How to Keep Guac From Turning to Goop

There are hundreds of ways to mix up a bowl of guacamole, but keeping it fresh is the trick. Teri A. Virbickis/Getty Images

Whether you like yours plain, with just salt and lime, or fancy, with cumin, cilantro, onions and tomato – guacamole is one of those universally delicious and nutritious foods that many people are just crazy about.

Guacamole, aka guac, is made from avocados – a fruit that is touted as a superfood because it's loaded with antioxidant vitamins and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, almost 85 percent of the calories in avocados are from fat (monosaturated: the good kind!), making avocados one of the fattiest, but healthiest, plant foods around.


Unfortunately, when guac sits around for too long, oxygen in the air causes an enzymatic reaction with the polyphenol oxidase in the cells of the avocado that results in the development of melanoidin pigment. Translation: Your once-verdant dip turns into a yucky-looking brown glop.

Fortunately, there's a somewhat unexpected culinary insider solution that slows down the browning process and keeps your guac looking greener longer – definitely a plus if you want to make a batch in advance or store leftovers in the fridge for up to two or three days.

The trick? Cover your guac dip with a layer of water. The fat content and dense nature of the avocado is what actually prevents the water from soaking into the guac so that it can be easily poured off. The layer of water also blocks oxygen from getting to the avocado, limiting the oxidation that causes browning in the first place.

Here's how:

  1. Place your guac in an airtight container.
  2. Flatten the surface of the guacamole with a spoon to remove any air pockets.
  3. Slowly pour about a half inch of water over the top so that it covers the guac's surface completely.
  4. Seal tightly and refrigerate for up to two or three days.
  5. To serve, carefully pour off the water and gently stir up your delicious, green guacamole.

And voila! Green guacamole that looks and tastes as fresh and palatable as the day you made it. Serve it up as a dip with tortilla chips, carrots or celery sticks, as a garnish or side with salads, or as a delightful dollop atop or alongside meat dishes. Whichever way you prefer it: Bon appétit!