appetizers, sides, snacks

cucumber guacamole.

cucumber guacamole.

I’ve been eating this nonstop for a few weeks now, and it occurred to me that many of you may like it as much as I do. ‘Tis the season to dive headlong into as many avocados as you can find, because they are buttery and scrumptious, and oh so good for you. Even their fat is good for you. Avocados are fabulous, but let’s be honest; the have quite a few calories, and sometimes you just don’t want to care about that.

cucumber guacamole.

Enter this particular version of guacamole. I should credit my refrigerator with the recipe, because I made it based on a bunch of leftovers I had hanging out in there. It’s a pretty standard guacamole, but it has one big, bright addition: cucumber. Which, as it turns out, is astoundingly good in guacamole. It’s juicy where avocado is creamy, and adds the slightest bit of crunch and pop to your dip. Not to mention how well it works in with standard guacamole ingredients like jalapeno, lime, and cilantro. The result is a very fresh, lower-calorie-per-serving guacamole, and the cucumber bulks up the whole thing so much that you spend way less making large party-sized batches of it.

cucumber guacamole.

It’s pretty versatile this way, as well. You can eat it with chips, sure, but you can also throw it on some white fish, let it hang out in some vegetarian tacos, do whatever with it. If you add enough cucumber to it, you can just eat it with a fork like an avocado/cucumber salad. I had it like that for lunch today, and it was perfect, because I never, not one time, felt like I was eating dip with a fork. Always a plus.

This is not a groundbreaking recipe, and I know it, but I leave for vacation in one week. I’ll be in a near-constant state of checklist-making until then, because I can never seem to go anywhere without being surrounded by lined Post-Its proclaiming all the things I need to do/pack/write/formulate before I leave. I have to meet another deadline for Feast before I leave town, which is proving to be more difficult than expected. I’ll say this: thank goodness I’ve cooked myself ahead a little bit in terms of posts, or you’d be getting a recipe for toast later this week. Just saying.

Cucumber Guacamole*

  • 2 large avocados (or 3-4 small ones; you know how avocados are with their size variance), ripe, cut into 1-inch cubes or thereabouts (save the pit!)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise into quarters and then sliced into 1/4 inch pieces (I like hothouse cucumbers best, but use your favorite here)
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

*This is another recipe where I’m giving you these measurements as a guideline for what I did rather than something you need to strictly adhere to. Make this however you want, and adjust the quantities and ingredients as needed. Use small-diced fresh jalapeno if you want, add more lime, substitute a lemon for the lime, sub out the sweet onion for scallions, whatever.Β 

note: I don’t use a metal bowl for guacamole. Call it superstition, and I should find out if there’s a legitimate scientific reason for this, but I feel like my avocados brown faster in metal. I like a Pyrex glass bowl or a plastic bowl for this.

While we’re on the subject of superstition, I firmly believe (because I have seen it in action) that the avocado pits keep things from browning like avocados tend to do. I know some of you will roll your eyes and say I’m nuts, but here’s what: the pit thing doesn’t work if your guacamole isn’t stored in a completely airtight container. If your guacamole turns brown quickly even with the pit nestled into it, it’s probably because you covered that bowl with plastic wrap, which is not at all the fault of nature. Cynics. Airtight container + avocado pit = science.

In a large bowl, add the avocados and mash them with a fork to desired consistency, keeping in mind that they’ll break down bit more as you add everything else. Squeeze the lime over the avocado and stir together. At this point, I season things a bit with salt and pepper just to get a baseline.

Add the cucumber, yellow onion, cilantro, and jalapeno, stirring with a folding motion to incorporate. No need to be gentle here; just focus on ingredient distribution. Season again with salt and pepper, and remember that this will need about an hour or so for the flavors to get together; don’t overcompensate.

Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered in an airtight container with one of the avocado pits nestled into it like a robin’s egg in a nest, for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve immediately.

Leftovers? I wouldn’t make this more than a few hours ahead for a party, but there’s nothing wrong with eating the rest of it by yourself the next day. It is at its best the day you make it, and even more at its best within a few hours of throwing together.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina June 24, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I never use a metal bowl for guacamole. My daddy said not to. See? Clearly, we’re meant to be.

