Whether you smash it on toast, dollop it on tacos, or serve it as dip, this one-avocado guacamole makes just the right amount for one or two people.
Follow these easy steps at home to whip-up this creamy avocado dip in 10 minutes! Tasty guacamole mix-ins include quick-pickled red onions, minced jalapeños, and cilantro for a punch of added flavor.
But have you ever made a bowl of guacamole just for yourself? Or, okay fine, for yourself and a friend? This one avocado guacamole can be shared, but the beauty of a single serving guacamole is that you don't have to.
It's quick, it's practical, it's tasty, and it creates minimal waste while preserving any leftover ingredients to use for more guacamole tomorrow or the next night.
Ever since I lived in L.A. where a bag of ripe avocados was easy to pick up on the way home, a quick bowl of homemade guacamole and chips has been one of my favorite things to munch on while dinner comes together.
On weekends, a small personal sized bowl of this guacamole with pickled onions becomes a filling mid-afternoon snack or perfect for making a low-effort, high-reward avocado toast breakfast. Or it can be a great side dish when served along a heaping sheet pan of carnitas nachos!
Guacamole browns quickly when exposed to air, so it's not something you want to make more of than you'll eat.
Most guacamole recipes use multiple avocados, a whole jalapeño, half a large onion, etc. They're party-sized recipes. But I firmly believe that everyone's favorite avocado dip shouldn't be limited to a party food.
This homemade guacamole recipe has been scaled way down. It's perfect for a cozy night in or a quick snack, and only uses what you need.
🧂 Ingredient Notes
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make single serving guacamole from one avocado! See recipe card (at the end of the post) for specific quantities.
- Avocado - One large avocado at peak ripeness. It should have just a little bit of give when you squeeze it.
- Red onion - If you don't have red onion, shallot or white onion work just fine.
- Lime - I prefer the tart, fruitier flavor of lime juice over lemon juice for guacamole. But lemon juice will also work here.
- Salt - I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which half as salty as other brands. It's a favorite of chefs because its large irregular shape makes it easy to pinch and helps it dissolve quickly when added to food. If you're using a different brand of salt, even different brand of kosher salt, cut the amount of salt in half to start.
- Jalapeño - Look for a jalapeño with a straight shape; they're easier to cut! For a more mild heat try a poblano pepper instead. You can also use a serrano or fresno pepper instead.
- Black Pepper - Black pepper, freshly cracked or pre-ground.
- Cilantro - I prefer it fresh, but dried cilantro will also work. If you have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, leave it out entirely.
- Cayenne (OPTIONAL) - For an extra kick, cayenne pepper is a nice garnish or can be mixed right into the guacamole.
Other optional homemade guacamole recipe ingredients: Finely chopped cherry or roma tomatoes, finely minced or zested garlic clove, lime zest or lemon zest, Fresno peppers, cracked red pepper flakes, and/or a pinch of cumin.
For 4 days of one-avocado guacamole with no waste (or a 4X batch): Buy 4 avocados, 1 large jalapeño, 1 small red onion, and 1 lime.
How to Tell When an Avocado is Ripe
One of the most common old wives tales about checking the ripeness of an avocado is that if you remove the stem and see bright green, it's ripe.
The problem is that so many people now do this, that finding one with a stem on it can feel impossible. Remove the stem too early and the exposed spot will turn brown, even if the avocado is actually perfectly fine inside. So it's not the best system.
The most reliable way to check if an avocado is ripe is by feeling it. This does take a bit of practice, but the more guacamole you make the quicker you'll get a feel for it.
- An underripe avocado: Will be rock hard and have no give to it when squeezed or will have a slight softness to the outside but still feel rock hard underneath..
- A perfectly ripe avocado: A guacamole-ready avocado should have a little bit of soft give to it when you squeeze it gently. The flesh inside will be bright green and yellow with few blemishes, if any.
- An overripe avocado: If it squishes or your fingers make deep indentations, it's likely overripe. But even a slightly overripe avocado can be good for guacamole! If the flesh is bright green and yellow without a lot of browned spots, you can still use it.
I buy avocados when they're underripe or almost ripe and leave them on the counter until they feel just slightly soft. Then I stick them in the fridge — this keeps them at peak ripeness for up to a week, if not more.
There's no truly guaranteed way to know if an avocado is ripe without opening it.
