Chipotle Sauce

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.

Pouring chipotle sauce from food processor into a glass jar.

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.

Chipotle sauce ingredients in a food processor, and then blended.

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.

A spoonful of chipotle sauce from a glass jar full of the sauce.

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.

Different Variations

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.
A glass jar of chipotle sauce with a spoon dipping into it.

Storage Tips

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!

A glass jar of chipotle sauce with a spoon dipping into it.

Best Chipotle Sauce for Tacos, Fajitas & More!

4.98 from 42 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Chipotle sauce is extremely versatile and an easy way to add smokiness and heat to any dish. It can be drizzled over tacos, turned into a creamy dip, and tons more. Watch the video below!

Recipe Video



  • In a food processor, add the mayo, sour cream, chipotle peppers, 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.

Lisa’s Tips

  • 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.


Calories: 86kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 92mg, Potassium: 32mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 293IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chipotle Crema, Chipotle Sauce, Chipotle Sauce Recipe
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123 comments on “Chipotle Sauce”

  1. So easy and so delicious.  I make this all the time. Thanks for recipe, Lisa!5 stars

  2. Trying to eat more veges. Got more dip recipes? Hubbie eats a lot of dip from Costco.
    Thank you very much!

  3. I could eat this by the spoonful! I made it to go with fish tacos and it was wiped out in one sitting. Even my picky daughter liked it!5 stars

  4. Subbed Greek Yogurt for sour cream and it was great! 5 stars

  5. Best tasting homemade dressing. Supper spicy so I have to lesson the amount of Chipotle in Adobo. I think it pairs amazingly with Lisa’s Tuna meatballs!

  6. Do you have a recommendation for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that has a clean ingredient statement?  

  7. I’ve done several sauces for various taco/quesadilla recipes. This one is my favorite!5 stars

  8. Delicious dip! We had it with tacos!5 stars

  9. Hi Lisa,
    Unfortunately, you can’t buy chipotle peppers in adobo sauce where I live. Is it possible to replace them with chipotle chilli powder or do you have another idea? I would so love to try your recipe for Creamy chipotle shrimp!5 stars

    • Hi Sabine – make sure to read my tips in the post above. :)

      • Hi Lisa,
        I read your tip right after I posted the comment, but I couldn’t delete it anymore. I am so sorry! But since I asked, I already cooked this recipe 3 times and all just LOVE it!!! Thank you so much again for your delicious recipes!!

  10. I doubled the chipolte peppers to give it more flavor. Very tasty.

    Will definitely make this again.5 stars

  11. So delicious!!! Thank you Lisa 😉5 stars

  12. The chipolte sauce is insane i loved it it is now my favorite sauce5 stars

  13. A added 1tsp smoked paprika and 1,5 tsp chili powder to spice it up a bit.4 stars

  14. I LOVE this on zucchini cakes (fake crab cakes). Thank you! 5 stars