Caramelized Onion Guacamole


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Guacamole Goes Toasty

Readers of this blog will know that I'm the world's biggest avocado fan. And while I generally love a really simple guacamole (avocado, lime, salt, nothing else), I also enjoy more complex guac creations. For example, this Grilled Corn Guacamole is a go-to in our house and it works great year-round. This Tropical Guacamole has a very special story and is what we make on our wedding anniversary every year.

I'm especially excited to share this new healthy guacamole recipe with you because it's one I make very frequently. While many people enjoy adding raw onions to guacamole, I really don't. I think they overpower the delicate avocado (and honestly, I don't like raw onions in general for that exact reason; they take over everything). I do love caramelized onions though, and it turns out they're FABULOUS in this vegan guacamole.

Unlike raw onions, caramelized onions don't overtake the avocado. Plus they add some wonderful, toasty, roasty notes and a bit of smoke to an otherwise pretty fresh flavor profile. This dish works wonderfully in the winter when you want a cozier vibe, but it also works great during the summer when you can grill the onions outside. We've made this healthy avocado recipe dozens of times at home and I'm so excited to finally be sharing it here.

Healthy guacamole with caramelized onions

Make It Tipsy

Looking for a fun, tipsy twist to this recipe? One of my favorite things to do when I caramelize onions is to deglaze the pan with a generous splash of distilled spirit. Tequila, rum, and bourbon are my favorites to cook with and the flavors infuse so beautifully into caramelized onions. I often use that strategy when I make this vegan guacamole and it's a fun one for sure! If you're making this recipe alongside Mexican-inspired fare and margaritas or palomas (e.g., my Blueberry Ginger Paloma), then use tequila to deglaze. Conversely, if you're making this recipe alongside tropical fare and rum cocktails (e.g., my Planter's Punch), then use rum to deglaze.

Don't worry, it's easy to do! Caramelize the onions as written in the recipe. Once you're happy with their doneness, decrease the heat to low/medium and allow the skillet to cool down. Carefully (!!!) add several ounces of tequila or rum (i.e. about two shots). Then continue cooking the onions at a lower heat until all the liquid has evaporated. Your onions will end up being softer, more succulent, delicately sweet, and infused with lots of wonderful flavor! It's the perfect way to lend a bit more flavor oomph to this healthy avocado recipe.

Vegan guacamole in a bowl

Make It Your Own

There are lots of ways you can change up this healthy guacamole to make it work for you. Most importantly, see the tipsy riff described above! Additionally, if you're not into cilantro, feel free to omit it. Looking for more of a Mediterranean vibe? Swap in lemon juice for the lime juice and use basil instead of cilantro. I like to garnish this guac with crunchy, salty, roasted pepitas, but you can swap them for another crunchy garnish if you prefer. And lastly, if you're one of those people that likes aaaall the add-ins in your guac (not my thing, but you do you!), you could certainly add tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Is Guacamole Vegan?

I encounter a lot of people who think that guacamole includes sour cream. In my opinion that's totally unnecessary since the avocado is super rich, creamy, and decadent on its own. Any guacamole that relies on just mashed avocado for creaminess (i.e., no sour cream) is friendly for plant-eaters. Making a vegan guacamole also keeps things on the more nourishing side, omitting dairy fats and really letting the healthy avocado fats shine. Even if you don't follow a plant-based diet, I encourage you to give this vegan guacamole a try; you may never go back to the sour cream version!

Make-Ahead Tips

This healthy avocado recipe is great for serving at a game day party during the winter or a BBQ during the summer. You can caramelize the onions a day in advance; just store them in the fridge in a sealed container. Don’t assemble the guacamole until you’re ready to serve, since the avocado will brown. You can easily double or triple this recipe as needed if you’re hosting a crowd.

Vegan guacamole with tortilla chips

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Cooking oil
  • Red onion
  • Avocados. Make sure they're perfectly ripe! They'll be the stars of this vegan guacamole.
  • Lime
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • Roasted salted pepitas
  • Accompaniments of choice. Serve this healthy guacamole with whatever dipping implements you love most! Tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, and fresh veggies will all work great.

Vegan guacamole with onions, cilantro, and lime

Closing Thoughts

There are so many ways to enjoy this healthy avocado recipe! Of course it's wonderful as a dip alongside chips, pita chips, or your favorite raw veggies. But you can also add it to tacos (it would be great on these Green Goddess Tacos) or scoop it into a burrito bowl. We love guacamole on a salad or basically any bowl meal. There's no food that isn't improved with a big dollop of guac!

This is one we make again and again, all year round. Changing up the onions is just one simple twist, but it makes such a huge difference in the flavor profile of the guac. We've really fallen in love with the rich, sweet, toasty flavor the caramelized onions add, and I think you will too. Happy snacking!

Healthy avocado recipe for a party

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Coconut Paloma

Vegan Bean Dip

Margarita Cauliflower

Orange Jalapeno Brussel Sprouts

No-Cook Rainbow Black Bean Salad

Caramelized Onion Guacamole

Guacamole gets a flavor makeover with the addition of sweet, succulent, caramelized onions. Use this healthy guacamole as a chip dip, stuff it into tacos, or dollop it onto salads; you'll love the cozy vibe of this guac!



  • Splash of cooking oil of choice
  • Medium-sized red onion
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • Juice of a half or whole lime
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • Generous flavorful, flaky sea salt
  • Handful of roasted salted pepitas
  • Accompaniments of choice


  1. In a large skillet, heat a splash of your preferred cooking oil to medium heat.
  2. Dice the onion and sauté it until deeply caramelized, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat as needed.
  3. Turn off the heat and cool the onions to room temperature.
  4. When ready to serve, combine the caramelized onions, avocados, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and sea salt. Mash gently with a fork, making sure to leave some large pieces of avocado. Taste and adjust as you see fit.
  5. Transfer the guacamole to a serving dish and garnish with roasted salted pepitas. Serve with your dipping implements of choice.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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