Too many guacamole recipes are a muddle of flavors, but chef Diana Kennedy's uses just a handful of traditional ingredients, allowing the dish's simple flavors to be the focus.

White onion mashed with cilantro and serrano chilies add the right amount of bite, while chopped grape tomatoes offer balanced acidity against the rich avocados. Mashing the cilantro, chilies, and onion in the same bowl as the avocados keeps their flavors in the food, not on the cutting board.

Guacamole hinges on the ripeness of the avocados; they should be soft but slightly firm.

Diana Kennedy's Central Mexican Guacamole


  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 to 2 serrano chilies, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1 pint (10 ounces) grape tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Tortilla chips, to serve


In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the chilies, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mash with the bottom of a dry measuring cup until a rough paste forms, about one minute.

Scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher or fork. Stir in half of the tomatoes until combined. Taste and season with salt.

Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and tomatoes.

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