Updated Sep 13, 2023
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Chipotle sauce is an easy way to add smokiness, heat, and zesty flavor to any dish. It can be drizzled over tacos or turned into a creamy dip. Either way, this recipe is incredibly easy to make with the help of just a few pantry staples.
When it comes to elevating recipes, sauces and seasonings are key. And when it comes to Mexican-inspired recipes, it’s hard to beat chipotle sauce (or chipotle crema) for that creamy, spicy, addictive flavor. If you’ve never made it at home before, let me show you how easy it is!
What Are Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce?
The secret to this homemade sauce is chipotle peppers in adobo. But what is that exactly? Well, it’s a combination of things. Chipotle peppers are red jalapeños that have been smoked and dried. And the adobo is a velvety, tangy, and sweet sauce made from dried chili peppers.
Together, they make for a zesty, spicy, ridiculously flavorful pair, which is why they’re sold in jars that way.
You can use the chipotle peppers for an intense smoky heat. Or use a tablespoon of the sauce for a subtle, fiery sweetness. Needless to say, it makes for an extremely versatile pantry staple if you like adding a spice kick.
Making Chipotle Sauce From Scratch
To make this, you’ll need ingredients you might already have on hand. Then all you need to do is blend the ingredients in a food processor until it’s smooth and creamy. It couldn’t be any easier!
- Mayonnaise: This is the base foundation for any chipotle sauce. I’m using my homemade mayonnaise recipe (it’s so easy!).
- Sour Cream: Adds extra creaminess and a slight tanginess.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo: The key ingredient that gives this sauce its smoky and spicy flavor.
- Lime Juice: The acidity balances out the spiciness.
- Garlic and Salt: Helps tie all the flavors together.
Can You Use Chipotle Powder?
If you can’t find chipotle peppers, a dried and ground version works in a pinch! Just keep in mind that one dried chipotle pepper is equivalent to 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder. If you feel that’s not enough, you can always add a bit more and blend again.
Ways To Use Chipotle Sauce
Now that you have your sauce, let the fun begin. I like to use it in my creamy chipotle shrimp to give the sauce that delicious smokiness. But there’s countless ways to use it. Here’s a few ideas.
- Dip it with: baked zucchini fries, curly sweet potato fries , baked yuca fries , or a chicken and black bean wrap
- Drizzle it on top of: salmon tacos, shrimp tacos, carne asada tacos , salmon patties, or chicken fajitas
- Spoon it on top of: carne asada fries, taco salad, or carnitas burrito bowl
If you need to meet a dietary need or switch up the flavors, below are a few options.
- Make it dairy-free by substituting the sour cream with cashew sour cream.
- Make it vegan by using the cashew sour cream and a vegan mayonnaise.
- Spice it up by adding an extra half of a chipotle pepper into the food processor.
To store chipotle sauce: Scoop it into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To store leftover chipotle peppers: Since the peppers and sauce have a strong flavor, you’ll most likely only be using a quarter of the can. So I recommend freezing them in a freezer-safe bag or glass container. They’ll keep for about 3 months and can thaw easily whenever you’re ready to use.
More Creamy Sauces That Taste Just As Good
Here’s a few of my favorites that I love to use for tacos, rice bowls, or just for dipping. Enjoy!
Best Chipotle Sauce for Tacos, Fajitas & More!
- In a food processor, add the mayo, sour cream, chipotle peppers (plus a little additional sauce), lime juice, garlic and a pinch of salt.
- Process until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
- Taste test to see if you need to add any more lime juice or salt.
- This recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups of chipotle sauce.
- To store: Scoop it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
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