This quick chipotle lime sauce is ready in just under three minutes for thick tangy smoky creamy spicy goodness which you can drizzle or spread on and over everything!
The dynamic duo of chipotle (smoked red jalapeño peppers) and zingy lime juice is hard to beat and is super versatile.
⭐Why you’ll love it
- It’s fabulous with grilled dishes, Mexican-inspired dishes, roasted vegetables, salads, and sandwiches.
- This recipe yields a silky thick sauce with a texture similar to mayonnaise which, like this tasty Algerian sauce, is perfect for slathering on food or dipping wedges or fries into.
- Or, just replace boring old regular mayonnaise with chipotle lime sauce for an instant flavor upgrade.
- If you’d prefer to drizzle this sauce over your burrito bowl or salad, just add in a little water, and voila, the perfect texture for drizzling!
- It’s vegetarian and egg-free so perfect for entertaining folks with certain dietary requirements.
- It really does come together incredibly fast with no chopping or peeling needed.
I was inspired to come up with this dish because of my love of amazing spicy sauces (check out my super quick mojo picón and spicy crema sauces as well). If you like creamy but not spicy, try my herbed cottage cheese dip.
🛒Ingredients and substitutions
As I said above, this recipe is really easy and quick to make. Just in case I’ve set out and labeled the ingredients in the photo below so you can easily identify what you’ll need.
Then, scroll down beneath the photo to see if you can substitute any ingredients if you’re short an item.
Chipotle peppers: Use the soft whole peppers that are packed in adobo sauce. I prefer La Costeña or the San Marcos brand. There is no real substitute for these, in a pinch you could try using red jalapeño peppers and smoked paprika to taste.
Honey: Honey and chipotle and honey and lime are amazing combos separately so imagine them together. If you don’t have any honey you can substitute it with agave syrup or corn syrup or rice syrup. Don’t use maple syrup, the flavor is too overpowering here.
Salt: Necessary to balance the flavors, substitute with a low or no-sodium version if needed.
Oil: Use any plain flavorless oil here, like canola, corn, sunflower, etc. Don’t use olive oil, it will overpower the lime and honey.
Lime juice: Use fresh lime juice preferably but if you don’t have any to hand try substituting it with freshly squeezed lemon juice,
Cilantro: I love the taste of cilantro in this sauce but if you don’t like it or don’t have it you can just omit it as it’s not essential.
Sour cream: If you don’t have sour cream you can use creme fraiche or Greek yogurt instead. Greek yogurt is slightly tangier so I would reduce the lime juice by a teaspoon.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact quantities.
👩🍳How to make it
This is possibly the easiest “how to make it” section on my entire website.
Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. For the quantity you’ll be making, if you have a smaller processing bowl or smoothie jar, you’ll get the silkiest results.
You can also add all the ingredients to a clean deep narrow container and use a stick blender to emulsify the sauce.
Blend or process until smooth and thickened, which will take around one to two minutes. Serve!
Hint: I like my sauce perfectly smooth but if you would prefer some green flecks from the cilantro, blend the sauce without it until it’s smooth, and then add in the cilantro and pulse until it’s at your desired consistency.
What you’ll need (not very much):
- A set of measuring spoons.
- A blender or food processor, preferably one with a smaller 1-2 cup size bowl such as a smoothie jar. I love my Ninja!
- Alternatively, a good immersion blender and a container for blending.
- Don’t drain or wash the chipotle peppers after removing them from the adobo sauce, just add them as is, coated in the delicious sauce.
- This is a spicy sauce. For medium spicy add three peppers, for hot add four. If in doubt, add less. You can always blend another one in later on.
I use chipotle lime sauce in so many different ways but here are a few ideas:
- Slather it on bread when making sandwiches, instead of using mayonnaise or butter.
- Drizzle over tacos and burritos.
- Use instead of salsa inside tacos and burritos.
- Dip tortilla chips, fries, mozzarella sticks, or potato wedges into it.
- Thin with a little water and drizzle over roasted or grilled vegetables or use as dressing for a Tex-Mex style salad.
- Drizzle over a burrito bowl.
- Dip quesadillas in it (like these delicious quesadillas de papa) or add to this epic quesadilla platter.
- Mix with the ingredients inside enchiladas, like in these tasty chickpea enchiladas.
- Dip this delicious guacamole burrito in it.
This sauce will keep in a jar or tightly covered container in the fridge for up to five days. Note that the longer it chills the spicier it will be!
You can freeze this sauce in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to three months.
❓Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It’s spicy! Three peppers will give medium heat and four hot, but if in doubt you can always just add one and then add the rest to taste after blending the first time.
Yes, you could substitute it for the oil.
You can find them in most large supermarkets in the US in the Tex-Mex section. Outside of the US, you may have to visit a specialty shop or order them online.
Store them in the fridge for up to three days in a lidded container, or freeze them for up to three months.
Did you make this dish? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐and a comment below.
Quick Chipotle Lime Sauce
- Add all of the ingredients to a small blender bowl or food processor bowl.
- Blend or process until smooth. It should be nice and thick but if you prefer a more flowing consistency, you can simply add a little milk or water to thin it.
- Done! Enjoy!