Guacamole and guacamole dip is a favorite snack in the vegan community. Guacamole recipes show up in lots of vegan cookbooks. It’s simple, tasty, healthy, and we all have our go-to favorite guac recipe! But is all guacamole vegan? What makes some guacamole vegan and some not?
Is All Guacamole Vegan?
Generally speaking, most guacamole is definitely vegan. Most guacamole is just a simple recipe made of healthy ingredients. Traditional guacamole is made by mashing ripe avocados, adding garlic powder, lemon juice, lime juice, sea salt, and additional toppings like red onion, fresh cilantro, or other fresh herbs. Simple, delicious, and oh so vegan.
When Is Guacamole Not Vegan?
Most traditional guacamole recipes fit very nicely into a vegan diet. Still, there are some recipes and variations that unfortunately do not. Vegan guacamole dip is generally short and sweet, nothing but avocado and a few fixings. But there are some ways guacamole can veer off the vegan path. We’ve outlined them below.
But some guacamole and guacamole dips can contain other additives or toppings. Sometimes, bacon, queso dip(cheese dip), and sour cream can show up in guacamole. Sour cream is a very common topper to guacamole, so it’s really the main one to watch out for.
Some store-bought brands also have eggs or milk to create a creamier mix and texture. Labels should give you an idea if the blend is vegan guacamole or if it contains things that would knock it right out of the vegan category.
Some guacamole also contains Xanthan gum, a substance that keeps the ingredients together, and a food-thickening sense. This process often uses whey protein. Whey protein comes from the cheese-making process, so it is not vegan. While it is not necessarily taboo for a vegan diet, there is some debate over it in the vegan community.
The Yucatan Mild Guacamole variation is most often found in the Yucatan Mild Guacamole, whose ingredients list includes Xanthan gum.
Another additive in some guacamole mixes is sugar and other sweeteners. Some sugars are not vegan because they are refined with bone char. As the name would imply, Bone char is made from ground bones. It is used in the refining process of sugar and keeps its white coloring. It shows up in some but not all sweetening brands.
Although bone char is decidedly not vegan, its use might not be openly disclosed on a label. Big companies might obtain their sweeteners from different sources. That means that some suppliers might use it while others don’t. So even though it is the same brand, the products could vary depending on which sweetener supplier they used.
The best way to check for it is to be familiar with brands that usually use it and those that do not.
While it can be tough reading labels, there is always one tried and true method to be sure that your guacamole is 100 percent vegan 100 percent of the time…make it yourself! Check out the recipe above to craft your own homemade vegan guac.
But if you are low on time or cooking prowess and would rather go store-brand, here are some go-to brands that are definitely vegan.
P.S. Their recipes are so simple; you can also make them yourself if you are inspired!
Vegan Guacamole Recipes
We all know that guacamole is a crowd-pleaser. Whether the garnish on a Mexican-inspired meal or even dolloped on as a pizza topping, a classic guacamole recipe is hard to beat. Not to mention the health benefits! Filled with the good kind of fats and the nutrition serving information of our dreams. Much of it is also gluten-free, which is another added bonus!
So here are a few tried and true vegan guacamole brands that can rival even Chipotle’s guacamole (which is also vegan, by the way!)
One of the only downsides of guacamole is it doesn’t keep as well. But the good news is that you can freeze guacamole by wrapping it in plastic wrap and sticking it in your freezer. Or covering it with plastic wrap or a layer of lemon juice or lime juice can help keep a barrier between it and the air, keeping it fresh longer.
Vegan Guacamole Recipe:
To make this recipe, you will need these fresh ingredients:
3 ripe, perfect avocados (ripe = dark color, soft)
2 garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 small limes or 1 large lime)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper(based on taste instructions)
optional: 1 small red or white onion, chopped
Take the ripe avocados and cut each avocado lengthwise in half; twist to separate the halves. Remove the avocado pit with a spoon, scoop the avocado pulp from the flesh, and add it into a medium mixing bowl.