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      OMG really?!?! and here i was thinking “oh here we go, this is another one of those things i’m going to tell people to do like it’s a fact and everyone will be all “eh?” about it.” i KNEW it! We are totally meant to be.

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats June 24, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Mmm, love the idea of adding cucumber to guac! I find guacamole too rich sometimes and the cucumber sounds like it would add just the right amout of cold and juicyness to the dish πŸ™‚ Trader Joe’s makes this really yummy lower calorie guacamole kinda thing that has tomatillos in it. It makes it tangy and delicious and I think you’d love it. It’s in the refrigerator section in like a tall skinny container. Anyway, i’ll def be giving this recipe a try!

    • Reply natalie @ wee eats June 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      I LOVE THAT STUFF!!! I haven’t seen it at our TJs lately πŸ™

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      the cucumber really does cut all that richness up, which is a welcome change sometimes, especially in the summer. I know some people like to use tomatoes, but for me, that’s a lot of acid and competing flavors…and they’re juicy. this is more “crisp bite” than “soft juicy thing”, which is nice. now tomatillos? i could go for those…i LOVE making tomatillo salsa during the summer; it’s one of the only salsas i make, so i know i’d love them in some guacamole. I’ll be on the lookout at TJ’s. i literally have a list going of foods to purchase at TJ’s if i ever get a spare minute, so i’m adding that to the list.

  • Reply Monica June 24, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I think a recipe for toast would be great coming from you. I’m just saying. : ) This is a completely new idea to me and I love just opening up my mind to new possibilities so that I can look in my fridge and not waste a thing by using them in different combinations. Great idea!

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      you people have quite a bit of confidence in me if you think i can make toast better than yon can. πŸ˜‰ I’m happy to put ideas in your head! certainly we all have had a leftover veggie or two running around in the fridge, so i’m happy to help with the cucumbers, at least. I think you’ll like it. I daresay you make make guacamole like that from now on.

  • Reply Brianne June 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Yay, almost vacation time! Everytime I eat an avocado, I feel like I’m on vacation. They’re so…West Coast, you know? (You can also tell that in their price. They’re $1.49 a piece here!) So they’re also kind of an indulgence, like a vacation. I heart guac like whoa, though. I like what you did here. And the pit thing? I’m totally going to try that.

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      yay! and today is like, the best day ever because after not feeling well yesterday, i bounced back and got SO MUCH DONE, so i’m feeling much better about going. Avocados do really feel very vacation-y….they are a staple on our summer vacations; i think it’s the first thing we run to at the store. I can beat that price: here (as of yesterday) they are…wait for it…$2.50 a piece. so not kidding about that. i mean, those ones are huge, but still. for so long they were $1 each and it was heaven, so i’m hoping prices go down soon.
      try the pit thing, for sure. just make sure you find an container that seals well, because that’s a huge component in that. i know somewhere else in the comments (that i haven’t gotten to yet) someone had a suggestion about soaking the pit, so read that too. i’ve not tried it, but information is always good to have.

  • Reply Abbe@This is How I Cook June 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    What a great twist! I always use a molcajete bowl and it stays nice and green. Also a spritz of water on top before sealing ,if there are leftovers seems to work for me.
    Have a great vacation. Don’t bring a laptop!


    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      fancy! I do not have a molcajete bowl, but i want one. i’ve never done the water spritz thing, but i’m trying that next time! i actually have an avocado and a cucumber to make more tomorrow to get me through to vacation.

      i gotta bring the laptop! and don’t feel sorry for me for that, either: i’m working on a magazine layout for a freelance project of mine, which means i have some things to do in my spare time down there. nothing major, but i have to sort of have it on hand. and yes, MAYBE i will blog some things. because you guys like the florida photos, and we’ve already talked about making some pretty awesome vacation food. πŸ™‚

      • Reply Emma June 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        flori-duh we like photos!

  • Reply Faygie June 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    We eat a TON of guac in our house, and I love the idea of adding cucumber to it! Oh, and pickled jalapenos! I’m definitely going to have to make some of this for myself soon (I doubt the kids’ll eat this with the japalenos, but there’s more for me that way!).