Even if you forgot about one in the back of the fridge and it feels squishy, cut it open before you chuck it. It might be fine! (It also might not be, but you were throwing it out anyway, so it can't hurt to check.)
🔪 How to Make Guacamole with One Avocado
This one avocado guacamole recipe is super simple. You're basically just mashing everything together.
By taking the time to mix the ingredients together in a specific order as you go, you'll truly get the most out of each of them.
The first step is to cut the avocado in half. Before you cut or prep anything else, always check that your avocado is good. Because if it's not, I'm sorry, but that means no guacamole for you.
🥑 How to Cut an Avocado
First remove the avocado stem. Then use a sharp knife to slice vertically through the skin of the avocado with minimal pressure until you feel the knife hit the large seed in the middle.
Rotate the avocado, turning it against the knife blade until you've cut all the way around it.
Then, hold each side of the avocado in your hands and twist. The pit will remain inside one of the halves. The other half will slide off.
Hold the avocado half with the pit in it in a clean dishtowel (to protect your hand) with the pit facing up. Gently but firmly whack the base of the knife blade into the pit so it sticks. Slowly twist the knife to rotate the pit until it pops out.
If you'd rather not use the knife to remove the pit, you can wiggle a spoon under it to remove it instead.
Set the avocado aside while you start making the guacamole — it will get added later in the process.
🥣 Quick-Quick Pickle the Red Onions
First up are the red onions, which will get a quick pickle treatment to mellow their flavor slightly and draw some moisture out of the onions.
(These aren't true quick pickled red onions, btw — even quick pickled red onions need a bit more time than we'll have here. But it will cut down the sharpness of their bite just enough!)
Mince the red onion and add it to a bowl. Add a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt.
Mix them together all together and let the red onions sit while you prep the remaining guacamole ingredients.
Lemon juice and zest will work the same as lime juice and lime zest, but lime is definitely a more classic guacamole flavor, and I just prefer the way lime tastes.
While the onions mingle with the lime juice and salt, move on to mincing the jalapeño, cilantro, and any other ingredients you plan to add.
🔪 How to Cut a Jalapeño
To reduce the heat of the jalapeño and prolong its life in the fridge, we're going to cut the jalapeño for this one avocado guacamole recipe in a very specific way.
The heat in a hot pepper comes from the seeds and the ribs. We want to avoid those, as too much heat will quickly overpower such a small batch of guacamole.
First, remove the stem end and cut off about ¼" of the tip, so you can see where the ribs are. They're the three or four white spokes running the length of the pepper.
Then, stand the jalapeño upright, with the wider end against the cutting board.
Line the knife up just outside two of the ribs and slice down to remove just the flat section of pepper between them.
This gets you just the amount of pepper you need for one avocado guacamole without the seeds going everywhere.
Mince the jalapeño about the same size as the onion, and add it to the bowl. Stir to combine.
These sharp, abrasive ingredients will help break the avocado down quickly.
By cutting off just the section of pepper that you need, the rest of it will stay fresher longer as less surface area has been exposed to air.
The remaining jalapeño pepper can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, ready and waiting for you to make more one avocado guacamole the next night or the night after!
One good sized jalapeño can be enough for three or four nights of small batch guacamole.
🥣 Mix the Guacamole
From here on out, this one avocado guacamole recipe is incredibly straightforward.
Use a fork to scoop the soft avocado flesh out of the skin and into the bowl.
Poke the avocado all over to make it easier to mash, then mash it well to incorporate the onion, pepper, lime juice, and salt.
Once you have a nice and creamy guacamole mixture, add the finely minced cilantro, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
If you're adding any other delicate herbs, seasonings, or ingredients like chopped tomatoes, stir them in at the end.
Taste the guacamole with pickled onions and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add more lime juice, more salt, more pepper, etc. until it tastes how you like it!
Your one avocado guacamole is now ready to serve. Garnish with cayenne, lime zest, or cilantro, and dip away!
Full disclosure: For these photos I popped it into a cute little Le Creuset cocotte, but in real life I eat it straight out of the bowl.
🌮 Serving Suggestions
Guacamole goes well with tortilla chips, but there are so many other ways to enjoy this small batch guacamole with pickled onions too!
- Tacos or Burritos - Pair it with fresh hot sauce, homemade corn tortillas, and cilantro lime yogurt sauce when making your favorite tacos or burritos.
