Here's the best way to keep guacamole green (2024)

We've all been there. You make a big batch of guacamole the night before your big party, only to find that the top 1/2 inch or so has turned at least three shades of gray-brown. Sure, you could scrape it off, toss it in the trash and transfer the rest (now greatly reduced) to another bowl. But what a waste!

We were certain that there has to be a better way, so we tested out six methods to help you avoid the pitfalls of discolored guacamole. Here, we reveal which ones work best so you always know how to keep your guacamole green.

Here's the best way to keep guacamole green (1)

1. Top with lime juice and plastic wrap

Avocados and most other fruits and veggies contain an enzyme (polyphenol oxidase) that reacts with the oxygen in the air and turns the flesh a dull shade of drab, known as oxidation. Limes are very acidic and contain loads of ascorbic acid, aka, vitamin C, which combats the enzyme. The fix? Drizzle a shallow but visible layer of lime juice onto the guacamole surface (first making it as smooth as possible) and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. The next day, either pour it off or stir it in for an especially tart guac.

The verdict: The color stays vibrant and if you like a little extra tang in your dip, this might become your go-to.

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2. Top with sour cream and plastic wrap

The lactic acid in sour cream acts very much like the ascorbic acid in limes in combating the oxidizing enzymes in avocados. The process and result is similar: spread a thin layer of sour cream onto a smooth surface of guacamole and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. When ready to serve, either scrape it off or stir it in for a creamy guacamole.

The verdict: This is fine if you already have sour cream in the fridge, but certainly not worth a special trip or the added expense.

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3. Top with plastic wrap alone

Wondering what would happen if we didn't have lime juice or sour cream on hand, we tried this approach.

The verdict: Pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface without adding lime juice or sour cream is not a flawless option. If the surface of the guacamole isn't entirely smooth or the plastic isn't entirely flush, there will be air pockets where oxidation will occur.

Here's the best way to keep guacamole green (4)

4. Guac-Lock

This single-use gadget works similarly to plastic wrap, except it's super cute. The basic premise is that all of the air is pressed out, creating an airtight lock on your guac. The bowl and lid have tight-fitting gaskets and the bottom can be pushed up to eliminate the space between the guacamole and lid.

The verdict: It definitely works! The only downside is when removing the lid, a good bit of the guac comes off with it and needs to be scraped back into the bowl. $19.99, casabella.com

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5. Add the pit and top with plastic wrap

Some people swear by this one, so we had to put it to the test.

The verdict: Contrary to popular belief, adding the avocado pit to guacamole does not prevent oxidation. In fact, if it sticks out above the surface, it creates air pockets that prevent the plastic wrap from adhering tightly enough. Sorry abuela—I still love you!

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6. Top with water and plastic wrap

Water is completely neutral both in flavor and pH level. It won't actively combat the oxidizing enzymes, but it will act as a very effective barrier if the layer is thick enough. Drizzle a 1/2-inch deep layer of water onto the smooth surface, cover with plastic, pressing it gently, but directly onto the surface. The next day, pour it off and stir just before serving.

The verdict: This is the most effective and least expensive way to preserve color and maintain flavor.

Whether you use lime juice, sour cream, plastic wrap, a cute gadget, or water, keeping your guacamole green is ultimately all about creating a strong barrier between guac and outside world. Now, go forth and guac-on!

Now that you know how to keep it green, here are some of our favorite guacamole recipes:

Manja Wachsmuth

Get The Recipe

5-Minute Chunky Guacamole

Annabel Langbein

Spice up your guac with chopped garlic and finely chopped red chiles.

Daniel Alvarez / St. Regis Punta Mita, Mexico

Get The Recipe

Perfect Guacamole with Pico de Gallo

Gabriel Kolofon

Try topping your guacamole with fresh cilantro, shredded cotija cheese and pico de gallo to represent the green, white and red colors of the Mexican flag.

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Get The Recipe

La Ceiba Guacamole

Juan Pablo Loza

Finely chopped apple and fresh mint give it an unexpected twist.

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Get The Recipe

Guacamole Dulce (Sweet Guacamole)

Juan Pablo Loza

Guacamole doesn't always have to favor the savory side. Sweeten it up with pomegranate seeds and grated coconut.

