How To Fix Bad Guacamole (Too Sour, Salty Or Bitter)


Guacamole, originally a Mexican dip, is one of my favorite summer staples that seem to go with everything from dinner parties to game day. But what happens when your guacamole is too sour? How do you fix bad guacamole? I did some research into the best fixes.

To fix guacamole that is too sour, salty, bitter, or watery, it is best to add some more mashed avocado to dilute the problem. Adding sugar, sour cream, beans, or even corn can help bad guacamole. Always start with ripe avocados and stick to a classic recipe.

We all know the sinking feeling when you’ve just made a delicious bowl of guacamole for lunch or a snack – but it ends up tasting too sour or salty, or worse – bitter and watery! 

With the price of avocados, it seems such a waste to throw out a dish of guacamole that hasn’t turned out well. Don’t worry – fixing bad guacamole is possible – especially if you know that you’ve put in too much of one ingredient. Banish your bad guacamole forever with these handy kitchen hacks.

How To Fix Guacamole With Too Much Lime 

Most guacamole recipes call for the juice of one lime. But too much lime juice can make your guacamole sour instead of creamy and buttery. If you’ve put too much lime in your guacamole, here’s some advice.

1. Add more avocado

If you’ve got some more avocado to hand, mash another half avocado and add it to the mixture to counteract the tartness.

2. Add sugar

If your guacamole is still too tart after adding more avo, add a pinch of sugar. (Heresy, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures!)

3. Add a fat

If you don’t have any more avocado to add to the guacamole, add some fat, like sour cream, Greek yogurt, or a splash of olive oil. Fat will help to cut through the acid of the lime juice. Nigella Lawson, the British food writer, makes “roqamole”, adding Roquefort cheese and sour cream to the more traditional guacamole ingredients.

How To Fix Bitter Guacamole

Bitter guacamole is caused by using avocado that is not properly ripe. Unfortunately, an unripe avocado will never make fantastic guacamole, and you may be left with a bitter aftertaste whatever you do. If your guacamole is bitter, try these hacks. See my article on why some avocados never turn ripe.

1. Add sugar

Add a teaspoon of sugar at a time, mix, and taste. Add more sugar if necessary and go slowly – you can always add more but you can’t take it away!

2. Add vanilla

If you’ve added sugar to your guacamole and it’s still bitter, try adding a hint of vanilla essence. It sometimes does the trick as in this recipe.

3. Add sour cream

Most foods taste better with the richness of cream added – this is also true of guacamole. Add some sour cream and blend well.

4. Add an acid

To cover the bitter flavor, try adding some acidity, like lime juice or tomatoes. 

How To Fix Too Much Salt In Guacamole 

One of the worst mistakes we’ve all made when making guacamole is putting in too much salt. Salty guacamole can often happen if you use kosher salt instead of fine-grain table salt – kosher salt has bigger flakes, so you need to use a lot less. What can you do with salty guacamole?

1. Add more avocado

If you’ve got more avocados, mash them and add to the guacamole to counteract the saltiness. You’ll probably need double the original amount of avocado. This will make a lot of guacamole, but that’s never a problem is it?

2. Add acidity

Adding acidity to the guacamole can help reduce the salty taste. Good choices are a teaspoon of lime juice or some finely chopped tomatoes. Be careful not to add too much lime juice as it will react with the salt and create watery guacamole.

3. Add some bite

Chopping some jalapenos, cilantro, or onion into your guacamole can reduce the levels of sodium in your over-salty guac. Enough jalapeno will numb anyone’s palate to the saltiness.

4. Add salt-thirsty ingredients

Just as our grandmothers would add a potato to a salty stew, you can add salt-absorbing ingredients to your too salty guacamole. Blend drained canned corn or black beans into the guacamole or stir in some sour cream or olive oil.

5. Add vegetables

Adding some greens can reduce the saltiness of your guacamole – raid your fridge for shredded kale, spinach, cabbage, or cucumber. You can even add cauliflower or broccoli (hence making ‘brocomole’ a la Nigella Lawson), so long as it’s cooked, cooled, and drained. Blend the vegetables into the guacamole for a healthy treat.

6. Make guacamole-hummus

If you’ve got no more avocados, one idea is to make a guacamole-hummus. Throw the guacamole into your blender with two drained cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). You may need to add more lemon juice or more olive oil to get the consistency right. You can also add crushed garlic and tahini for a stronger hummus flavor.

How To Fix Watery Guacamole 

What happens when you’ve made a bowl of guac and left it to stand while you set out the lunch, only to come back to a watery green mess? You can end up with watery guacamole if you use watery avocados – Florida avocados are known to be a little watery and aren’t the best option for guacamole. Watery guacamole is also caused by the combination of too much lime juice or tomato interacting with the salt and drawing moisture from the avocado. Here’s how to fix watery guacamole.

1. Add more avocado

Again, usually the best fix is adding more mashed avocado if you have it – add slowly, stirring until you have the desired consistency.

2. Add it to a salad

If you’ve used the wrong kind of avocado and the guacamole is plain unappealing, transform it into another salad. For example:

  • Use the guacamole to make an avocado dressing by combining it with some mayonnaise. This dressing is delicious on pasta and potato salads.
  • Use it as a layer in a seven-layer taco salad.

3. Consider throwing it out if its gone bad

If your guacamole is watery because it’s been standing in the fridge too long, then throw it out as it’s probably gone off. Don’t make yourself sick!

Ideas To Improve The Taste Of Guacamole

Making the perfect fresh, tangy guacamole isn’t hard – but it’s always fun to look out for ways to make it even better. Here are some ideas to improve the taste of your guacamole.

Use the best ingredients

  • Always use the best ingredients you can, especially the avocado. Look for small, dark Hass avocados with bumpy skin as these make the creamiest guacamole.
  • The avocado needs to be perfectly ripe, which means the stem end has a slight give. Make the guacamole without brown bits – cut these out and discard them. 
  • Use the freshest herbs, limes, and tomatoes if you want to add them.

Maintain a balance between ingredients

  • The best-tasting guacamole is simple, with a balanced combination of ingredients. The most basic guacamole is just a couple of avocados and salt. Still, traditional Mexican recipes also include chopped tomato, a finely diced white onion, a serrano or jalapeno pepper, and chopped fresh cilantro.
  • If you like to add tomatoes, make sure that you remove the seeds, the membrane, and as much of the juice as possible to avoid watery guacamole. 
  • If you want to add lime juice, do it with a very light hand. Always add lime juice slowly, tasting as you add. Doing this will prevent sour, watery guacamole.
  • Add your salt cautiously – rather add too little first and then taste. If you’re serving your guacamole with salty tortilla chips or nachos, rather undersalt the guacamole.

For the adventurous guacamole lover

  • Stir a spoon of salsa through plain, mashed avocado.
  • Crumble some crispy bacon bits over the top of the guacamole.
  • Mix in some grilled corn kernels for a Tex-Mex flavor.
  • Add some smoked paprika for an earthy, warm taste.

Conclusion

There’s no reason to panic if you’ve made guacamole that’s not quite perfect – if it’s a bit sour, bitter, salty, or watery, you can save your guacamole. The best idea is always to add some more avocado, but consider adding a little sugar, sour cream, tomato, peppers, or even garbanzo beans to transform your imperfect guacamole into a thing of beauty.

Tom

Hey, I'm Tom. I set up Boss The Kitchen to start answering the thousands of questions people have while cooking. For me, the kitchen is my happy place and I hope to help other people with the knowledge I've gained along the way.

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