Coarsely mash the avocado with a fork until you get your desired consistency. (You can also use a potato masher, but be careful not to over-mash, a little chunk in the trunk makes for some of the best guacamole!)
Gently stir in the minced garlic and the remaining ingredients into the mashed avocado mixture until it hits your desired texture. Adjust seasonings to taste.
P.S. You can also blend the fresh garlic in a food processor for a few quick pulses instead of using a garlic press.
Spoon guacamole into a serving bowl and top with your favorite toppings! A sprinkle of sea salt, a hint of black pepper, a squirt of lemon juice, some fresh lime juice perhaps, whatever tickles your fancy!
Even dress it up with a garnish of jalapeno peppers and chopped tomatoes or chopped cilantro to make it a Mexican-inspired dish. Serve with corn tortilla chips (our favorite kind is Food Should Taste Good brand – Multigrain flavor).
And that’s it! Our favorite homemade guacamole recipe. Way better than even store-bought guacamole, in our humble opinion. Bring it out at your next party with your favorite tortilla chips for a guaranteed guacamole hit! This guacamole recipe is a real crowd-pleaser among vegan dips and in appetizer cuisine.
Oh, and don’t forget healthy!
When making vegan guacamole, you want to last consider picking up or making your own version of the Freshness Guaranteed Guacamole.
Freshness Guaranteed Guacamole:
- Hass Avacado
- Dehydrated Red Onion or Dehydrated White Onion
- Sea Salt
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Dehydrated Garlic
- Garlic or Onion Garlic
- Dehydrated Cilantro
- Dehydrated Jalapeno Pepper
- Cilantro Essential Oil
The dehydrated ingredients combined with the cilantro essential oil can keep the guacamole fresher longer without any additives or processed preservatives.
Freshness Guaranteed is one of the best guacamole brands on the market and is simple enough to make at home! And, of course, it is vegan and gluten-free! Win. Win.
Serve with tortilla chips and lime juice, and whether homemade or store-bought, your guacamole will be the hit of the party!
Another great one that is also a super easy recipe to emulate at home is…
- Hass Avocados
- Jalapeno Peppers
- And Salt
A lot of store-bought guacamole is extra creamy, but not this one!
Good Foods Tableside Chunky Guacamole keeps it clean and keeps it chunky.
- Hass Avocado
- Red Onions
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Lime Juice
- Sea Salt
Another vegan guacamole is the Sabra brand. It’s a little different because this variety adds s a little limey zest to it!
Sabra Guacamole with Lime
- Hass Avocado
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Lime Juice
- Dehydrated Onion
- Ascorbic Acid
- Citric Acid
- Lime Oil
So many good vegan options!
So what is the overall verdict? Yes, guacamole is generally speaking vegan! It is a happy, healthy addition to most vegan menus. But with that being said, it’s always important to read the labels and do your research to make sure your favorite vegan treat stays that way!
Is Guacamole Healthy?
Overall, yes! It’s loaded with healthy fats and other nutrients provided by the avocados it is made of. Many people also add fresh herbs like cilantro to their recipes, giving it more taste and nutrition value! That being said, it’s always important to check the labels to see if sugar, milk, or other products have been added.
Is Guacamole Gluten-Free?
Generally speaking, yes! Of course, certain additives can toss it off the gluten scale once again. Still, pure, vegan guacamole also has the added bonus of being gluten-free!
Does Guacamole Contain Animal Products?
Usually, it does not. But sour cream is a very common topping in guacamole, a dairy product. There are also guac dips blended with queso dip, which is a type of cheese dip. But without these additional components, guacamole does not usually contain animal products.
Does Guacamole Have Sugar In It?
Traditional guacamole does not usually contain sugar, and most recipes do not include it. However, some store-bought brands add sweetness to their guacamole blends.
That can be an issue for some vegans since some sugar can be refined with the ingredient of bone char. Bone char is made from crushed bone and gives sugar its color. As it is made from animal bone, it is not vegan, so some vegans will not purchase store-brand guacamole.