This Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate is just the recipe you need to kick your guacamole up a notch. You’ll never want plain guacamole again!
Don’t get me wrong – I love me a good traditional guacamole – but when it comes to stepping it up a notch, what better way to do so than with salty, crumbly cotija cheese and tangy pomegranate seeds? (Okay, besides than with kimchi and bacon).
This recipe takes me back to my Napa days, and the one semi-classy Mexican restaurant (now defunct) that we had in our little ol’ town of St. Helena. It was a regular spot for us to take a long work lunch or meet up for an early Happy Hour, and one of the signature dishes was none other than a guacamole sampler, complete with three or so different spins on traditional guacamole. My very favorite spin – that I still think about now, over six years later – was the pomegranate and cotija version. So naturally, I had to try making it myself!
Guacamole is one of those classic party dishes for which you always need to have a good recipe up your sleeve. I’m now in a position where I’ve made it so much that I do it completely off-the-cuff without any sort of reference. BUT, I’ve made an exception for you, and when I whipped up this Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate I made sure to write down every portion and ingredient so that you can now have your own go-to guacamole recipe on hand whenever inspiration (or a tailgate, backyard BBQ or 4th of July get-together) comes along.
It is, in most senses, a classic guacamole recipe, it simply gets dressed up with cotija cheese and pomegranate seeds at the very end. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though, because its flavor meter is through the roof.
Cotija cheese seems to be fairly widely available at grocery stores these days (I found mine at Sprouts), but if you’re having trouble tracking some down, queso fresco would also be a great substitute.
This dish is fantastic as is, but if you’re so inclined you could also add some toasted pepitas at the very end to add a little extra savory crunch. Though it could easily be loaded into tacos, nachos or burritos, I find that Festive Guacamole is best enjoyed simply piled on top of fresh tortilla chips.
I hope you’ll give it a try, and let me know how it turns out in the comments!
Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Medium mixing bowl
- 1/2 cup measure
- 1/3 cup measure
- Fork to mix
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
- 3 medium avocados
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces crumbled cotija cheese
- 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
- Combine onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, avocados and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl, using the fork to mash up the avocado as you stir.
- Stir in the salt, add more to taste if necessary.
- Scoop guacamole into whatever dish you will be serving it in and top with cotija cheese and pomegranate arils. Serve with tortilla chips.
- DISH DENSITY: Low
- Feel free to substitute queso fresco or even crumbled feta cheese if you can't get a hold of cotija.