One of the worst things to have ever happened to me was when I was preparing a Mexican-themed dinner and I went through all of the stops – I mean enchiladas, pico de gallo, bean dip, street tacos, all of it – but found that something was missing. Then it finally hit me. I completely forgot about the guacamole!
At that point, with only a few minutes to spare, I pretty much thought that I might as well cancel the dinner party and go cry myself to sleep. Luckily enough, my roommate had some frozen guacamole stored in the freezer. What a lifesaver!
Whilst I didn’t have time to follow the best practices of defrosting guacamole in the fridge, I was able to defrost it quick enough in cold water just in time for the party. Crisis averted.
Now, all of this may seem a bit dramatic, but for me, guacamole (or guac as I adoringly call it) is more than just a dip, it’s something that can bring a meal together. Every taco, burrito, or chimichanga is transformed with the addition of guacamole.
So the good news is that yes, you can freeze guacamole for later use. Read on for the lowdown on how to achieve the best results.
Can You Freeze Guacamole?
Even if you don’t have traumatic flashbacks of when you forgot to make guacamole (and hopefully you don’t) you may still want to store some for when you’re in a pinch, or just to prevent it from going brown, which is also a tragedy in itself. You’ll be happy to hear that yes, you can definitely freeze guacamole!
The good news is that this is true for both homemade guac and store bought guacamole.
Freezing leftover guacamole is actually pretty easy to do. What’s even better is that it prevents it from turning brown as well as greatly extending its lifespan. After all, that’s one of the biggest drawbacks of avocados and guacamole – it’s difficult to store for any length of time.
Sometimes even after just a few hours, fresh avocado or guacamole will start to turn brown. How frustrating is that?
What Happens to Guacamole When You Freeze It?
When you freeze guacamole, you’re freezing the water molecules within. You’re also keeping it at a temperature below that which harmful bacteria can live and multiply, causing harm to the food.
Since guacamole is slightly watery in nature, freezing and thawing it doesn’t have such a drastic impact. In fact, guacamole freezes very well.
If you freeze it properly and you also defrost it the correct way, there will be little difference in the taste and texture of frozen guacamole versus fresh guacamole. While there may be a slight change, it’s well worth it to prevent it from going bad or turning brown.
After defrosting frozen guacamole it may separate slightly. However, that’s not much of a problem as you can stir it up and bring it back to its original form.
I’ve mentioned guacamole turning brown a few times. Whether it’s on avocado or on guacamole, browning is a very common occurrence.
But what actually causes fresh guacamole to turn brown anyway? Well, avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase. This enzyme, when exposed to oxygen in the air, turns avocado flesh brown.
By freezing guacamole the proper way, it helps to prevent it from turning brown. But, even if it does, you shouldn’t fret.
Brown guacamole doesn’t mean bad guacamole!
You can simply scrape off the brown parts and enjoy the rest. This is because generally, it’s only the top layer that’s been exposed to air that turns brown.
How Long Can You Freeze Guacamole?
It’s pretty sad that fresh guacamole can only be stored for maybe two or three days in the fridge, right?
However, by freezing it you can extend the storage life of guacamole up to four months.
Freezing guacamole is an awesome way to make sure that you always have some of this tasty topping on hand. Whether you’re making a traditional Mexican dish that calls for guacamole or just spicing up toast, burgers, or sandwiches, you don’t have to stress about not having any guacamole.
How to Freeze Guacamole
By now we know that guacamole turning brown is the most difficult thing to deal with. Whilst freezing guacamole can help to prevent it from turning brown, it still can happen if you’re not careful when preparing your guacamole to be stored in the freezer. If you follow these steps then you should be fine, however.
- First, make sure that the container or bag that you’re storing the guacamole in is airtight. Remember that it’s contact with oxygen that will cause the guacamole to turn brown. Even if your bag or container is airtight, you can be extra safe and proactive by adding some extra lemon juice or lime juice as it helps to prevent browning due to the high level of antioxidants found in lemons and limes.
- Next, scoop the guacamole into an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Then, flatten it out and spread the guacamole evenly throughout the bag, and try to squeeze out as much air as possible. Add a small amount of lemon or lime juice to the top.
- Again, squeeze as much air out as possible and seal.
- Label the bag or container and lay it flat in the freezer.
- Store it in the freezer for up to four months.
This is pretty much all you need to know about how to freeze guacamole. However, there are some additional tips to keep in mind before freezing guacamole.
Like many other foods, for optimal results, a vacuum sealer can provide the most protection by taking out more air than is possible just by pressing out the air.
I also like to freeze guacamole in multiple portions, particularly if I’m freezing a large amount of it. So, if you are freezing a large amount of guacamole, instead of freezing it in one large ziploc bag, freeze it in multiple smaller freezer-safe bags. This way you don’t risk defrosting more than you plan on using. This is important because you should avoid refreezing guacamole that’s already been frozen and defrosted.
Freezing Unopened Guacamole
If you’ve decided to stock up on store bought guacamole, you may be wondering about the best way to freeze it. Should you freeze it in it’s original container? It depends.
If your guacamole came in a glass jar, I recommend that you transfer it to a freezer-safe airtight container or ziploc bag. This is because the moisture in the guac will expand when frozen, which can break the jar if it’s already full.
This isn’t to say you can’t freeze guacamole in a glass container. As long as you leave room for it to expand, you can get great results by using a mason jar.
Can You Refreeze Thawed Guacamole?
If you attempt to refreeze thawed guacamole, there is an increased likelihood of harmful bacteria growth as well as a higher chance that it will turn brown due to the exposure to oxygen in the air.
How to Defrost Guacamole
There are pretty much only three ways that you should ever defrost guacamole. In order from best to worst, they are: in the fridge, in cool water and in the microwave. While they are all pretty easy and straightforward let’s see how each method works.
In the Microwave
Defrosting guacamole in the microwave is certainly not recommended. But, if you’re in a hurry and you don’t have any other option, then it’s certainly possible. If you do it this way you should first make sure it’s in a microwave-safe container – and removed from the freezer bag if you used one. Then microwave it on low heat in short increments, no more than 30 seconds, until it’s just thawed. It should still be slightly icy. This is to make sure that you don’t microwave it for too long.
With Cool Water
The next best and also the next quickest method is using cool water. To do it, you simply fill up a bowl with cool water and then submerge the guacamole for 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure to change the water after 30 minutes. Also, keep in mind that the bowl should be large enough to fully submerge the bag of guacamole. And the guacamole should be kept in an airtight bag to prevent water from getting in. If water gets into the guacamole then it will be ruined.
In the Fridge
Lastly, the best and simplest way is by putting the guacamole in the fridge. To do it, you simply put the bag or container of guacamole in the fridge and let it thaw overnight. To prevent condensation dripping in your fridge, you can put the guacamole on a plate before putting it in the fridge. While this method takes a bit of planning ahead, you’ll get the best results.
And for all of these methods, before serving it, make sure to give it a good stir to bring it back to its original form and of course, enjoy your guacamole!