Thanks to the internet, we are now exposed to a ton of different cuisines and their unique and delicious foods. This, in turn, directly influences the type of dishes, condiments, and drinks we find at restaurants today!
However, the downside to having more menu options is that you still don’t truly understand what exactly the items are. Avocado salsa and guacamole are one of these examples. Both use extremely similar ingredients and even look the same.
So, what exactly is the difference between guacamole and avocado salsa? The biggest difference is their consistency. Avocado salsa is blended and completely smooth — it also contains tomatillo! Guacamole is a thick, textured dip that could be made with only avocado but usually has other ingredients.
In this informative article, we will explore every element of avocado salsa and guacamole. From the ingredients used to make them, how they are made, used, and even how spicy they are — we’ll discuss it all, and when to use them!
What Is Guacamole?
We thought it would be better to start with the recipe most people are familiar with: guacamole!
This is arguably the first well-known Mexican condiment. While it usually has a thick consistency, due to fusion cuisine, Western cultures have added their own twists to it.
Today, there are hundreds of different guacamole recipes out there with different consistencies and textures.
This dish can be used as a dip, a condiment, spread for crackers, or even a thin textured sauce!
Now, even though there are hundreds of variations on this dish, there are still a couple of universal rules that make guacamole what it is.
Ingredients Used For Guacamole
Guacamole is mainly made using ripe green avocados and salt — these are the two must-have ingredients in every recipe.
Some other extremely popular additions include lime juice, yellow or red onions, jalapeno or poblano peppers, and cilantro. Some equally traditional but less common additions are tomatoes, sour cream, peas, and basil.
These additions can be added in different combinations and different ratios — that’s part of what makes guacamole so unique! It has hundreds of variations using only a single set of ingredients.
The exact spiciness level of guacamole varies from recipe to recipe. The original recipe doesn’t have to include any chilis. If you do want to add chili peppers, jalapenos are traditionally used, but poblanos are a less spicy option.
For example, jalapenos have a Scoville level of about 2500-8000. Seeing as the hottest chili pepper has a measurement of almost 4 million Scoville units, jalapenos aren’t nearly as hot. Plus the more you add, the spicier it will be!
So, the bottom line is that guacamole doesn’t have to include any spice. And if you do add, the exact amount is entirely up to you!
The flavor of guacamole is generally very fresh. If the avocado is rich in flavor, buttery, and creamy, then you are guaranteed to have a good dip!
The rest of the flavor depends on the ingredients you add and the ratio of them. If you add a ton of cilantro, the guacamole will be more herby. If you add a ton of sour cream, it will be more tangy. And if you add lots of jalapeno — boom.
But, overall, the best way to describe the flavor is fresh. All of the ingredients are completely uncooked, so it is as fresh as anything possibly could be!
Texture Of Guacamole
Guacamole is traditionally smooth, but not pureed. Pureed ingredients are passed through a sieve to remove any potential textured pieces. Guacamole, on the other hand, is mashed. This helps give it a thicker texture and consistency.
But again, because there are so many different recipes out there, some people like to make their guacamole a little more textured! They either don’t smash it a lot, choose chunkier ingredients, or add diced avocado into the mashed ones.
How Guacamole Is Made
Making this delicious green dip is very easy. Depending on how many ingredients you add, it can take as little as 2 minutes.
The main ingredient, avocado, has to be very ripe. This helps it mash into a very smooth and creamy consistency. If it is ripe, this only takes a minute or two. You can use a potato masher, a fork, a sieve, or anything else that you have on hand.
Once the avocado is mashed, the other ingredients are mixed in with it until you reach your desired texture. Guacamole isn’t cooked in any way, which helps create a fresher flavor!
Want to make your own? Try these three recipes from Villa Cocina on YouTube:
What Is Avocado Salsa?
The name “avocado salsa” is rather misleading and we aren’t sure where it originated from.
This is actually a type of Mexican avocado sauce!
Again, avocado is the primary ingredient for this sauce. While it does have a bunch of recipe variations, all of them should be generally thin with a pourable consistency.
