Caramelized Onion Guacamole

Caramelized Onion Guacamole isn’t your run-of-the-mill guacamole! Instead of using tomatoes, herbs and avocados, this recipe calls for sautéed onions, caramelized with a little balsamic vinegar for extra flavor. Once the onions cool to room temperature, mix them into mashed avocados with lime juice, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and salt-free creole seasoning. Serve with tortilla chips for the perfect appetizer for ANY get together.

dipping a chip in caramelized onion guacamole

My husband, Winston, and I have a tradition, of sorts, going in our household.

You see, we both love TexMex food, and we make a point to make tacos or enchiladas or fajitas or quesadillas weekly.

Winston came up with this guacamole recipe during one of our first TexMex nights, and we’ve been tinkering with it ever since. It isn’t a “traditional” guacamole, but trust me when I say it is super simple AND super delicious.

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    caramelized onion guacamole with chips around

    The piece de resistance of this guacamole is the caramelized onion.

    Yes. Caramelized onions.

    I’ve gotta admit, while this is Winston’s recipe, I was the one who decided caramelized onions were going to be a part of it. And they make me oh-so-happy. So if you come to our house while we’re making guac, you’ll find me working the stovetop portion of this recipe while Winston reps the other part.

    So what do you do? Chop a yellow or red onion, then sauté until it begins caramelizing. Add in a little pour of balsamic vinegar for some tang, let that cook off, then pull it from the heat and cool.

    Easy peasy.

    caramelized onion guacamole with chips around caramelized onion guacamole in a bowl with chips

    Once those onions are chilled, you’ll cut open the avocados, pop out the seeds and scoop out the meat into a large bowl.

    This is the point where you mash them up. We use a fork, but you could easily use other kitchen utensils for this. Once mashed, then throw in some lime juice. Because lime juice makes everything tasty.

    Add the chilled caramelized onions to your guac. You can use half of the onion or the whole thing, depending on what sounds good to you. We’ve done both, and it’s delicious both ways.

    Next up, you’ll season ’em with salt, pepper and creole seasoning. Season lightly at first, and taste as you go. Some tortilla chips are saltier than others, so you might not need as much salt as you initially think!

    Then mix it up, and voila! Guacamole!

    caramelized onion guacamole in a bowl with chips

    Caramelized Onion Essentials

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    Get the look!

    Guacamole in bowl served with tortilla chips

    You ready to make some guac now?

    Here’s how you can do it!

    A bowl of guacamole surrounded by chips
    Yield: 4 servings

    Caramelized Onion Guacamole

    Prep Time: 8 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 13 minutes

    Caramelized Onion Guacamole is your run-of-the-mill guacamole... with a twist! Instead of using tomatoes, herbs and avocados, this recipe calls for sautéed onions, caramelized with balsamic vinegar. Once the onions cool to room temperature, mix them into sliced avocados with lime juice, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and salt-free creole seasoning. Serve with tortilla chips to make the perfect appetizer for any get together.


    Caramelized Onions

    • ½ small yellow onion, diced
    • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


    • 2 large avocados, halved
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • Kosher Salt, to taste
    • Black Pepper, to taste


    Caramelize the Onions

    1. Chop the onion, dicing finely. (You want the onion to be chopped well enough so that you don't get giant pieces of it in your guacamole.)
    2. In a small skillet over high heat, sauté the onion with olive oil. 
    3. When the onion begins to caramelize, add the balsamic vinegar. Cook until the vinegar has soaked into the onions.
    4. Season the onions to taste, and remove from the heat. Chill.

    Make the Guacamole

    1. Cut open the avocados and remove the seeds. Using a spoon (or an avocado slicing tool), scoop the avocado meat out of the shell.
    2. In a large bowl, mash the avocados. 
    3. Once mashed, add the lime juice, and stir until incorporated.
    4. Add the onions and stir until just barely mixed.
    5. Taste the guacamole, then season with salt, pepper and salt-free creole seasoning to your tastebuds. (We've found that certain tortilla chips are saltier than others, so be sure to try it with the chips you'll be serving it with!)
    6. Serve with tortilla chips and fresh veggie slices and enjoy!

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    Do you have a tradition with friends or family that circles around food?

    If so, what is this? And if not, would you like something like that in your life?

    The photos and recipe for this guacamole were originally published on June 26, 2011. The photographs, along with the text of this blog post, were updated on April 24, 2017.

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. I LOVE guacamole! And I love onions! This looks and sounds so delicious, I will have to try it soon. Great post 🙂

    2. Have never heard of cooking the onions first with guac but I will have to try this. I have made onion dip by with cooked onions and it turned out yummy! I would want to add cilantro for sure because I think it brightens every (Tex)Mex dish (or Thai, etc). Thanks for sharing!

      1. Let me know what you think if you decide to give the recipe a try… and let me know how the cilantro tastes in it! I’m one of those unfortunate folks who cannot stand the taste of that spice, sadly. But that onion dip sounds absolutely fantastic! Do you have a link for it?

    3. I don’t remember if you like tomato or not, but if you do, dice some up and add it in there too. I LOVE guacamole (as you know). I usually make mine with onion and tomato and add seasoned salt, pepper, lemon pepper (or a squeeze of lemon or lime), a little bit of red pepper (or fresh jalapeno if I have it) and LOTS of garlic. But I’ve never thought to caramelize the onions before. You’re brilliant!

      1. I’m not a tomato girl, sadly, though I like all sorts of tomato products. We’ll sometimes add it in since Winston likes tomatoes.

        Whenever we make guacamole, I think about you since you love it so and were the person to kind of show me the ropes with this, me being a Tennessee girl and all. Haha.

        Pssh. I am not brilliant. I just really, really like caramelized onions…

    4. Guacamole is one of my all time favorites… You’ve made yours with a bit of a twist! Sounds tasty!

    5. I love avocados, especially guacamole…….. wonderful idea to add caramelized onions….. to try, for sure, asap.
      have a nice weekend.

    6. Erin, this is a lovely guacamole. Liking the combination of the raw and the cooked in this great dip.

    7. I LOVE guacamole and can’t believe I never thought to add caramelized onions to it!

    8. We make guac at least once a week, so I’m definitely trying this soon. I love caramelized onions, and this sounds wonderful!

      1. Please do! I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we do. Seriously. Those caramelized onions just add such a unique flavor to this guac!

    9. The sweet and smoky of caramelized onions sounds like the perfect addition to guacamole. This would go over big at my house!

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