game day guac. [guacamole w. cotija cheese]

October 17th, 2011 by | comments

With football season in full swing, I felt it appropriate to feature my version of a common game day snack–guacamole. Though everyone has his/her own take on the dip, I stand by this simple, yet flavorful recipe. What really amplifies this version is the addition of Cotija cheese crumbled on top. The saltiness of the cheese wonderfully compliments the other ingredients.

Per usual on Saturdays, I spent the day watching college football. Though we’ve had a rough year, I still support my Ohio State Buckeyes just as much as I would any other year. Our win against formerly ranked #16 team Illinois gave us some reason to celebrate in all of this mess.

Like Christina over at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, who actually went to the OSU game, I grew up in Columbus, OH. Both of my parents attended The Ohio State University, so, I’ve bled scarlet and grey ever since I could walk and talk. Believe it or not, my family has a Buckeye room at our house in South Carolina (the photo doesn’t even do it justice).

guacamole w. cotija cheese
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
  • 4 large Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • ½ red onion, finely diced, plus more to taste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
  • Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus more to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cacique Cotija Cheese, grated, for garnish, if desired
  1. Add scooped avocado to a large bowl. Using a fork, mash avocado. Fold in onions, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeño. Add lime juice, plus more to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish guacamole with grated Cotija cheese, if desired.


// share //
  • Guacamole is such an amazing, healthy appetizer. I want mayonnaise NOT! ;)

    • I didn’t include mayo in this version, but I know some people like to. It really does just add extra fat, ha!

  • I usually stir away from mayo, but i can see what you’re doing here and I like it!

    • I only use it if really necessary, but didn’t use it in the guac here. :)

  • egg me on

    Ooooo looks great! The cotija cheese is a nice touch. And I’m going to agree 100% with your decision not to include the mayonnaise. While I’m a fan of mayo, it just seems a little wrong in guac. It’s supposed to be chunky-smooth!

    • I completely agree with you! Especially coming from the guac fiend (me). :)

  • Well you know in my house we’d lalso ditch the mayo. I love the idea of topping with the cheese. Great recipe.

    • I honestly thought of that when typing this up, how you wouldn’t include the mayo either. I’m sure you’d love if it included Miracle Whip though, right? HA! I kid, I kid.

  • I’ve never topped guac with cheese. It sounds really good though and now I’m wondering why I’ve never done that. ;) We’ve got the orange crush thing going on around here, so Saturday wasn’t quite as happy of a day for us. That said, Mike will cheer on OSU most other times. He went to school at Miami Ohio and has a soft spot for the Buckeyes. And I have no doubt several of his good friends would really appreciate that buckeye room!

    • My family and I saw it served with the cheese at a Mexican restaurant years ago, and we’ve served our guac like that ever since. I’m glad Mike will still cheer on the Bucks! My mom wouldn’t let him have the OSU room here in CA, so he was pretty excited when he got the go-ahead in SC, haha.

  • This is just fabulous, and i have never been able to make a really good guacamole dip.. darling caroline,.. once again you read my mind and yes i can eat it on my diet, just not with the chips.. with a SPOON!! c

    • Thank you Cecilia! Yes, yes, avocados are good fat! I’m sure this would still be delicious without the chips. ;)

  • Hi Caroline, I just got back from a weekend in Ohio today and was thinking about doing a post on buckeyes….so I was surprised when I saw your link!! You’ve done them well! And guacamole is most always on the game day menu! I’ve used cojita cheese before, just never on guacamole so this should add a nice twist!

    • No way, did you really Linda? That’s too cool, I’m so jealous! I haven’t visited in years. I don’t have the best photos of the buckeyes, since that was an early post, but they were really delicious. You’ll have to give them a try. :)

  • I just love made to order guacamole. Love it. Of course I don’t include the tomatoes but this looks delicious Caroline

    • I just love guacamole in general…I can never get enough. Thanks Kay! xx

  • I love the idea of topping this with cheese and I think the mayo would be really interesting..

    • I rarely ever use mayo, but it’s an option if people prefer smoother guac. It’s not enough to actually taste the flavor of the mayo though. The cheese is one of my favorite parts. :)

  • Gorgeous Guacamole….and cheese too, how fabulous!

  • The addition of Cotija sounds magical on top of Guacamole. Aamazing idea!

    • Oh gosh, magical indeed, Geni. Thank you!

  • Caroline, I could eat a whole bowl of this without thinking twice! Perfect for game day too, although I’m always more in to the food than the actual game.

    • Me too, Ashley, and I probably have done that before! I love watching the games, but of course I’m always a fan of the food aspect as well. :)

  • I don’t watch football or know anything about it but I love the idea of cozy afternoons in front of the tv supporting your home team! And… guacamole is the ideal yummy to enjoy while doing so. I agree, the Cotija cheese sets this version apart. Very cool!

    • I guess it helps when you grow up in a family of die-hard football fans…I don’t think I had an option to be anything but that, ha! Thanks Kelly! x

  • Good idea topping off a great guacamole with cheese, although I’m not familiar with cotija cheese — I will be though. I gotta try this.

    • It’s a cow’s milk cheese…crumbly, salty, really delicious. It’s typically served with Mexican food; over guac, beans, burritos, etc. I think you’d like it!

  • Hubs has a special guac. recipe, too – but I like the idea of the cotija cheese. :)

    • You’ll have to feature his version some time…I’m sure it’s delicious!

