of cilantro leaves, and salt in a mortar and pestle. Pound into a fine paste. Alternatively, combine onion, serrano, half of cilantro, salt, and half of lime juice in a food processor or blender and process until smooth paste is formed, scraping down sides as necessary.
Split each avocado in half, discard pits, and spoon out flesh into a medium bowl. Roughly mash with a stiff whisk. Add onion purée, remaining cilantro leaves, and half of lime juice (if using mortar and pestle method). Fold to combine. Season to taste with more salt and lime juice. Stir in the Sriracha. Serve immediately with warm tortilla chips.
4. Bacon Goat Cheese Guacamole
Everything is better with bacon, including guacamole. Crumbled bacon bits add a savory dimension to your dip, while tangy goat cheese provides a surprising flavor that will have you coming back for more. Recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Serves 4.
- 4 avocados, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup diced sweet onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 limes, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- Tortilla chips, for serving
Directions: In a large bowl, mash together avocado, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Taste and add additional seasoning if desired.
Stir in most of the bacon, along with the goat cheese. Spoon the guacamole into a bowl. Top with the remaining bacon for garnish. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
5. Greek Yogurt Guacamole
If you prefer your guacamole creamy rather than chunky, you’ll love this Greek yogurt and avocado dip. Yogurt also adds protein to your guac, making this recipe from Just a Taste a little more nutritious. Yields 4 servings.
- 2 medium, ripe avocados
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ⅔ cup chopped tomatoes
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Directions: Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice, then mash with a fork until the avocado reaches your preferred consistency.
Add the yogurt, red onion, tomatoes, and cilantro to the bowl with the avocado and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
6. Cajun Shrimp Guacamole
Spice is the word in this mashup of Mexican and Cajun flavors. First, shrimp are seasoned with Cajun spices, then quickly fried in butter. Next, they’re added to a mix of avocado, bell pepper, lime juice, and onion for a dip you won’t be able to stop eating. Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking. Serves 4.
- 3 teaspoons plus a pinch of Creole seasoning
- ½ pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 Hass avocados
- 1 lime, juiced
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Generously sprinkle the Creole seasoning over both sides of the shrimp. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for a few minutes, until the shrimp start to turn pink. Turn and continue cooking for a few minutes more, until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
Halve the avocados and scoop the flesh out into a large bowl. Add the bell pepper, onion, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Mash together with a fork to combine. Just before serving, fold in the cooked shrimp. Top with an additional pinch of Creole seasoning.