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Dino’s Guacamole – Restaurant-Style Guac in Just 5 Minutes!

Restaurant-style guacamole is super simple to make at home! 2 ripe avocados + a few ingredients and you have the perfect Mexican appetizer!

Tortilla chip scooping up guacamole.

Why we love this restaurant-style guacamole recipe

  • It reminds us of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurants.
  • Smashing the garlic and spices with the mortar & pestle makes the flavors blend together beautifully.
  • Making your own guacamole is significantly less expensive than ordering it from a restaurant!
Ingredients for making restaurant-style guacamole.

Have you ever been to a Mexican restaurant and ordered the kind of guacamole that they make tableside?

It’s so fun to see the fresh ingredients all come together in a Molcajete (a large, stone mortar and pestle that’s used in traditional Mexican cooking).

It’s such a treat, but depending on the price of avocados, it can be quite pricey to buy when you’re dining out.

But restaurant-style guacamole is seriously simple to make at home!

🥑 Ingredient Spotlight: Avocado

This recipe uses ripe avocados which are a fruit that can be found in the produce department at your local grocery store.

Finding a perfectly ripe avocado can be tricky, but I have a few tips that can help you on your quest.

Ripe avocados tend to have a darker color than unripe avocados. They should feel slightly soft but not too squishy or mushy when pressed gently with your fingers.

If you have a Latin or Asian market in your area, they tend to have avocados that are perfectly ripe already out on the shelves.

If you are buying avocados a few days before you need to use them, buy firmer, less-ripe ones so they don’t get too soft before you plan to use them.

To help speed up the ripening process of an unripe avocado, you can place it in a paper bag with a banana or apple. Seal it and let it sit out on the counter for 2-3 days.

On a similar note, I tend to avoid storing bananas and avocados together in the same bowl in my kitchen. They can easily soften too quickly.

Avocado flesh oxidizes and turns brown fairly quickly once it’s been cut into and exposed to air. It’s best to use avocados soon after cutting into them. A squeeze of lime juice can help slow down this process.

If using half of an avocado for a recipe, save the half with the pit still in it for later use. This helps keep oxidation to a minimum. You can also rub the exposed flesh of the portion you’re storing with a little olive oil (or avocado oil!) to help add an extra barrier.

Store unused avocados that have been cut open in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like putting unused avocado halves in a snack size stasher bag.

Smashing garlic and spices with a mortar and pestle for restaurant-style guacamole.
Smashing garlic and spices with a mortar and pestle.
Making a paste from garlic and spices for homemade guacamole.

How to make the best homemade guacamole

  1. Smash the garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander using a mortar and pestle until they form a paste.
  2. Add in the avocados, cilantro, lime juice, tomatoes, and red onion.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
  4. Grab a tortilla chip and dive on in!
Using a mortar and pestle to make homemade guacamole.
Squeezing a lime half into a mortar full of homemade guacamole.

I did a demo of this recipe in the middle of a Facebook LIVE a while back while my mashed potatoes were cooking in the Instant Pot.

I’ve embedded the video below. It should jump to the start of the guacamole portion, but if not, feel free to fast forward to 20:57.

Tips for making guacamole

You don’t need a Molcajete to make restaurant-style guacamole at home, but a mortar and pestle is pretty key.

The rough edges of the mortar are perfect for grinding your garlic and spices into a beautifully fragrant paste.

If you need your guacamole fix but don’t have a mortar and pestle, you could chop your garlic, then smash it together with the salt into a paste on your cutting board using the back of your knife.

Use a potato masher, pastry cutter, or a fork to mash up the other ingredients until they reach the consistency you like. I’ve even used a meat chopper in a pinch and it works great!

Keep smashing the avocados until they reach the texture that you prefer. My family enjoys it fairly chunky, but sometimes we want it nice and smooth. There’s no wrong way to do it!

Stirring guacamole ingredients together.

Customizing this homemade guacamole recipe

There are several ways that you can tweak and adjust this restaurant-style guac to your liking. Here are a few suggestions:

  • No limes? No problem! Use a bit of vinegar instead. I made this guacamole yesterday to use up some avocados that were super ripe, and I realized I was out of lime juice. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar instead, and it worked out beautifully! (If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my excitement over that very fact)
  • Don’t like cilantro? Leave it out! Feel free to substitute parsley if you still want some fresh herb flavor.
  • No tomatoes? Leave ’em out! They’re totally optional. I tend to add more of them to my guac than my husband does when he makes it because I really love them.
  • Raw onion a bit too strong for you? Use some green onion instead. Alternately, you could soak your red onion in cold water for 5-10 minutes before you mix it into your guac. Just drain it and add it in. Soaking it will mellow the sharpness of the flavor quite a bit. You could do the same with shallots.
  • Prefer smaller bits of cilantro? Add it in with the garlic and spices and smash it into that paste. The pieces will be smaller, and the flavor will still be there.
  • Like it spicy? Add some fresh minced jalapeño or serrano peppers. Use as little or as much as you like!
  • Making guacamole for a crowd? Feel free to scale the ingredients up as much as you like. I’d suggest making all of the paste first, then moving it to a bowl and smashing your avocados in batches. Then just stir everything together for one big vat-o-guac!
Using a tool to quickly quarter tomatoes for guacamole.