  • I love guacamole! The addition of the cheese sounds delicious! We have a buckeye room in our house too…I love the photo of your family’s buckeye room! :)

    • Do you really? Ah, that makes me so happy! Glad you’re as devoted to OSU as my family. You’ll have to share photos of your room some time. :)

  • love the addition of the cheese in your recipe. what a great guacamole!

  • Cheesy Guacamole…love the combination.

    • Right!? It works very well. :)

  • This sounds like a perfect ‘any sport’ dip!

    • It really would be! Thanks Tandy. xx

  • Love guacamole – always nice to see variations on the traditional recipe!

    • I’ve always stuck to this recipe, but I’ve thought of switching it up one time. Let me know if you have other versions. :)

  • i spent my saturday at a college football tailgate- i skipped the boring part- the game! :) i had some guac there, but it doesnt look as good as this :)

    • You must have had a blast! The tailgates really are one of the best parts. I haven’t been to an OSU tailgate in a while. I need to change that. :)

  • It’s hard to beat a good guacamole recipe and as always Caroline, you have manged to make your recipe looks absolutely magnificent! Lovely!
    Have a super week.
    :-) Mandy

    • Thank you so much, Mandy! It’s definitely a winning recipe in my family. Hope you have a great week as well. x

  • Yum! Looks delicious! I love gauc and chips. I sometimes eat it as it’s own meal :)

  • I love homemade guac! Any that isn’t homemade is so yucky to me. Spoiled, ha!

    • Oh trust me, I’m just as spoiled. I can’t remember the last time I bought guac from the store, ha!

  • Looks like we are rivals! I am a Badger through and through! Go Big Ten!

    This guac looks amazing. Perfect for any game day, or anytime!

    • Oh noooooo! I guess we can get past our differences. Big game coming up!

  • I didn’t know you are from Columbus! I was just there, flew back home yesterday. I spent the weekend there visiting my friend Jess. It’s such a great foodie city! I ate Jeni’s every single day I was there HAHAHAAHA. I also loved North Market, what a great place!

    • No way, really? I know, I really miss it! I grew up there, but moved to California when I was 9 years old. So, I’ve been here most of my life. You’re right though, sooo much good food there. Craving some of it now. :)

  • I Love Love Guacamole! I can never get enough of it.

    This looks Fabbbulous, Caroline :)) I’d love to come to your house. x

  • did you get my comment???????

    • Got it! Thanks so much, and you’re welcome whenever. :)

  • I wish I could have you cook every meal I consume. Seriously.

    Also LOVE the Buckeye room – that’s unreal! Hah. So glad my parents aren’t that fanatical about USC – I don’t think I could forgive them if we had a USC room in our house.

    • We can arrange that. :) Isn’t it nuts? It’s my dad’s favorite place to hang out, naturally. Thankfully, the room isn’t here in CA…my mom wouldn’t let that happen, ha!

  • I love that you used mayonnaise in your guacamole, I usually do that as well

    • I actually didn’t in this recipe (just gave the option), but my mom sometimes does it. Not enough to where you can notice the flavor though.

  • Looks very tasty! I love the cheese garnish.

  • Chips and guacamole…gotta love them! :-D

    • Agreed! I can never get enough.

  • now doesn’t this sound perfect for game day or any day for that matter. I swear I could make a meal off chips and guac and salsa everynight! Awesome flavor combinations going on here

    • As could I! I always end up spoiling my meal at Mexican restaurants eating endless amounts of chips and guac. It’s just way too delicious.

  • The cheese is genius! Can you believe that I have made guac every Saturday night for as long as I can rememeber but never thought of adding cheese. I’m goona try it this weekend for sure !!

    • No way, really? Now that’s commitment. ;) You’ll have to let me know how you like it! It’s sometimes hard to find Cotija cheese, but should be in the major markets.

  • Yum, I always love a new guacamole recipe – it seems like everyone has their own unique version and yours sounds wonderful – love the cheese addition!

    • I agree, there’s so many variations on the recipe. I always love finding new ones!

  • I couldn’t help but see that someone (up there) adds mayo to their guac! YUCK. As a born n’ raised close the border, Southern Californian, Mexican food snob, I would just like to say… keep your guac simple. Your recipe looks perrrrfect as is :)

    • I completely agree, simple is always better! I just put it as an option, as I know some people like to add it for a creamier texture. I didn’t include it in the guac above though.

  • I love that you used cheese as a garnish..makes guacamole all the more yum! I never used mayo in guac ever!

    • I never do either, it’s just an option for some people. The cheese really makes it so much better!

  • Love cheese in guacamole! I actually made guacamole with feta cheese – it added a wonderful flavor and texture.

    • Cotija cheese is very, very similar to feta. Same texture and salty flavor. So, we’re on the same page. :)

  • I love your version of guacamole and those bowls are so cute!

  • Perfect for game day! Looks delicious!

  • Love the addition of jalapeños to this! I can’t believe my gauc has been sans jalapeños until now. This is a life changing moment i tell ya :)

    • No way, really?! Well you’ve got to use them now. They add just the right amount of kick to the guac. :)

  • I’ve never heard or tried Cotija Cheese and I’m curious to try this one. I love your guacamole!!

    • Thanks Nami! Cotija is pretty similar to a feta cheese…crumbly texture and salty flavor. Great with Mexican food.

  • Your guacamole looks fantastic! I make it more or less the same way, but with some more seasonings and have never added garlic (not a chance to get this cheese here though). I will try your garlic tip next time!

  • You certainly know how to make Game Day fun, don’t you?

  • I don’t know how I missed this post, but this would have been perfect for dinner today. I’m catching up on some emails and bookmarking this for Super Bowl weekend. I love learning new ways to prepare guacamole!