Yesterday I recommended that you serve a big bowl of tortilla chips and guacamole at your next fish taco party (or as I like to call it, the cure for an otherwise blasé Sunday or Monday evening), but failed to include a recipe for the dip. Sure, the internet abounds with many variations — and passionate discussions related to the inclusion of tomatoes — but I have my own house version that I’ve been making for years.

Whether or not I add the cilantro depends entirely on two things, (1) who I’m making it for and (2) if I already have the herb around — I can’t think of a time when I’ve made guac and bought a fresh bunch for that sole purpose (not gonna happen). But tomatoes, they always make an appearance — not only do they stretch the dip a little bit, they also add a nice pop of color and another layer of flavor. Win-win, right?


Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Makes: About 3 cups


  • 1 pound (from about 4 medium) 1/2″ cubes of avocado¹
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons, packed) minced serrano peppers (seed and remove ribs first)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons, packed) minced shallot or red onion
  • 8 ounces (generous 1 cup) seeded diced tomatoes (chop into 1/4″ – 1/2″ cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, packed (optional)

For serving:

  • Tortilla chips — I love the Costco-brand organic ones (made with a mix of white and yellow corn) or the super thin, salted variety by Xochitl (very similar to the ones from Chili’s, just a lot less greasy)


Place avocado cubes, lime juice and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until you’ve just about reached the desired final consistency (I like a little chunky avocado texture to remain). Fold in serranos, shallot and tomatoes. If using, finely chop cilantro and fold in (or serve on the side, for people to add their own portion as desired). Serve immediately!


¹ Here’s a pictorial how-to for prepping the avocado — mouse over photo for description.

halve avocado, twist

separate halves

remove pit: give it a quick-yet-careful whack with a sharp chef's knife ...

...twist knife and pull out pit

remove pit from knife by pinching the top of the pit

cut 1/2" slices this way and that

slide spoon between skin and fruit

scoop out cubes

into the bowl they go!

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