Ingredients Used For Avocado Salsa
The main ingredient for this salsa/sauce is ripe avocados, with a special ingredient that sets this apart from guacamole — tomatillos! This green Mexican husk tomato is slightly acidic, so adds a tangy flavor to the sauce.
Other common additives to this thin salsa include onions, chili peppers, cilantro, and garlic, so it has a very similar flavor profile to that of guacamole.
Other less traditional additions include oil, sugar, cumin, salt, red pepper sauce, lemon juice, and yogurt. All of these are blended with avocado to make a smooth and pourable sauce.
As with guacamole, avocado salsa sauce doesn’t have to contain any spice. In fact, it usually contains less spice than guacamole does!
Plus, the type of chili pepper you usually use isn’t very spicy. So, you can alter the type of chili the recipe calls for and add more or less of it to taste.
Overall, the flavor of an avocado salsa sauce is incredibly fresh. The tomatillo adds a refreshing flavor, but simultaneously some tart acidity. Not many people balance it out with sugar because the creaminess of avocado can do that by itself.
Furthermore, because the mixture is very runny (contains a lot of moisture), additional ingredients like pepper and onion tend to become very prominent. So, while this sauce should mainly have an avocado flavor, it can change easily.
Texture Of Avocado Salsa
Despite the name, this condiment doesn’t have a textured consistency. Avocado salsa is blended along with any additional ingredients for a thin, smooth, pourable consistency.
While it can be thick, it shouldn’t have any textured pieces and should be completely smooth. The thickness can also be altered to make it more or less runny.
How Avocado Salsa Is Made
The only way to achieve this is by using a blender (or food processor) to break apart the fibers that hold the fruit together. It also helps release more moisture to give the avocado sauce a runnier consistency.
Check out this video from Salty Cocina Mexican Food on YouTube if you’d like to make your own:
What’s The Difference Between Avocado Salsa And Guacamole?
So, as you can see from our breakdown above, these two condiments are extremely similar, but also have some serious differences.
Both of them are made using very similar ingredients.
The biggest difference is that avocado salsa always includes tomatillo. Guacamole can also include tomatoes, but they don’t have the same flavor and it isn’t very common.
Then, the way these two dishes are made is also completely different.
The avocado for guacamole is mashed and the additional ingredients are simply folded in. For avocado salsa, all of the ingredients are blended together in a blender or food processor.
The production methods give them a different texture and consistency, too. And ultimately, affects how they can be used on their own or in other recipes.
Guacamole has a very thick consistency that cannot be poured. It is textured even if there aren’t additional diced and chopped ingredients folded in.
Avocado salsa, on the other hand, is much runnier. Even if it is thick, it is still easily pour-able onto foods. This sauce is also completely free of any textured pieces.
To sum up, guacamole is better used as a dip, spread, or garnish — avocado salsa is better used as a sauce, dressing, or additive to salads or pasta.
Both are incredibly fresh and neither use cooked ingredients. And, their recipes are as versatile as you can imagine! So, if you struggle to choose between them, just think about what you want to use them for.
Here’s a quick comparison chart of guacamole versus avocado salsa:
|Ripe avocado, salt
|Onions, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, sour cream, basil, tomatoes, peas
|Onions, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, cumin, salt, red pepper sauce
|Can range from none at all to incredibly spicy; the level can also be adjusted by using more or less spicy chili peppers
|Usually not spicy, but you can add chili peppers in varying amounts to make it spicy
|Very fresh because of all the fresh ingredients; avocado is the most prominent flavor, accompanied by the other ingredients
|Very refreshing sauce made from blended ingredients; the tomatillo gives it a generally more acidic flavor
|Texture Of Avocado
|Mashed avocado, but some recipes prefer more texture
|Overall Texture And Consistency
|Plain guacamole is generally very smooth, thick, and creamy — when additional ingredients are added, it gains texture
|Avocado salsa (or sauce) is smooth, creamy, and has a much thinner consistency — it should always be pourable and never textured
|Dips, spreads, textured sauces, condiment for salads
|Topping, condiment, dressing, sauce for food