Yes, You Can Freeze Guacamole

If taco night has left you with more leftovers than you could possibly eat in a week, you may be wondering what to do with all that uneaten guacamole. Throwing it away borders on blasphemy, but can you freeze it alongside your leftover ground beef? You can freeze halved avocados but the texture of a thawed avocado tends to be disappointing. Freezing guacamole, however, whether homemade or store-bought, can be done with much more satisfying results, as long as you take a few necessary precautions.

To ensure that your guacamole maintains its rich green color throughout the freezing and defrosting process, the first thing you'll have to do is add some lemon juice to it. Avocados are chock full of an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that, when exposed to oxygen, causes the flesh of the fruit to turn brown. However, with lemon juice added to the mix, the ascorbic acid from the lemons creates a barrier that protects the organic compounds in the avocado, allowing it to remain green. Use a tablespoon of lemon juice for every two avocados.

Next, you'll need to transfer the guacamole to a freezer-friendly airtight container. While mason jars can be a good option for storing frozen foods, freezing guacamole in a freezer-safe ziplock bag allows you to spread the guacamole into a thin layer, free of air pockets that could lend to oxidative stress. Ziplock bags also allow you to portion the guacamole so you don't have to defrost the whole batch at once.

Defrosting frozen guacamole

When you're ready to defrost your frozen guacamole, simply transfer the ziplock bag from the freezer to the fridge and allow it to sit overnight. By morning, your famous guacamole will be returned to its former glory. When you're pressed for time, placing the frozen bag of guac in a bowl of cold water — much the same way you would with frozen meat — can expedite the thawing process. However, it is important that you avoid leaving frozen guacamole to thaw at room temperature, as this could encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that could ruin taco night faster than you can say, "Extra guac, please!"

What's more, to ensure that your frozen guacamole maintains its integrity after thawing, it's essential that you freeze the right kind of guacamole. While everyone loves a good chunky guac, a dip that contains hunks of tomato, onion, and jalapeno is not optimal for freezing. Not only will the vegetables fail to maintain their texture, but their high water content will likely create an excess of moisture during the thawing process, which can cause the guacamole to separate. Instead, it's better to freeze a simplified version of the avocado mash, adding fresh vegetables after it's thawed. It's also worth noting that guacamole loses much of its fresh flavor after being frozen. As such, it works better as a topping on a taco or burrito than it does as a stand-alone dip.