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I’m a trained cook and recipe developer. When it comes to guacamole, my general philosophy is “more is more.”
This ethos holds true whether I’m dining out in Pittsburgh or hosting friends in my own kitchen. But let’s be honest: I’m not making multiple varieties from scratch. Instead, I like to go the store-bought route for dips, which frees me up to arrange the crudité and get the house tidied up for guests. Of course, not all packaged guacs are created equal. To find the very best, I turned to DoorDash.
I ordered every single variety in my delivery radius, which added up to more than 20. I omitted “just-add” packets, guacamole salsas, and anything labeled “avocado mash.”
I then invited a few discerning friends over for a taste test: Tierney, who owns a luxury picnic company and knows her way around an appetizer spread; her husband, Tyler, who loves nothing more than a tableside guac preparation; and Ally, an on-the-go pediatric resident who’s no stranger to single-serve guac containers.
We tasted the guacamole on their own, with carrot and celery sticks, and finally with tortilla chips. Ultimately, we agreed on a clear top tier.
The Best Overall: Sabra Guacamole Classic
Even after sampling my weight in guacamole, I kept dipping my chip into this classic version. The crowd-pleasing dip is flavored with lime juice, salt, and cilantro and studded with fresh onion, garlic, tomato, and jalapeño (though it’s only mildly spicy). Unlike some of its competitors, its citrusy, slightly tangy flavor isn’t artificial or overpowering, and its chunky texture makes it taste the most like it was homemade. (Ally mentioned a lot of other guacamole we tried were so smooth they seemed “whipped,” which is why we were into the natural texture of this one.) I’ll be hitting “reorder” on this one for sure. Because it’s so flavorful, it’s perfect for dipping straight.
The Best Mild: Good & Gather Classic Guacamole
This attractive dip has a smooth, hummus-like texture and a complex, garlicky flavor. I appreciate its short ingredient list — there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives — and its lack of both tomato and cilantro means it appeals to pickier guests. Use it to add an instant boost of flavor to tacos, quesadillas, or a sheet pan of loaded nachos.
The Best Spicy: Good & Gather Homestyle Guacamole
Technically, this guacamole is labeled “medium heat.” But it has a significant kick — thanks to serrano peppers — that’s sure to satisfy spice heads. There are chunks of avocado, tomatoes, and onions in every bite, making it particularly well-suited for a scoop-shaped tortilla chip. And whereas some of its competitors relied on the saltiness of the chips, this one is so well-seasoned (with cilantro and garlic, in addition to the salt) that it can hold its own with raw veggies, too.
The Wildcard: Park Street Deli Pineapple Poblano Restaurant-Style Guacamole
If you’re looking to liven up your appetizer spread, this guacamole is just the ticket. The sweetness of the pineapple balances the earthy flavor of the roasted poblanos — when scooped onto chips, you get sweet, savory, and salty all at once. The addition of poblanos keeps it from being too sweet (this guacamole doesn’t skimp on the pineapple), but it’s by no means spicy, making it a great pick for the kids. I can see this being a staple for build-your-own taco nights and the solution to getting the kids to eat their carrot sticks. (One can dream!)
A final tip: It’s worth noting that all of the guacamole fell victim to browning after a few days in the fridge, so it’s best to use ’em up quickly. Serve them at a party, bring them to a potluck, or pile them into a seven-layer dip. And if you say they’re homemade, we won’t tell.
Photographer: Paul Quitoriano
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros Gomez