While the main dish is the star of the show at any tailgate, snacks are critical. As the drinks keep flowing, the desire for finger foods and nibbling tends to increase. That’s why I love making (and eating) this no-nonsense guacamole for tailgates.

I’m always mystified when I see packets of guacamole seasoning. There’s no need for them in this dip. Trust me on this one, less is more. Get good avocados, ripe tomatoes, and don’t screw them up with adding enough herbs and spices to make Colonel Sanders blush.

Curious about how to pick the right avocado? Give it a gentle squeeze (think Tanabe trying to throw a big hit). If the avocado has no give, it’s not ripe enough. If your fingers leave deep impressions in the fruit, it’s too ripe.

For the tomatoes, I like using Roma, grape, cherry, or some other small variety. Whichever of those look the best are being added to my basket. As far as quantity, that depends on the variety of tomato you’re getting, but what I go for is enough tomato in the guacamole to add color and flavor, but not so much where you’d think I added salsa to it.

Let’s go make some guacamole, mmk?

Serves a bunch… depends on how much your tailgate crew loves to snack

Time: 5 minutes


4 avocados (I don’t care if they’re from Mexico, commercials be damned)

Tomatoes (a couple/few… depending on which variety you get)

2 lemons

Sea salt


1. Cut the avocados, remove the pit, and scoop all the deliciousness inside them into a bowl. Keep the pits if you think they’ll help prevent browning. Throw them out if you don’t subscribe to that thought.

2. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher. Ideal texture is lumpy mashed potatoes.

3. Chop up your tomatoes into a medium dice.

4. Fold the tomatoes into your bowl of lumpy avocado.

5. Cut your lemons in half, removing the seeds (or leave them in if you use a lemon squeezer).

6. Squeeze the juice of at least one whole lemon (depending on how juicy they are) into the bowl. I always start with less than I think I need since it’s a lot easier to add more juice than take it out.

7. Add salt. Then add a little more. Then taste it, then you’ll probably want to add a little more. Again, use sea salt or kosher salt. Throw your big blue bottle of Morton’s salt in the trash or keep it for cleaning your cast iron.

8. Grab a bag of tortilla chips and enjoy your guacamole.