Guasacaca (Avocado Salsa) Recipe

Venezuelan cuisine's answer to guacamole has a brighter, tangier flavor.

A close-up photo of a ceramic bowl holding guasacaca, surrounded by tequeños.

Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Why It Works

  • Using green bell pepper as well as jalapeño gives the salsa a tempered, vegetal heat.
  • Drizzling olive oil as needed into the sauce while the food processor is running keeps the salsa emulsified and allows you to choose its final consistency.

I'll wager guacamole will abound at Super Bowl gorge fests across the country. This is rightfully so, with its crowd-pleasing creamy texture, fresh flavor, and a heartiness to sustain a person through a long stint of sitting on the couch. There's more than one way to do guacamole, though, and Venezuelans tout their own version in guasacaca.

Guasacaca comes in many forms, spanning from slight variations on traditional chunky guacamole to a smooth, thin herbal sauce. The type I'm most familiar with is somewhere in between, being a cilantro and avocado sauce that's thick enough to scoop with a chip, yet thin enough to be squeezed out of a bottle. No matter the form, guasacaca is usually tangier than guacamole thanks to a heavy hit of vinegar.

I got what I was looking for in guasacaca by puréeing avocados, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, parsley, vinegar, jalapeño, garlic, and lime juice in a food processor until smooth. Then I slowly drizzled olive oil in the feed tube while the motor was running until I hit the perfect consistency.

The result was an incredible sauce that had a rich creaminess with a smooth avocado flavor that was punched up by the tang of vinegar and lime. Cilantro and parsley gave it its herbal character, while green pepper added a cooling contrast to spicy jalapeño. The sauce was totally multi-purpose, too, working great as a condiment for arepas or grilled meats, as well as a dip for chips or tequeños (Venezuelan fried cheese sticks). However you may use it in the end, I can assure you this guasacaca would be a welcomed addition to any game-day or party line-up.

February 2013

Recipe Facts

Prep: 10 mins
Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 4 to 6
Makes: 2 cups

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Ingredients

  • 2 ripe Haas avocados, seeded and roughly diced

  • 1 small onion, quartered

  • 1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped

  • 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped (optional)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1/4 cup packed roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Place avocados, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño (if using), garlic, cilantro, parsley, vinegar, and lime juice in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

    A two-image collage. The left image shows the chopped vegetables inside of a food processor, and the right image shows all of the ingredients processed together into a thick puree.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  2. With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil through feed tube. Process until sauce is completely smooth.

    Olive oil being poured into the running food processor containing the pureed vegetables.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  3. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl and serve immediately.

    The finished guasacaca, in a small white ceramic bowl on a stone counter.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Special Equipment

Food processor

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
281 Calories
27g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 281
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 115mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 29mg 147%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 563mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)