Treating your guacamole ingredients to a quick trip to the grill gives Grilled Avocado Guacamole a unique and subtle smoky undertone. Great for easy summer entertaining!
Visiting from Pinterest? This recipe was originally published in 2015 and was updated with new photos in 2018. Same delicious recipe!
Summer is that glorious time of year when the grill comes out of hibernation and I serve my ovens their 5-month pink slip. Once the weather turns warm, I find just about every reason I can to cook outside until I’m knee-deep in leaves in the fall.
That visual established, you can imagine my excitement when, more than ten years ago, I saw Michael Chiarello extol the virtues of grilled avocado guacamole on his Easy Entertaining show.
I did a double-take in front of the TV that day. Grilled Guacamole? I’d never heard of such a thing!
Adapting My Guacamole Recipe for the Grill
Chiarello prepared his grilled guac with an Italian flair that day, adding Parmesan and basil. I’d only eaten avocados raw up until I saw that episode and was intrigued and inspired by the grilled avocado concept.
So, I tried throwing all of my usual guacamole ingredients onto the grill the next time I made a bowl and we loved it.
I found that the grilling process brought out the avocados’ natural fats and made them extra creamy, resulting in a luscious guac.
In my guacamole, grilled red onion introduces a bit of caramelization to the dish, brightened by the juice of grilled limes. As in my raw guacamole, I add some cumin to further complement the smoky flavor, as well as a bit of cilantro (optional for those who hate it!), and a touch of minced garlic.
How to Grill Avocados
Grilling avocados (as well as the red onions and limes) is a pretty quick process that gives this guacamole recipe a depth of flavor we love. The onions need about 5 minutes per side, and the avocados and limes, just 3-5 minutes total.
I like to squeeze a bit of lime juice over my halved and pitted avocados (to slow the natural oxidation process), and brush them with a bit of oil. I either grill the avocados over direct heat on well-oiled grates, or use a non-stick, non-toxic grill mat.
Want to read more about why avocados turn brown? Check out this piece from Food 52.
You’ll want to be careful to grill the avocados until they’re just lightly charred to give the guacamole a subtle smoky undertone. Don’t overdo it until they’re completely blackened, or they can become bitter.
Ways to Serve Grilled Avocado Guacamole
My favorite way to serve grilled guacamole is, quite predictably, with warm, lightly-salted tortilla chips. (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!) For an extra layer of flavor, I like to squeeze a tiny bit of the grilled lime juice over the chips just before serving.
Served with chips, it’s delicious with your favorite cold beverage for easy summer entertaining.
If you’re an avocado toast lover, Grilled Avocado Guacamole is fantastic spread onto a slice of grilled artisan bread. It’s a lunch favorite in my house.
For a quick low-carb dinner, we’ve also been known to enjoy a dollop alongside lime-marinated grilled chicken breasts with grilled peppers and onions on the side. The flavors are reminiscent of a fajita, without the tortillas.
Speaking of, this grilled guacamole is also a fantastic topping for your favorite tacos and fajitas. We also love it on top of burgers (poultry or beef).
Over the past few years, this smoky Grilled Avocado Guacamole has been the only guacamole served in my house during the summer. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
Grilled Avocado Guacamole
Treating your guacamole ingredients to a quick trip to the grill gives it a unique and subtle smoky undertone. Great for easy summer entertaining!
Makes 2 to 2-1/2 cups guacamole.
- 4 ripe avocados (preferably Haas), halved, pits removed
- 1/2 red onion , peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 3 small limes , halved crosswise
- olive oil , for grilling
- kosher salt
- freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze the juice of one lime half over the flesh of the avocados to prevent oxidation. Brush cut-side of avocado halves, remaining lime halves, and both sides of the red onion slices with olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill over a medium-high flame. Oil grates, or line with a non-toxic, nonstick grill mat.*
Grill onions until soft and caramelized, about 5 minutes per side. Grill avocados and limes, cut-side down, until grill marks appear with a light char, about 5 minutes. Times may vary by grill. Remove to platter to cool.
When avocados are cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into a large bowl and mash to desired consistency (I like to leave my guacamole a little chunky). Chop grilled onions (you should have between 1/2 and 3/4 cup).
Stir chopped onions, garlic, cilantro, ground cumin, 1/2 tablespoon (1-1/2 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into the mashed avocados.
Add 1-2 tablespoons grilled lime juice, to taste, and stir to combine. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Serve, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and an additional pinch of cilantro, if desired.
When grilling directly on the grates (as opposed to a grill mat) I like to thread the onion slices on metal grilling skewers so that they don't fall apart when they're flipped.
Add a little heat:
I like to allow the smoky flavor of the grilled avocados and cumin shine through in this guacamole, without adding "heat." If you like your guacamole spicy, feel free to add some de-seeded, grilled, chopped jalepeño pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to taste.