Here’s the thing, we absolutely love a good (quick and easy) homemade sauce recipe around here. Who doesn’t love a drizzle or a dip or a spoonful of delicious goodness, no matter the time, place, or meal?
And when I tell you that spice lovers are going to have their worlds rocked with this creamy jalapeno sauce…I mean it. In fact, the first time I recipe-tested this, my mom (an avid jalapeno lover) could not get enough of it. Her exclamations of pure food happiness…and the fact that she said she could bathe in it… left no doubt in my mind we had a winner.
Whether you simply want to dip tortilla chips, add a little pizazz to elote dip, or drizzle it over tacos, vegetarian burrito bowls, quesadillas, and much more… this is your sauce. Easy to customize spice level depending on the jalapenos you choose, and savory,s satisfying blend of freshness, spice, and cool creaminess. Dare I even say it’s…better than Taco Bell? I dare.
What You’ll Need: The Ingredients
This sauce recipe comes together with just a few simple ingredients. Many of which you likely already have in your pantry, which is another win!
- Pickled Jalapeno Peppers: I tested this recipe with both fresh and pickled jalapenos, and the pickled brine paired with the tangy jalapenos was the winner thanks to the flavor pickling added. I’ve included notes below if you want to use fresh jalapenos instead.
- Pickled Jalapeno Juice: we’re also using some of the brine from the jar of pickled jalapenos in this recipe. Again, the added flavor takes it up a notch and helps to thin out the sauce.
- Sour Cream: the creamy base of the sauce. It’s thinner than Greek yogurt which helps for drizzling purposes. You can substitute with plain Greek yogurt, just keep in mind you may need to further thin out the texture.
- Garlic: the punchiness of raw garlic is basically a must in sauce recipes for me. If you’re not a fan, use garlic powder.
- Onion Powder: on a similar note, onion powder helps to round out the flavors.
- Cumin: oh how cumin works so well in Mexican-inspired sauce recipes. The earthiness pairs well with the tang of jalapenos and the brightness of cilantro…
- Cilantro: speaking of, I like to add a little cilantro to this dip for freshness. Not a fan? Leave it out. Huge fan? Check out our cilantro lime sauce, too. Oh, and use the stems and leaves for the most flavor!
- Lime Juice: a little lime juice for added acidity and brightness. Be sure to use a fresh lime for the best flavor.
How’s the Spice Level?
One of the reasons I love using pickled jalapenos in this dip is because you can usually find mild, medium, or hot pickled jalapenos. This makes it super easy to adjust the spice level of the dip!
Mild pickled jalapenos will give a lovely jalapeno flavor, without much spice at all. And if you really like it spicy, use hot jalapenos.
If you made it with what you had, and it’s too spicy, add more sour cream to even out the flavors. The dairy will tone down the heat.
How to Make Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
This is *such* a quick recipe, taking only 5 minutes (or less!) in a blender. If you don’t have a blender, use a food processor or even an immersion blender in a tall container or wide-mouth mason jar.
It’s truly as easy as adding the ingredients to the blender and blending until smooth. Then taste test, and adjust any ingredient as needed.
Because the pickle juice brine is salty, I recommend adding salt, if needed, to taste. You might not actually need any!
Storage & Make Ahead Tips
This sauce is one of those that gets better as it has time to sit for a little bit. Make it an hour or two before serving, and you’ll be set. Or, make it a day or two in advance.
Once it’s made, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Let’s Use It!
…on everything! This sauce is so versatile, and while it has a Mexican-inspired flair and pairs so well with all the spicy things, there are no limits to the ways it can be enjoyed! Try it out and let us know your favorite way to enjoy it!
- Drizzle it on jackfruit tacos, pan-fried fish tacos, as a topping for black bean burrito bowls, or over a big batch of vegetarian nachos. Of course, go ahead and dip quesadillas or burritos in a big bowl of it.
- Toss it with greens for a flavorful salad dressing! Blending it up makes it thin enough to toss with lettuce, but to make it even more dressing-like, add more lime juice.
- Pair it with oven-roasted cauliflower steaks, and use it as a spicy replacement for ranch with these buffalo cauliflower bites, or over elote dip (my family’s favorite).
- Serve it as a dipping sauce with tortilla chips or veggies, or on a Mexican-inspired board. Stir in more sour cream if you want it thicker. Speaking of dip, replace the sour cream layer in this 7-layer taco dip with it for a bonus of flavor!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe 5-Minute Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Add salt if desired; since the brine is salty, be sure to taste test first.
- Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week to enjoy on tacos, burrito bowls, salads, and more!