Traditional guacamole gets an upgrade with crumbly cotija cheese and juicy pomegranate arils. You’ll never want plain guacamole again!
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Once you’ve had upgraded guacamole, you’ll never want traditional guacamole again. It’s the perfect way to add a little extra flavor to your enchiladas, tacos and nachos and it’s so easy to throw together, no cooking involved. Even the kids will like it!
Why This Recipe Works
- Salty cotija cheese and tart, juicy pomegranate arils add the perfect contrast to creamy guacamole.
- There is no cooking involved. Everything comes together without turning on the stove or oven.
- It only takes 10 minutes to make, so you can easily throw it together in addition to whatever main dish you’re serving.
- It can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Ingredients You’ll Need
There are just two special ingredients you’ll need in addition to the traditional guacamole fixings. Let’s take a closer look.
Avocados – Make sure these are as close to perfectly ripe as possible.
Onion – Any type of onion will work here. You could even use a shallot in a pinch.
Jalapeño – Remove the ribs and seeds for less spice, leave them in or even add another whole jalapeño if you want more spice.
Lime juice – Fresh lime juice adds a tang and also keeps the guacamole from getting too brown.
Cilantro – If you’re a cilantro-hater you can leave it out, but I think cilantro is one of the most necessary ingredients of a good guac.
Cotija cheese – Any large supermarket with a good cheese department should have cotija. It most often comes packed as a hard block or wheel that you would then crumble up, much like goat cheese. If you can’t find cotija, you can always use crumbled goat cheese as a substitute.
Pomegranate arils – You can find these already separated from the whole pomegranate at most grocers, but you could also buy a whole pomegranate and remove the arils yourself. To do so, cut the pomegranate in half and submerge it in a large bowl of cold water. The arils should then come out and, if not, gently use your fingers to pull them out.
The great thing about this recipe is that there is absolutely no cooking involved. Here’s how to whip up this guacamole in 10 minutes or less.
Place all of the ingredients except for the cotija and pomegranate arils in a medium mixing bowl.
Using a fork, mash the avocado and stir together all of the ingredients. This is where you can choose how creamy or chunky you want your guacamole to be.
Transfer the guacamole to a serving dish and sprinkle cotija cheese and pomegranate arils over top. Serve with tortilla chips or use to top your favorite Mexican dish!
For best results, serve this guacamole immediately after making it. If you need it to last a while, I suggest making the guacamole base (without the cotija and pomegranate toppings), dribbling a small layer of water or lime juice over top, and covering it tightly with a lid. When it’s time to serve, pour off the liquid and top with the cotija and pomegranate.
To make a stellar guacamole, (1) always use minced garlic or garlic powder; (2) use plenty of citrus to keep it fresh; (3) don’t skimp on the salt, and (4) make it as close to serving time as possible.
While the combination of cotija cheese and pomegranate arils is one of my favorites, there are some other great combinations as well. Check out this recipe for Kimchi Bacon Guacamole, or experiment with toppings like pepitas, fresh fruit such as peaches or strawberries, corn, black beans, radishes, shrimp or jicama. There are so many options!
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More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
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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.
- To keep the guacamole from browning if not serving immediately, cover it with a thin layer of water or lime juice and then either plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.
- For best results, don’t top with cotija cheese and pomegranate arils until just before serving.
- Feel free to substitute queso fresco or even crumbled feta or goat’s cheese if you can’t get a hold of cotija.