Try This Healthy 5-Minute Snack Recipe: Green Pea Guacamole

Inviting some pals over to hang out can quickly turn stressful when you realize they’re going to expect some food. Before you reach for your phone to order delivery, take a few deep breaths. Homemade eats don’t have to be difficult. With original recipes from our Everyday Appetizers series, you can pull off showstopping starters without losing your cool. 

After spending the entirety of Thanksgiving with family, taking a moment to kick back with some friends over drinks is exactly what most of us need. A little break from holiday gluttony is probably just as needed. Relax, this doesn’t mean you have to stick to a diet of undressed salad greens for the next week. Some of our favorite recipes, like today’s pea guacamole, are healthy and delicious. This dip is creamy, a bit spicy, and completely addictive. That it’s diet-friendly is purely incidental, but we’re glad.

About this recipe

Green Pea Guacamole 1

Christine Skopec/The Cheat Sheet

Before anyone storms out of the room at the though of making guacamole with peas, there’s one huge advantage worth noting. You will never have to wait for frozen peas to ripen. Everyone has gone to the grocery store dreaming of making a batch of their favorite Mexican dip only to find all the avocados are hopelessly hard. No trickery with a paper bag and a banana can take the fruit from severely underripe to perfect in a few hours. Give peas a chance. You’ll be shocked at how fantastic they taste with the help of some lime, jalapeño, and cilantro.

The one caveat to this recipe is the peas do need to be thawed before you begin. If yours are still frozen, just plunge them into some simmering water, drain, then run under cool water so they don’t turn brown. The entire process only takes a few minutes, then you’ll be on your way.

Instead of chopping the garlic for this recipe, we try to get it as fine as possible. The food processor can often miss bits of garlic and biting into a big piece of the raw stuff isn’t very pleasant. While you can certainly use a garlic press for the job, we don’t think you need to bother cluttering your kitchen with the single-use tool. Instead, chop the garlic, sprinkle it with salt, then use the side of your knife to mash it. The salt acts as an abrasive to break down the pieces, leaving you with a smooth paste.

Toss the thawed peas into the food processor along with the mashed garlic, some lime juice, and a good pinch of salt, then pulse until everything starts to come together. Then you’ll stream in the olive oil while the machine runs to get a smooth purée. We add the cilantro, jalapeño, and onion after the dip is smooth, just to give it a little bit of texture. A few quick pulses will incorporate the last-minute additions just enough.

If you or a friend happens to be among the unlucky people who think cilantro tastes like soap, you can play around with some other ingredients. Any combination of soft herbs will work fine. We’re particularly fond of mint and parsley.

When it comes to pairing this dish with drinks, you want to make sure you don’t drown out the flavor of the peas. Your best bets for beer are lighter varieties, though Matching Food & Wine likes a citrusy IPA alongside guacamole. As long as you stay away from stouts or anything with too much malt, you’ll be good to go. For wine, something crisp and acidic will work wonderfully. Serious Eats suggested Pinot Grigio, an off-dry Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Mint and peas are pretty much best friends and the culinary world, so a cocktail utilizing the vibrant herb will go really well. Try a basic mojito. If you want to play up the citrus more than the herbs, shake up a daiquiri.

Green Pea Guacamole

Green Pea Guacamole 2

Christine Skopec/The Cheat Sheet

Leftover dip tastes great on any egg preparation you can dream up as well as spooned over some simply cooked fish. This recipe makes enough guacamole for 4 to 6 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • Tortilla chips, raw vegetables, or crackers

Directions: Sprinkle a pinch of salt over garlic and mash into a paste using the side of your knife. Add mashed garlic to a food processor with the peas, lime juice, and a generous pinch of salt. Pulse mixture until a coarse purée forms, scraping with a rubber spatula occasionally. With motor running, stream in olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Add jalapeño, onion, and cilantro. Pulse just to incorporate. Serve guacamole with chips, vegetables, or crackers.

See you back here next weekend.

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