- Eggs Benedict - Add a dollop of guacamole below the poached egg on your favorite Eggs Benedict recipe.
- Potato Pancakes - These extra crispy scallion potato pancakes are so good dipped in bright, fresh guacamole.
- Avocado Toast - Spread a generous scoop of homemade guacamole on a loaf of crusty, airy small batch mini ciabatta or a thick slice of no knead crusty bread and top it with a perfectly fried egg.
🔪 Equipment Suggestions
You don't need any of special equipment to make this single serving guacamole — that's half the beauty of it! Here's some tools I use that can make the process easier:
- Sharp chef's knife — In order to cut through the avocado skin and remove the pit using the method outlined above you want a good, sharp, sturdy chef's knife.
- Muddler — When I want a really creamy, well-mashed guac I use my trusty cocktail muddler instead of a fork. But a fork will do just fine, too.
- Avocado keeper — I don't usually save avocados for later, but I do use my avocado keeper to store pieces of guacamole ingredients that I'll use to make more guacamole later in the week. It's the perfect size to hold the rest of the jalapeño, a small bit of onion, a wedge of lime, etc.
⏲️ Storage Notes
This is a small batch guacamole recipe and it's unlikely you'll have leftovers. But on the off chance you do... it's important to store it properly.
Guacamole, like any avocado dip, browns and oxidizes quickly when exposed to air.
To store guacamole so it stays fresh for 12-24 hours, press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface of the guac. Then stretch a sheet of plastic wrap over the mouth of the bowl to eliminate any additional air from getting in. Store it in the fridge until ready to eat.
You can actually buy special containers for storing guacamole. The lids slide down inside, and can be pressed flat against the surface of the guacamole to keep air out.
💭 Recipe FAQ
Add a dollop (about a tablespoon) of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to help cut down the heat. This is a slightly controversial addition (as Antoni of Queer Eye learned the hard way) and not something I'd recommend as a default ingredient. But if you've tasted your guac and it's too spicy, these will help cool it down.
No! DO NOT DO THIS! This tip went viral on TikTok a couple years ago and it's really bad advice. The avocados will stay just as good in the fridge on their own as they will in water.
Why is storing avocados in water bad? "The main concern is with the possibility that any residual human pathogens (i.e. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., etc.) that may be residing on the avocado surface may potentially multiply during the storage when submerged in water," the FDA told Good Morning America.
Store avocados at room temperature until ripe, then place in the fridge. They can stay good in the fridge for up to a week, sometimes more!
Yep! The most bare bones, basic version of this small batch guacamole recipe is one avocado, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Everything else is technically extra!
How to Make Guacamole with One Avocado
- Sharp knife
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro (chopped, optional)
- 1 clove garlic (minced, optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes (roma or cherry tomatoes)
- Cut open your avocado to make sure it’s good. If it is, great! Set it aside. If it’s not, I’m sorry, you’ll need to use a different avocado.
- Combine minced red onion, lime juice, and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork and let it sit to quick pickle while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Mince the jalapeño and any other optional additions (cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, etc). Set aside on your cutting board.
- Add the jalapeño to the bowl with the onions and mix well. Then use a fork to scoop the avocado out of the skin and into the bowl. Poke the avocados all over, then mash well with the tines of the fork until creamy.
- Finally, add the black pepper and any of the optional additions (tomatoes, cilantro, cayenne, etc.) and continue mashing until you reach your desired guacamole consistency.
- Adjust to taste — add more lime juice, salt, pepper, etc. if you think it needs it. Garnish with cilantro or cayenne (optional). Serve directly out of the bowl.
- To mince the jalapeño without the seeds or ribs, remove the stem end and the tip. Stand the pepper upright, with the stem end flat on the cutting board. Look for where the ribs of the pepper are attached, then slice downward removing a length of the pepper from between two of the ribs. Slice it into long planks, then cut across them to mince.
- To store leftover guac, press a sheet of plastic wrap smoothly against the surface of the guacamole, then cover the mouth of the bowl or container as well with an airtight seal. Store in the fridge; it will stay good for another 12-24 hours.
- If you don’t have a jalapeño pepper, a poblano, serrano, or fresno pepper will work fine.
- The most bare bones, basic version of this small batch guacamole recipe is one avocado, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Everything else is technically extra!