Skip to Content

Can Guacamole Be Left Out Overnight?

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details..

Guacamole is an amazing food that can be found on dinner party appetizer trays and coffee tables across the world. It’s a combination of a plethora of ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. But the main star of the dish is avocados.

It makes up the majority of guacamole, and what you do with the avocados has an outsized impact on the dish. If you mash it a lot, then it has a rich, smooth consistency. You can also leave it chunky for more texture. Up to you!

Sadly, though, avocados aren’t meant to last. They have a short window where they’re absolutely perfect, yes, but you don’t have long.

Thankfully, most of the time, guacamole and anything else with avocados in it doesn’t last long because people gobble them up so fast.

But what if you make too much? Can guacamole be left out overnight? Ideally, guacamole shouldn’t be left out overnight. It will spoil quickly, and there is the risk of bacteria spreading in the dish. You can count on guacamole lasting for a few hours once it’s out of the refrigerator.

mexican guacamole

If you’re trying to get more time out of the guac for a party, there are some things you can do to squeeze more life out of it.

Here’s some helpful information on guacamole and what you need to know.

Can It Be Left at Room Temperature?

It can sit at room temperature, but guacamole shouldn’t be at room temperature for too long. If you have guests over, put it out, certainly, but once everyone’s gone, you need to do something with it before it spoils.

Do you have to refrigerate it? Yes, that’s the best way to keep it good for longer, but even in the fridge, it’s not going to last for long. You may get one or two more days out of it.

browning guacamole dip

How Do You Know If Guacamole Is Bad?

Part of eating guacamole is the fact that it’s so beautiful. The colors really pop. There’s the bright green that contrasts against the red of the tomatoes that seem to scream “party”. It’s the ultimate festive dish that everyone loves. But how long before guacamole goes bad?

Usually, again, guacamole can be out at room temperature for a few hours. After that, it will start to turn brown. A bit of brown is no big deal. It just shows that the avocados are oxidizing.

If you cut an avocado in half and leave it on the counter, the top layer will turn brown, but underneath will still be green.

Most people won’t want to eat brownish guacamole, but you can if you want to. It’s still edible. When the flavor turns, though, that’s when you know it’s gone bad.

molcajete guacamole

Ways to Keep Guacamole Fresh for Longer

There are things you can do to extend the life of your guacamole and keep it looking fresh and green. It’s not going to make it last for weeks, but it will help.

Even grocery store guacamole only has a short lifespan. You’re meant to eat it and enjoy it quickly. It’s not built to sit in the fridge or on a counter.

Here are some things that you can do to make guacamole last a bit longer.

  • Add Citrus – Lemon and lime will keep your avocados green and stop them from spoiling so fast. It’s meant to be in the dish anyway, but putting in a good amount of citrus will make it taste fantastic and stop it from turning brown so quickly.

    It’s the same as adding lemon juice to apples or other cut fruit. It delays the oxidizing process and helps the food keep its original colors. Squeeze some lemon or fresh lime juice into the avocados while you’re mashing them up for the guacamole. It will keep for longer.
guacamole top
  • Use an Air-Tight Container – Exposure to air is also something that makes your guacamole spoil faster. If you’re leaving it out overnight on the counter, or if you’re sticking it in the fridge after the party is over, use an airtight container to help it last for longer.

    If no air can get in, it won’t oxidize. That’s why you see guacamole that is sold in grocery stores kept in vacuum-sealed bags and other tight containers.
  • Scrape the Top Off – Usually, people see brown on the top of their guacamole and immediately think that it has gone bad. Actually, it’s probably still good. All you have to do is scrape the top layer off to reveal fresh guacamole underneath.

    If you’re game to eat it, you’re not going to have any problems even if you eat avocados that have gone a bit brown.
  • Stick It in the Fridge – Can you refrigerate it? Yes! Instead of leaving guacamole out at night, you should put it in the fridge. Lowering the temperature will stop bacteria from growing, slow the oxidation process, and help you eat the guacamole for more days than if you’d left it out on the counter.
guacamole ingredients

How to Make a Delicious Guacamole

Everyone you know is probably going to have a different guacamole recipe. Some people like it to be chunky, others like it smooth.

Some people hate cilantro and others love it. Depending on what you like, you can tweak the preparation to make something truly amazing.

Here are the basic building blocks of quality guacamole:

  • Avocados (of course)
  • Onions (usually diced red onions)
  • Cilantro (fresh is best)
  • Lime juice
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin

All you have to do is pull the avocado flesh out of the peels and start mashing. Drip some lime or lemon juice into the guac before you add the other ingredients into the dish. Sprinkle the onions, cilantro, and tomatoes in.

Then, add seasoning according to your taste preferences. Keep stirring or leave it alone depending on what texture you’re going for. You can serve it on toast, with burritos or tacos, or in a bowl with chips for dipping.