I’ve had this OXO grape cutter for years, and what I use it for most often is quickly quartering grape or cherry tomatoes.

It’s perfect for cutting tomatoes for taco night or for quickly adding a few directly into your bowl of guacamole.

This guacamole is always a hit at my house. It’s one of our very favorite appetizers, snacks, and side dishes.

How do you like your guac?

If you’re looking for more recipes that use cumin, check out this post that showcases 21 of our favorite cumin recipes.

Scooping guacamole with a tortilla chip.

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Tortilla chip scooping up guacamole.

Dino’s Guacamole

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Dino & Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Restaurant-style guacamole is super simple to make at home – just 2 ripe avocados and a handful of ingredients and you have the perfect Mexican appetizer!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 medium-sized ripe Haas avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 46 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion (about 1/4 of a small red onion)

Special equipment:


Instructions

  1. In a mortar, add the garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander. Use the pestle to smash and crush the garlic and mix everything together to form a paste.
  2. Add the avocados, cilantro, lime juice, tomatoes, and red onion and mix until well combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice if needed.

Notes

You can add the cilantro in with the garlic and spices if you prefer smaller pieces of cilantro in your guacamole.

If you don’t have limes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar can be substituted.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 122
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 162.5 mg
  • Fat: 10.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: mortar and pestle, Mexican, guacamole

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Note: This post includes affiliate links for items that I genuinely enjoy. Big Flavors will receive a tiny commission from purchases made through affiliate links on this site at no added cost to you.

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

32 Comments

  • Charly-Ann

    We make guacamole a lot in our house but this is the first time I used a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic and spices. I usually just chop and measure out all the ingredients and combine. This step helped to blend the flavors beautifully. My new go-to guacamole recipe!

  • Anna

    I seriously can’t live without my daily fix of guacamole, and your recipe looks and sounds great! Thanks for all the tips and notes about substitutes I could use too!






  • Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness

    I am always looking for new guacamole recipes. I have a go-to spicy one, but this one looks like a great alternative!






    • Ashley

      You could totally throw some chili flakes or minced jalapeño in there to make it spicy, too. Or even pour a little hot sauce over the top for those who want it spicier. I like having one that the whole family can eat without too much heat.

  • Dominique | Perchance to Cook

    Ummmm yes please! This guacamole looks so good! I’m always on the lookout for a good recipe because mine’s never that great haha Saving this one!

    • Ashley

      You gotta admit, though, that even lackluster guacamole is still pretty darn good! Ha!! I hope you enjoy this one if you give it a try – let me know what you think of it!

  • Kelly Anthony

    Guacamole is a staple down here in Texas. We make it all the time. This recipe is right on par! Looks great 🙂






  • Tammy

    I must honestly admit that I have never had restaurant guacamole but I love this technique! I have to try soon. Guacamole is one of my favorites..loving this!

    • Ashley

      We don’t splurge on it too often at restaurants because it’s so pricey, but this one we make a LOT! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Karyl Henry

    Tableside guacamole is expensive at the restaurant. But when they do the whole presentation, I can’t help but order it! I’ve never tried to make the “official” tableside at home, but I may have to give it a shot.






  • Jenni LeBaron

    When I was a busy college student I made full meals out of guacamole and chips. Now that I’m out of college I make a main course too and then inevitably load up on the guac and chips first and push dinner to the side. Your guac recipe looks fantastic and I’d love to make it for dinner.






    • Ashley

      I do the same with guac and salsa when we eat at a Mexican restaurant. But I figure that way I have more leftovers for more days of food at home so… win/win! 😉

    • Ashley

      Those spices really take it to the next level. They’re subtle but give it a distinct flavor that my family just loves. Let me know what your family thinks of this when you give it a try!

  • Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago

    There is just nothing better than great restaurant-style guacamole. Love the tips for using mortar and pestle to combine the spices!






  • Michele

    I CANNOT resist a good guacamole! SO addictive. Yours looks perfect. I love how you used a mortar and pestle to make this. I need one now!






  • Jessica (Swanky Recipes)

    I make a very similar guac after watching it made tableside at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I need to try adding coriander and cumin next time, yum!






    • Samantha Milligan

      This was 1 of the best guacamole I had, and I have had plenty of guacamole recipes but this one by far beats all of them. There is one downside, and that’s once you start eating it you would not want to stop.
      Bring on the guac!!!!






      • Ashley

        I’m SO glad you liked it so much, Samantha! I agree – I tend to fill up on chips and guac (and salsa) whenever I’m eating Mexican food. Yummmm!

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