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I Tried 6 Store-Bought Guacamoles & the Best Tasted Homemade

When you want creamy guac but your avocados aren't ripe, here's where to turn.
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A fluffy bowl of guacamole with a side of crunchy tortilla chips is a near-guaranteed crowd-pleasing appetizer, whether you're serving friends at home or ordering out at a restaurant.

It's not difficult to blend up a batch of homemade guac with fresh avocados, lime juice, cilantro, and salt, but sometimes you want a ready-to-go guac that doesn't rely on the ripeness of grocery store avocados. Or, maybe you want packable avocado dip to stash in a lunch box for work or school. After all, guacamole is a fresh, whole-food snack that's high in fiber and healthy fats.

There are plenty of options for store-bought guacamole at the grocery store, and they come in all types—from jalapeño-packed spicy dips to smooth purées you can squeeze from a pouch. It's hard to know which kind of guacamole will taste the best with your tortilla chips or spread over toast.

The ingredient lists on store-bought guacamoles can vary. Some are made with the bare minimum ingredients of avocado and lime juice, while others are preserved with ascorbic acid and stabilized with gums. These additives might help the dip retain its bright green color, but might they also affect flavor?

To help sort through any confusion about the best guacamole to buy at the store, I tested six of the most popular grocery store guacamole products to see how they held up in looks, ingredients, and taste. Here are the six best store-bought guacamoles, in descending order.

Cabo Fresh Organic Guacamole

cabo fresh
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 tablespoons): 50 cal, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 135 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 0 g protein

This tub of guacamole is made from USDA-certified organic ingredients. According to the company, 95 percent of its dip is nothing but organic Hass avocados. The remaining 5 percent of the guac is made up of onion, garlic powder, salt, sugar, citric acid, ascorbic acid, xanthan gum, and jalapeño peppers.

The look: This guac is pale green and slightly more yellow than other dips I tried. It has no visible mix-ins, so you can't eyeball the onion or jalapeños that are listed on the ingredient panel. The texture is nearly completely smooth, thick, and uniform.

The taste: I found this guac to taste less fresh and vibrant than some of the others I tried. It had the slightly aged flavor of an avocado that you allowed to ripen for a few days too long. There was also no trace of heat from the jalapeños.

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Yucatan Classic Guacamole

yucatan guacamole
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 tablespoons): 50 cal, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 136 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, <1 g sugar), <1 g protein

This organic guacamole from Yucatan has a nearly identical nutritional panel to the Cabo Fresh guac and very similar ingredients. The flavor and texture were also quite similar.

The look: This vibrant light green guac is mostly smooth and has a light, fluffy texture that adheres well to chips. The small amount of onion and jalapeño is not visible.

The taste: Yucatan's classic guacamole has a fresher flavor than Cabo Fresh, but it's mild. It lacks the spice and herby flavors I like in homemade guac.

Hungryroot Avocado Crema

hungryroot guacamole
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (57 grams): 110 cal, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 410 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), <1 g protein

This twist on a traditional guacamole is made with vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice. It has a simple ingredient list and a flavor that sets it apart from the guacamoles I tried. The added oil also makes this crema higher in calories, fat, and saturated fat when compared to the classic guacs.

The look: This crema is smooth, like it was made in a blender. It can be easily squeezed out of the pouch it comes in. There's a bit of separation in the mixture, as the olive oil is visible on the surface of the spread.

The taste: This crema is both richer and more acidic than any of the other guacs. It has an almost creamy flavor, likely due to the added olive oil and the way it's puréed. The white vinegar is also distinct, and my first taste was almost puckeringly sour, maybe because the vinegar rose to the top of the pouch. After giving it a good stir, however, the flavors became more balanced.

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365 by Whole Foods Market Traditional Guacamole

365 guacamole
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 tablespoons): 50 cal, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 120 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), <1 g protein

This guacamole from Whole Foods comes in an 8-ounce tub or in individual 2-ounce cups, which are convenient for packing on the go. It has a slightly longer ingredient list than the other guacs I sampled. As a result, the flavor is more interesting.

The look: The guac is fairly smooth, with no large chunks, but it does have visible specks of color, presumably from the jalapeños, dehydrated red bell peppers and onions, and cilantro flakes. It has a fresh green color and a creamy, almost frosting-like texture.

The taste: This has a more nuanced flavor than the first three on this list. The ingredients other than avocado shine through, including a subtle spice from jalapeño peppers (that's far from overwhelming) and herbiness from the cilantro. There's something almost warm in the flavor of this guacamole.

Wholly Guacamole Classic

wholly guacamole
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 tablespoons): 70 cal, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 140 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

This guacamole from Wholly Guacamole has the freshest avocado flavor. It's a richer dip than the others, with a bit more fat and calories per serving, but it's also more satisfying and reminds me more of freshly made guacamole from a restaurant.

The look: This guac is a pretty pastel green with large, visible chunks of diced whole avocado. You can tell this dip is made with perfectly ripe fruit, as the chunks have a nice firm texture that's not stringy or too mushy. They're easy to scoop up with a chip.

The taste: I love the fresh, pure avocado flavor of this guac. Despite coming from a sealed plastic container, it could easily be mistaken for homemade guac if you transferred it to a serving bowl. Though it's not particularly spicy or herby, it's perfectly seasoned, not too salty, and has a nice kick of acidity from vinegar. The garlic also comes through, but it's not overpowering.

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Good Foods Chunky Guacamole

good foods guac
Lizzy Briskin / Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (2 tablespoons): 40 cal, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 160 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein

I loved that this guacamole was fresh-tasting and that the creamy avocado was complemented by juicy tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, and lime juice. It comes in five sizes ranging from a 7-ounce tub to a bulk-sized three-pack of 10-ounce tubs.

The look: Though I found that the plastic lid was difficult to remove on the mini single-serving cup that I sampled for this test, the dip inside was creamy, chunky, and specked with color from all of its delicious inclusions. The tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños are all immediately visible, so you can see what you're eating, which is always a good sign.

The taste: As I expected based on the looks, this guac also had a more interesting flavor than the more avocado-forward options I tried. You can taste the subtle sweetness from the tomatoes and the bite from the red onion. There's a background note of heat from jalapeños, but I especially love the flavor of real lime that comes through, as opposed to the vinegar that most other store-bought guacamoles rely on for acid. This is a winning guac that I'd happily eat as a snack or serve to friends (they'll never know it's not homemade).

Lizzy Briskin
Lizzy is a trained chef, food writer, and recipe developer for print and digital outlets including Insider, Real Simple, and the Chicago Tribune. Read more about Lizzy