What do you serve when you have friends over? We always set out a cheese plate, but after a while, it feels a little ho hum. Well, five years ago, my guy friend threw a party. Halfway through, he busted out an incredible guacamole with pomegranate seeds. I still haven’t forgotten it. Everyone was going crazy for it! So, today, Kate from Katie at the Kitchen Door agreed to share her favorite guacamole recipe, which will be sure to impress all your guests…

The Best Guacamole You’ll Ever Have
by Katie Morris of Katie at the Kitchen Door

I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that guacamole was one of the world’s best-loved recipes. It ticks off all the right boxes—super easy to make, a total crowd-pleaser, and a filling but relatively guilt-free snack, thanks to the avocado’s recent re-branding as a superfood. After mac n’ cheese and Jungle Juice, it’s probably one of the first things most college students learn to make. So do you really need a recipe for it? Well, yes and no. At its simplest, guacamole is just a mixture of mashed avocados and salt, in which case you probably don’t need to put much thought into it. But the difference between a great batch and a mediocre batch of guacamole can be vast, so I think it’s worth taking a little extra care with your recipe.

Serious Eats did a great (and thorough) article on the science of guacamole last year, which explained in detail how to pick out ripe avocados, how to keep cut avocados from browning (hint: you can’t, really), and what elements make a great batch of guacamole. For me, the biggest takeaways were to mash your aromatics before mixing with the avocado, and to make sure you have a good mixture of chunky and smooth for the perfect dip. I’ve since incorporated these techniques into all my guacamole experiments, the base of which is always the same—avocados, half of which are mashed and half of which are coarsely chopped; a paste of white onion, serrano chile and fresh garlic, pounded in a mortar and pestle; and a sprinkle of coarse-grained salt to finish. After I’ve got the base, I dress it up depending on the occasion, but the combination I turn to most frequently is the one below: mango and pomegranate.

The juicy crunch of the pomegranate and the sweet and smooth mangoes are the perfect contrast to the slightly spicy avocado base, and the bright colors really dress up the classic dip. It’s my go-to dish for any casual get-together…or for a cozy Saturday afternoon at home!

Recipe: Mango-Pomegranate Guacamole
Adapted from Gourmet

You’ll need:

1 medium white onion, peeled and finely diced
2 serrano chiles, stems removed, sliced into thin rings (remove seeds if you’re sensitive to heat!)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
4 ripe avocados
3/4 cup small cubes fresh or frozen mango
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tsp. coarse salt (or more to taste)

Place the diced onion, serrano chiles, and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Pound to flatten the onion, garlic, and chiles and release their juices. Add the chopped cilantro and pound to combine with the other aromatics. You should have a slightly chunky paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, give all the ingredients a few pulses in a food processor, or place in a sealed plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin.

Slice the avocados in half around the pit, remove the pit, and scrape the flesh out. Place the flesh from 2 of the avocados in a mortar and pestle and pound until completely smooth. Cut the remaining 2 avocados into chunks about 1/2 an inch big. In a large bowl, use a spoon to mix together the onion paste with both the smooth and chunky avocado.

Stir in the mango cubes, pomegranate seeds, and salt. Taste the guacamole and add more salt if necessary.

Thank you so much, Katie!

P.S. More best recipes, including margaritas and avocado toast. And how to make a perfect cheese plate.

(Recipe and photos by Katie Morris of Katie at the Kitchen Door. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)