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13 July 2018

This creamy jalapeno sauce recipe uses no dairy or avocado, yet it is super creamy and wonderfully spicy. It’s an emulsification of jalapenos and oil and you’ll find it used widely in Tex-Mex cuisine. It is definitely one of my favorites, and incredibly easy to make.

There is a fantastic Tex-Mex restaurant in Florida that we like to visit when we are in the area that serves up some incredible food, and it is here where I first encountered this creamy jalapeno sauce.

They served it on the side. I took one taste and was instantly hooked. As a cook, I asked the waiter how they made it. She just smiled and said, “The cooks won’t say exactly, but everyone asks.”

“It’s so creamy. Does it have crema in it? Or avocado?” I asked.

“No. It’s just boiled jalapeno peppers.”

WHAT?

It took me some time to figure out how to make this stuff, but I FINALLY did, and as this is one of my very favorite sauce recipes ever, I’m sharing it with you. It’s really a Tex-Mex thing, and I’ve since learned that you’ll find this creamy jalapeno sauce all over.

I think you’ll love it.

The Secret of this Jalapeno Sauce Recipe

So, if this jalapeno sauce does not use dairy of any kind or even a creamy avocado, then how does it get so creamy? Oil. That is the secret.

The jalapeno peppers (and onion, in this case) are emulsified with a neutral oil in a food processor or blender until it becomes very creamy. A friend joked that it is sort of like “chilihead baby food” and he isn’t far off base, as you’ll see in the recipe.

So let’s talk about how we make it, shall we?

How to make Creamy Jalapeno Sauce – The Recipe Method

First, slice the stems from the jalapeno peppers and add the peppers to a medium sized pot along with the onion. I measured out 12 ounces of jalapeno pepper to 6 ounces red onion.

Cover them with water.

Boiling jalapenos and onions to make our creamy jalapeno sauce

Bring the mixture to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the jalapeno peppers soften up.

They will turn dull green and you can pierce them with a fork easily, but do not let them become mushy.

This is what they look like, robbed of their color.

Boiled jalapenos and onions to make our creamy jalapeno sauce

Strain out the liquid, but keep the liquid on hand.

Add the boiled jalapenos and onion to a food processor along with the garlic and salt.

Processing the boiled jalapenos and onions for our creamy jalapeno sauce

Process until smooth, then slowly drizzle in the oil while processing. The jalapeno sauce will become nice and creamy, about 4-5 minutes or so.

What’s happening is an emulsification, which is basically causing everything to become a single sauce that thickens up and becomes creamy.

Processed the boiled jalapenos and onions for our creamy jalapeno sauce

See how creamy it is?

If you’d like a thinner sauce, add in a few tablespoons of the reserved boiling water. Mine was perfect without adding any of the reserved water.

SO GOOD!

Serving Your Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

Use this jalapeno sauce as a table condiment. Spoon it over any type of taco or burrito, pretty much anything you’d serve up at a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant.

I never want pork tacos without this stuff. It’s really THAT GOOD.

Variations on this Jalapeno Sauce Recipe

As much as I LOVE this awesome jalapeno sauce, as a creative cook, I can never leave well enough alone. I just have to play around with recipes.

As such, consider this as a base recipe. You can easily add in other ingredients and experiment. Want a pop of freshness? Add some lime juice. Cilantro would be GREAT here.

Try making this with FRESH jalapeno peppers and onions, without boiling them.

If you’re looking for more of a hot sauce vibe, add in a bit of vinegar for some tang. And, despite its wonderful creaminess, try adding in some sour cream or crema, or even a nicely ripe avocado for another flavorful version.

Patty’s Perspective

It’s unreal how creamy this sauce is when you look at the ingredients. It’s silky smooth and gives me endless ideas of what food to pair with it. And now I’m obsessed with it. I can’t help grabbing a bag of chips and eating it like salsa.

I hope you enjoy it!

Try Some of My Other Popular Jalapeno Sauce Recipes

See my other Sauce Recipes and Hot Sauce Recipes.

This Creamy Jalapeno Sauce is read to serve

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.

