Easy Cutting-Board Guacamole is lightning-fast and absolutely delicious. Scale up as needed to feed just a few or a crowd.
Why Cutting-Board Guacamole?
I’m sure we’ve all seen the Mexican-restaurant spectacle of guacamole being made to order tableside. Except for the avocados themselves, the ingredients are all prepped in advance: after mashing the avocados (usually in an uber-cool-looking mortar-and-pestle device called a molcajete), the chef adds a bit of customer-requested this and that, salt and pepper, squeezes lime over the whole thing, and voilá.
I decided to apply the same principle at home, but to make it even simpler. A molcajete is great for mashing avocados, but so is a cutting board and a fork. Less impressive? Sure. Equally effective? Absolutely. I would actually venture to say that the fork-cutting-board-combo is more effective, because without the sides of a (difficult-to-clean) heavy stone vessel or bowl getting in the way, you have much more control over the mashing and it’s very easy to fold in the additional ingredients you want.
Cutting-Board Guacamole: mastering the avocado
When you’re picking out your avocado, look for fruits (yes, it’s a fruit) that are dark in color rather than vibrant green. Give it a gentle squeeze: it shouldn’t be rock-hard, but it shouldn’t be mushy. There should be a little bit of give. If you’re uncertain, ask for help.
Fun hack: if you want an avocado to ripen more quickly, put it in a paper bag with an apple for a day or two (check daily). The apple releases ethylene gas, which accelerates the ripening process.
Avocados are very easy to prep, once you learn a couple of simple tricks. My preferred method goes something like this:
Using extreme caution, lay the avocado down on the cutting board and make a cut into the avocado as if you’re going to slice it in half lengthwise: stabilize the avocado with your non-dominant hand, keeping your hand above the knife and away from the blade. As you gently push down, you’ll encounter the stone near the center of the fruit.
Now, you want to continue that lengthwise cut all around the fruit so that you can pull it apart. Once you’ve done this, twist the two halves of the avocado apart to reveal the stone.
Removing the stone
The tricky part is the actual removal of the stone. The safest way to do this is to dig the stone out using a teaspoon—never a knife.
However, if you’re comfortable with your knife skills, you can remove the stone by cradling the avocado in a towel on the cutting board and giving it a careful, precise whack with your knife so that it cuts down into the stone: I usually use the heel of the knife to do this part. (You don’t want to whack it too hard, or you’ll have a hard time getting the stone off of the knife.)
Once you’ve done this, simply twist your knife and pull the stone out of the fruit. (If you haven’t gone deep enough, the stone will splinter when you twist and your knife will come free rather than moving the stone. Just carefully try the “whack” part again.)
When you’ve freed the stone, hold your knife over the trash can or garbage bowl. Use a teaspoon (or the heel of your palm) to carefully knock the avocado stone off your blade. Repeat with as many avocados as you need to make enough guac for everyone.
Finishing the guac
Scoop the avocado flesh out onto the cutting board. Smash it with a fork. Squeeze lime juice over the avocado and add salt and pepper. Fold in whatever chopped additions you’d like.
Cutting into the avocado: a warning
“Avocado hand” is actually a thing, so beware. This condition occurs when people stab themselves in the palm (OUCH) while trying to dig the stone out of an avocado with a knife. Or when they are otherwise unaware of the location of their fingers/thumb/hand in relation to said knife while trying to prep said avocado. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, simply Google “YouTube prep avocado.” Here. I’ve done it for you.
After you’ve dispensed with the dangerous part of the avocado prep (slicing in half and removing stone), it’s easy. All that remains to be done is to scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin and onto the cutting board using a spoon. Now you can use a large fork to mash the avocado to your preferred consistency.
Additions to Cutting-Board Guacamole
I like to add finely chopped tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro to my Cutting-Board Guacamole. For a lightning-fast riff, I instead add already-made pico de gallo. It already has the lime juice I need, so the guac becomes a 2-minute affair! Lots of people like garlic in their guac, but I find it overpowering and a bit on the bitter side. If garlic is your preference, you can leave out the onion and add about a quarter of that amount of garlic (tread lightly!).
Cutting-Board Guacamole is a thick mixture. So, as long as you fold everything in quickly (especially the lime juice), you don’t have to worry about making a mess. When all of the ingredients are folded in, I use a scraper to scoop it all up from the cutting board and into a bowl. However, we have been known to go for the bag of tortilla chips and eat it right off the cutting board.
The cutting board technique also works great for making an avocado schmeer for toast.
This Cutting-Board Guacamole recipe is per avocado: that way, it’s easy to scale up as needed. One avocado makes more than enough for me and Phil to polish off. If you have any guac left over, squeeze a bit more lime juice over the top and cover with plastic wrap. Carefully press the wrap down onto the surface of the guac and leave as little room for air as possible.
It’ll keep for a day or so: the browning on the top is due to oxidation, not spoilage. If the top of your guac has turned brown, simply scrape that part off and enjoy the rest.
I hope your family loves Cutting-Board Guacamole. Or, impress everyone at your next potluck by making this in person! For more potluck/cookout inspiration, check out my Virtual Memorial Day Potluck Recipes Roundup. Or, if you want more Latin American-inspired recipe ideas, check out my Mexican-Inspired Recipes for Cinco de Mayo!
Stay safe. Stay well.
Easy Cutting-Board Guacamole
- 1 ripe Hass avocado
- 1 tbsp. Vidalia onion, - finely diced (or red onion)
- 1 tbsp. ripe tomato, - seeded and finely diced
- ½ tbsp. jalapeño, - seeded and finely diced
- 2 tbsp. cilantro, - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- ¼ tsp. salt, - or to taste
- ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, - or to taste
- Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Discard stone and scoop the avocado flesh from the skin and onto a cutting board (see instructions and warnings in the post above!).
- Mash the avocado flesh with a fork until you reach the consistency you like. Fold in the remaining ingredients until incorporated.
- Scoop guacamole into a serving bowl with a scraper, or eat it right off the cutting board. Enjoy!
Pico de Gallo: A zippy, spicy Pico de Gallo recipe that’s perfect for football parties and potlucks. Serve alongside a bowl of sturdy tortilla chips.
Salsa Verde: a fresh, vibrant salsa made with charred tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños, and onions. Perfect for eating with chips, on meat, with tacos—you get the point!
Fiery Mango-Habanero Salsa: Vibrant, Fiery Mango-Habanero Salsa is perfect served with tortilla chips or as a garnish for fish and meats. Using flash-frozen mango chunks not only simplifies the prep, but it also means that you can enjoy this salsa any time of year!