Holy Grail Guacamole

Have you been on a quest for a guac full of flavor? This is the recipe you seek. It’s comforting but still intensely flavorful, and it comes together super quickly. And although it has a few quirky ingredients, they are well worth keeping on hand. I use everything in the guacamole recipe on a regular basis in all sorts of cuisines.

my guacamole recipe criteria:

Sometimes, the simplest things are the hardest to perfect. As a Texas native I’ve been making and eating guacamole my whole life, and I’ve been taught how to make it by at least a dozen different people. All have their own ideas about what makes a good guac. Over the years I’ve developed my own guacamole recipe to hit a few key preferences:

  1. FLAVOR! Some guacamoles would be better described as avocado dip. Still delicious, but I want my guacamole to pack enough punch to be served along with great salsa or in a taco without tasting bland in comparison. That’s why this recipe is generous on the salt and lime, and includes aleppo pepper (which I love to use in lots of things, but you can also use cayenne). And see point 3 concerning my extra special ingredient…
  2. SPEED. Guac is one of my favorite snacks, so I want to be able to make it quickly. This is also important when making it for guests, since guacamole will turn brown if you make it in advance of a party. Using a good salsa instead of taking time to chop tomatoes, onion, and garlic helps this recipe come together in a flash.
  3. CHEESINESS. I often use guacamole in tacos or burrito bowls. Since I don’t use dairy, it is helpful if the guacamole can impart a cheesy flavor as well. Once I tried adding nutritional yeast into the mix, I’ve never turned back. It’s my not-so-secret ingredient – everyone loves the subtle unique flavor in my guacamole recipe.

a note on finding these ingredients:

Nutritional yeast is a wonderful thing to have in stock. It has a subtle cheesy flavor that goes well with everything and is high in vitamin B12 – an especially important nutrient if you don’t eat animal products. At most stores you can find Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast (in a plastic container that looks like a cheap parmesan shaker) but it’s a little pricey. You can save big $$$ by getting it from the bulk section instead. It is usually with spices or flours.

Aleppo pepper might be a little trickier, depending on where you live. I can usually find it either with the bulk spices or in a jar on the spice aisle. But if you can’t, you can always order it online. I have a big bag of it that has lasted forever, and you can store it in the freezer to preserve the flavor. You could also substitute a pinch of cayenne or some ancho chili powder, but make sure to adjust for your desired spice level. Aleppo is halfway between paprika and cayenne – it has a citrusy red pepper bite but isn’t overwhelmingly spicy.

Holy Grail Guacamole

If you've been on a quest for a dip full a flavor, this is the guacamole you seek. Plus, it's super quick to make – get fast at slicing up an avocado, and you could throw this together in under 2 minutes!
Total Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2


  • 2 avocados (ripe but not overly soft)
  • 1/2 lime (or 1 tsp lime juice)
  • 2 tbsp your favorite salsa (I use an amazing smoked citrus salsa from HEB)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp aleppo pepper (or substitute a pinch of cayenne)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (tip: save $$$ by buying this from bulk section)


  • Prepare the avocado by slicing it into large chunks. (The easiest way: run your knife around the avocado lengthwise and twist to separate the halves. Remove the pit by smacking the blade of your knife into it and then twisting while the blade is embedded. While the avocado is still in its skin, slice the inside a few times vertically and horizontally to divide into large chunks. Then use a spoon to scoop the chunks out of the skin.)
  • Put the avocado chunks in a bowl large enough for some mixing and squeeze the half lime over it. Then add the salsa, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, aleppo, and paprika.
  • Using a fork, roughly mash all the ingredients together until combined. Leave some chunks in the avocado – don't mash it completely into a pulp!
  • Serve with chips immediately after making. If you need to store it, smooth out the top and squeeze another half lime over it. The lime juice will help keep the top from browning.


The nutritional yeast in this recipe imparts a subtle cheesy flavor to the guacamole, which makes this dip particularly wonderful in cheese-free tacos or burrito bowls!
Keyword appetizer, avocado, chips, dip, guacamole,, lime, mexican, spread, tex mex, vegan, vegetarian