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      you know, i’ll say unless you add a ton of jalapenos, it’s not super hot; i think the cucumber helps cut that as well with all of its coolness. make them a spare (smaller) batch. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply cyn June 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    At home in Mexico we make it with whatever you have on hand. If you like the crunch of the cucumber, you should try it with jicama, the crunch never goes away, it low in calories and tends to leave less water behind. The only thing my grandma always said was to leave the pit in a glass of water, no matter what, and the avocado does not go brown for some reason, also If you have say a half left, just run it by some tap water and put it in the fridge, no plastic or anything.

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Jicama! that’s a great suggestion; i love jicama in salads, and i’ve never tried it in guacamole. I’m trying that as soon as i get a chance (i have to make sure my market has jicama right now). I like your pit in a glass of water tip: i’m going to try that next time, as well as the avocado-half leftover: i struggle with how to store that, and i sometimes do have a half leftover. thank you, Cyn!

      • Reply cyn June 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

        the trick works wonder, my husband hates avocado, so I just eat it slice by slice everyday.. so as long as it’s not threre forever, it should be fine.
        IΒ΄m glad you like the jicama idea, I use a lot as a snack or even for some crunch on top of salads, veggie tacos or coleslaw. PS: I love your blog and canΒ΄t wait for the toast!!

        • Reply shannon June 30, 2013 at 4:52 am

          my husband is the same regarding avocado (and so many other things!) so it’s good to have a way to keep my leftovers pretty and fresh. thanks again, cyn!
          i really do: i don’t use jicama as often as i should, because i just don’t always think about it, but it’s lovely; you’re right, such a nice crunch, and so much more subtle than a celery or something else more conventional, which i enjoy. that toast post will be coming up soon, i hope: i’m happy you’re here!

  • Reply natalie @ wee eats June 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    “this is not a groundbreaking recipe”…

    my ground = broken. i made some tasty guac yesterday, but i’ve got a spare avocado and half a cucumber in the fridge…

    btw, this recipe couldn’t be MORE perfect for arizona, in the summer, cool, refreshing, and avocadoy. everything i need right now.

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      i love it when i can break your ground. it’s like my favorite thing.

      make it: it’s actually proven to lower temperatures in arizona by at least 10 degrees. so, less scorchy. slightly less, at least.

  • Reply movita beaucoup June 25, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Awwwwwwwwwww, yeah! I loves me some guacamole! But cucumber? Who’d have thunk? Well, you would have, that’s who. And now, I’ll thunk it. I can’t wait to try this! (Sometimes, when I’m feeling all fun in the kitchen, I’ll throw a couple spoonfuls of whatever salsa we’ve got living in the fridge – yah, from a jar – and it makes the guacamole all happy like. Why? Because guacamole has no standards. It’ll be friends with anyone who wants to be friends with it.)

    Now, where’s that recipe for toast?

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      i’da thunk! i’ve done the salsa-add to guacamole also, and that’s delicious. you’re right: avocado may be haughty and high-class, but once you turn it to guacamole, it’s ready to party. no standards whatsoever.

      i see one more toast compliment and i’m completely giving you a recipe for toast at some point.

  • Reply Ashley June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Hooray for checklists, post-it notes, vacations, and guacamole!!! As ever, you cater to my every need because I NEED guacamole every week or so. Lots of lime and pepper. But the thought of coolness and crunch and did I spy a jalapeno slice? Yes, that’s the thing. I need this now.
    Good luck with the Feast deadline!

    And just saying, I’d be happy with a post on toast. πŸ˜‰

    • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      checklists are the best! i actually just crafted one right now sitting next to me – and it’s written on a lined post-it *yeah!* πŸ™‚ and yes, total yay for vacations and guacamole, too. It’s essential to my survival as well, and i have a little pity-party every time they make their exit from the markets around here. the produce dudes KNOW when they don’t have avocados, or they suck, they will see me sulking down the aisles. it’s pathetic, really.

      thanks! i actually think i nailed my deadline today. recipe #3 worked (relief!) and was delicious, i took some pretty splendid photos during a sunny day and there were no sneak thunderstorms to contend with in terms of lighting. all i have to do now is write it up! i’m feeling lighter…like i love getting things done, ashley. love it. i know you know.

      ok, that just did it: i told rachael/movita that i see one more toast comment and you’re getting toast, so at some point…toast post. it’ll happen.

