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The Complete
Guide to
Spicy Guacamole

The Complete Guide to Spicy Guacamole Recipes
June 23, 2024

Guacamole has been setting hearts — and mouths — on fire for centuries. The Aztecs were the first to discover in the 14th century that creamy avocados and fiery peppers were the perfect pair. They mixed green chiles into their guacamole, and today, guacamole lovers around the world are experimenting with all kinds of peppers to give guacamole the heat they crave.


You don’t have to be a habanero-head to enjoy a spicy guacamole recipe. One of the greatest parts about guac (besides, of course, all those yummy good fats in avocado) is its versatility, so follow our guide to finding the best pepper suited for your spicy guacamole recipe.



Pick a Pepper, Please

Before we get into the spicy guacamole recipe, we have to ask: How much heat can you handle? Spice fanatics use a measurement method called the Scoville scale, which uses Scoville Heat Units (SHU) to determine how fiery their food will be. We’ve ranked four of our favorite hot peppers from mild to hottest, based on the SHU of each. Plus, we have a few spicy guacamole recipes that feature each type.



SHU: 2,500-8,000

This pepper is a classic choice for guacamole. Jalapeños range in heat but are generally classified as mild. This is a great beginner pepper to experiment with because most of the heat in jalapeños comes from the inner, soft white membrane that connects the seeds to the pepper. The more of the membrane and seeds you add to your guac, the more kick it will have. If you don’t have any jalapeños on hand, you can substitute jalapeño hot sauce, like the kind in this Spicy Bacon Guacamole.


Did you know that chipotle peppers are just dried and smoked jalapeños? Rich, smoky chipotle peppers have a unique spice that is super tasty addition, such as in this Chipotle Apple and Almond Guacamole recipe. Your grocery store will likely have ground chipotle powder, which is an easy way to add some spice to any guacamole recipe.



SHU: 10,000-23,000

These little guys pack approximately three to five times the heat of jalapeños. The word serrano is associated with the mountains, and many of these peppers grow in the elevated regions of Mexico, like Hidalgo and Puebla. Depending on the batch, they can taste anywhere from spicy-sweet to spicy-bright. Make your own variations of this Spicy Guacamole Recipe and see for yourself.



SHU: 30,000-50,000

You’ve likely encountered cayenne powder at your grocery store. It’s an intense red color and gives food a seriously hot edge. Cayenne is a common spice to add to guacamole. Try this Spicy Three Pepper and Cayenne Guacamole for a taste of some classic cayenne heat, or crank it up with a Fiery Creole Guacamole that will make you sweat.



SHU: 100,000-350,000

Guacamole is known to melt hearts, but guac with habanero peppers might melt more than that. These little orange peppers are like edible volcanoes — just one small habanero is enough to set your guac ablaze with delicious spice. Culinary daredevils will enjoy habanero recipes like The Heat Is On Guacamole, but be sure to warn your friends before they take a bite.


Cool Down 😮‍💨

Opposites attract, especially when it comes to guacamole ingredients. Spicy guacamoles pair well with sweet and juicy fruits, such as pineapple, papaya, or (a fan-favorite) mangoes. Check out how we used mango to put out the fires of this Spicy Mango Serrano Guacamole and this Habanero Mango Guac.


A more unique cool-down tactic? Try mixing in Greek yogurt, like in this Spicy Green Goddess Guacamole. Cream cheese and hummus will also add some smooth comfort to the mix and pair well with spice.


The Ultimate Spicy Guacamole Recipe

Here’s our tried-and-true recipe for spicy guacamole, customized with your hot pepper of choice.


Serves: 6



  • 4 Avocados From Mexico
  • 1/4 c. diced white onion
  • 3 tbsp. cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp. lime juice
  • Your choice of hot pepper (seeds removed*):
    • 🔥2 jalapeños, diced; OR
    • 🔥🔥2 serrano peppers, diced; OR
    • 🔥🔥🔥1 tbsp. cayenne pepper; OR
    • 🔥🔥🔥🔥2 habanero peppers, diced


*Pro-Spice Tip: If you’re really into heat, leave the soft membrane and seeds in the peppers. The membrane contains capsaicin, the natural chemical that creates that burning sensation so many people crave. Adding them to guacamole will boost the flavor flame!



1. First things first: Make sure your avocado is ripe. A guac-ready avocado will have dark green skin and give a little when squeezed. (More on the art of picking an avocado here.) Scoop out the fruit and mash it to your desired consistency.

2. Add the onion, cilantro, lime juice, and diced peppers. Mix well, then serve with tortilla chips (and something cool to wash it down with).


Variety Is the Spice of Life

People have been innovating spicy guacamole for hundreds of years. Imagine what the spiciest guacamole will look like in another few hundred centuries. Would you dare take a bite?


Find more spicy (and cool) dips on our guacamole recipes page.


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