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Get The Recipe

Ultimate Guacamole Bar

Ryan Clark

Set up a guacamole bar so your guests can customize their dip with smoky bacon crumbles and more.

Get The Recipe

Pickled Guacamole

Grillo's Pickles

Guacamole, in all its glory, typically has the perfect ratio of creamy avocado chunks, spice and zesty lime juice. Try adding finely chopped pickles and hot pickle brine to the mix, and you'll be amazed at how well it enhances the classic flavor profile of the beloved Mexican dip.

Here's the best way to keep guacamole green (2024)

FAQs

Here's the best way to keep guacamole green? ›

Drizzle a 1/2-inch deep layer of water onto the smooth surface, cover with plastic, pressing it gently, but directly onto the surface. The next day, pour it off and stir just before serving. The verdict: This is the most effective and least expensive way to preserve color and maintain flavor.

How to make guacamole stay green? ›

The fool-proof method to keep guacamole green, even when it's made well in advance, is to simply cover it with plastic wrap. Sound simple? It is, but there's a trick to it. The key is simple: you need to press the plastic wrap directly and completely against the surface of the guacamole.

How does grocery store guacamole stay green? ›

But as every guac fan knows, the stuff has a tendency to look nasty in a hurry, a problem only compounded when the product is made in advance. Fortunately for Wholly, the brand had already pioneered a high-pressure process that removes all the air from the container, so the batch doesn't oxidize and turn brown.

Does lemon or lime preserve guacamole? ›

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. To prevent leftover guac from browning, squeeze a little lemon juice or lime juice over its surface before sealing the container.

What is the creamy ingredient to keep guacamole green? ›

Top with sour cream and plastic wrap

The process and result is similar: spread a thin layer of sour cream onto a smooth surface of guacamole and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. When ready to serve, either scrape it off or stir it in for a creamy guacamole.

How do restaurants keep avocados green? ›

Plastic wrap is a practical, albeit not foolproof way to slow down the natural course of fruit aging. The trick is to make sure the plastic wrap is sealed flush with the flesh. If you're trying to store a cut avocado, be sure to leave the pit in, as it will naturally protect the flesh underneath and prevent browning.

How does Chipotle keep guacamole green? ›

In order to keep the dip from turning from a vibrant green to a yucky, brown hue by the day's end, it is double sealed. His third TikTok clip showed how each tin of guacamole is sealed to keep it from going bad. “Each panned guac gets sealed airtight with Saran Wrap,” he said.

Why you should leave the lime out of guacamole? ›

You see, lime is a very strong acidic flavor and it can easily overpower the delicate flavor of the avocado. Instead, finely dice red onions and pickle them with lime juice for 15-30 minutes.

How long will guac stay green in the fridge? ›

From the second you crack open that avocado, it's a race against the clock before it goes brown. But with the right prep, you can make guacamole last in the fridge for three to four days. Planning on storing guacamole in the freezer? It should last for three to four months.

How do you increase the shelf life of guacamole? ›

Add about a half-inch of water to the top of the guacamole. Make sure the water covers the whole surface of the batch. Put the lid or covering on the container, and store in the fridge for two to three days. When you're ready to enjoy your guac, gently pour off the water and stir before serving.

What can I add to guacamole to make it last longer? ›

Pour a thin but visible layer of water or lemon/lime juice over the guacamole to form a barrier with the air. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap, so it is flush with the guacamole to prevent air pockets, or put the guacamole in a sealed tub.

What can I use if I don't have lime in my guacamole? ›

White wine vinegar: This has a mild and slightly fruity flavor that can work well in guacamole. Use about half as much vinegar as you would lime juice. Apple cider vinegar: This has a slightly sweet and tangy flavor that can be a good substitute for lime juice in guacamole.

How do you make guacamole not change color? ›

Pour a thin but visible layer of water or lemon/lime juice over the guacamole to form a barrier with the air. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap, so it is flush with the guacamole to prevent air pockets, or put the guacamole in a sealed tub.

How do you keep an avocado from changing its color? ›

Some of the ways in which you could easily block the enzyme's activity and prevent avocado browning are by wrapping it thoroughly, adding lemon or pineapple juice, or storing it with an onion. While avocados are safe to eat after they've turned brown, their quality may be reduced.

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