  • Reply shannon June 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    oh, and when i DO toast post, people? it’s going to blow your mind. I’m going to make it ridiculous. you just wait.

  • Reply Wendy June 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I see nothing wrong with eating dip with a fork or spoon. πŸ™‚ If its delicious (like this guacamole) then you need something sturdier and more substantial than a chip. Plus chips are just added calories. πŸ™‚ Guacamole, hummus, spinach-artichoke dip….I prefer them all with a spoon. πŸ™‚ Adding a little crunch with cucumber is a great idea. When my kids were in middle/high school, we used to spend our summers at language school in central Mexico. Guacamole made from avocados picked in your garden is heaven. My cooking teacher in Mexico did 3 things to keep the guacamole green. The pits were always kept in the bowl and a touch of oil and lemon juice were added. His guacamole was delicious and definitely stayed green. I think making it in a stone molcajete also helped, metal does react with avocados.
    I couldn’t go on a trip without lists. It frees my mind (what little I have left) so that I stop worrying about forgetting to pack things. Enjoy your vacation!! (Do not spend the entire time thinking about mind blowing toast posts!)

    • Reply shannon June 30, 2013 at 5:01 am

      wendy, because there IS nothing wrong with that. πŸ˜‰ i eat fruit curds that way too; things that delicious shouldn’t have to be relegated to food vehicles if they don’t want to be. HA! i have though the same: why waste the empty calories?
      oh my goodness, what an awesome childhood your kids must have had! I’m noting your tips, and you’re the second person to mention a molcajete, so maybe i need to look into getting one of those.
      lists are the best: non-list makers find them confining, but i – like you – find them freeing, and it puts my mind to rest because i KNOW everything that i need is on the list. i like a concrete reference point, and i like the feeling of checking it off too; encourages me to get the entire thing done!
      swear i will have a good time on vacation; how could i not! as i write this (very early in the morning) i’m at 24 hours before i’ll be leaving the house tomorrow for the airport. there’s a list next to me, and it only has a few things that i need to get done before going, and only one of those is super critical.

  • Reply Emma June 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    toast post. i hope it is a prose toast post. a post-toast prose post. prost! a toast to toast!

    last night my mind was similarly blown by coleslaw with DILL and SCALLIONS in it. oh em gee. lawdy. so tasty and unexpected!

    • Reply shannon June 30, 2013 at 5:02 am

      man, i missed you while you were away. like so much it hurts.

      dill and scallion cole slaw? YES. i would completely love that, no question. mind = blown by proxy.

  • Reply Willow (Will Cook For Friends) June 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    You, my friend, are a genius! I make guacamole all the time, and have never, ever, thought to add cucumber to it. What?! I also typically end up eating all the guacamole in one sitting, and then feeling awful (it’s usually a rather large batch). I will definitely try this next time!

    • Reply shannon June 30, 2013 at 5:17 am

      i feel so good about this post now! I have to admit, i think of things like this and then immediately think “no one will like this like i do” or “i’m missing the 2.5 million blogs where this has been done already.” but this time, i guess not! yay!
      i’m the same with guacamole: it’s so good, and fresh, you sort of fool your way into eating a really large amount in one sitting. the cucumbers completely remove the “feel bad” factor here.

  • Reply Independence Day Recipe Roundup | wee eats June 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

    […] Cucumber Guacamole from A Periodic Table […]

  • Reply elizabeth June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I sold this to my skeptical husband just now by using your comment that a chunkier version of this would work as a salad, so now I’m going to have to make this sooner rather than later.

    • Reply shannon June 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      sometimes they just don’t know what’s good for them, yes? πŸ™‚ i’m happy you sold him on it; i think you’ll both really enjoy it.

    Leave a Reply