Creamy Jalapeno Sauce - Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Jalapeno Sauce – The Recipe

This creamy jalapeno sauce recipe uses no dairy or avocado, yet it is super creamy and wonderfully spicy. It's an emulsification of jalapenos and oil and you'll find it used widely in Tex-Mex cuisine. It is definitely one of my favorites, and incredibly easy to make.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Salsa, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buffalo sauce, condiment, jalapeno
Servings: 32
Calories: 33kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh jalapeno peppers about 12 ounces by weight
  • 1 small red onion chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Neutral oil use corn oil, avocado oil, or a neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Slice the stems from the jalapeno peppers and add them to a medium sized pot along with the onion.
  • Cover with water and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the jalapeno peppers soften up. They will turn dull green and you can pierce them with a fork easily, but do not let them become mushy.
  • Strain but keep the liquid on hand.
  • Add the boiled jalapenos and onion to a food processor along with the garlic, oil and salt. Process until very smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • If you’d like a thinner sauce, add in a few tablespoons of the reserved boiling water.
  • Adjust for salt and serve!

Notes

Yields 2+ cups.
Heat Factor: Medium. Jalapeno peppers pack a decent level of heat, though they can vary. It won't be very hot for a seasoned chilihead, but it is still highly flavorful. You can up the heat factor with some spicy chili flakes, or try making a serrano pepper version.

Nutrition

Calories: 33kcal | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 15mg | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 2mg

22 comments

  1. Tried this with Bryan’s variation of searing the peppers instead of boiling them, turned out great. It really packed a punch.
    How long will this keep in the refrigerator?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, Mapusa! I appreciate the comments. This should last a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it, though it may separate. I usually make small batches.

  2. This is a good version..BUT! As a south Texan let me tell you how this is REALLY made here by tejanos. Take your jalapeños and instead of boiling them (wth!) you roughly chop them and put them in a medium hot pan just lightly coated with oil. Allow them to sear without any browning! Stirring frequently until slightly soft and withered. Take out and put to the side. In the still hot pan do the same technique with a quarter of a WHITE OR SWEET Texas onion and a few cloves of garlic. Again do not brown them. Once done blend together in processor with neutral or olive oil with a small amount of salt to taste. This is the way it’s really done here. You’ll find the flavor to be much better than boiling.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I love it, Bryan. I love it your way too! The New Mexicans I spoke with taught it to me this way, but your way sounds wonderful! You would get a nice flavor from cooking the peppers in the pan.

  3. 5 stars
    I am so excited to have found this site! So many great recipes I can’t wait to try. Just wanted to leave feedback for others. I made this recipe but added a couple tomatillos (was a bit intimidated with all those jalapenos) and I used EVOO because that’s what I had on hand. It was still good but definitely tasted strongly of olive oil. Next time will use a neutral oil or avocado as listed in recipe.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks for sharing, Jes! I do appreciate the feedback!

  4. great sasla, now try this version of creamy jap.. mayo,buttermilk, cilantro, jalapenos in vinegar or canned, hidden valley ranch and tomatillo sauce . blend until creamy. the key is a good tomatillo sauce and a good mayo. never salad dressing!

  5. Mary Shoebridge

    Will it be OK to preserve this by bottling I think in the US you call it canning

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Mary, I’ve never tried to can or bottle this for long term storage. Since there is no acidity, it would need to be pressure canned. I would use this sauce as a short term sauce, keeping it only a week or so.

  6. Chillihead, scottish varient

    5 stars
    I love the sound of this recipe, and intend to try it out soon. However, I have one question. Did you go back to that restaurant and ask the waiter to ask the chefs if you got it right? ie:
    “hey, could you ask the chefs if the creamy jalapeno sauce is made with emulsified boiled peppers and oil?”
    You wouldn’t be able to see the chefs reaction, but I’m sure it would be priceless.
    As another question, would this recipe work if you replaced the jalapeno with other chillies? For example banana peppers, or on the other end of the spectrum a superhot of some variety?
    Also would the emulsification work with a fermented chilli mash? or, could you emulsify the mash prior to fermentation?
    This feels like we have stumbled on something which could be used for a lot more than jalapenos…

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks. Yes, would have been funny to call out the cooks! Yes, this can definitely work with other peppers. It’s the emulsification process that forms the creaminess, so would work with just about any pepper, really. I’ve never tried it with a mash, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  7. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe as written!!! We added cilantro and lime juice per you suggestions. Even better! Thanks for the recipe. We had a BUMPER crop of jalapeños this year. Also made your Roasred Jalapeño Sauce recipe. It is great too!

  8. 5 stars
    Super easy; clean-up was the time consumer!
    Worked fine with 12 large frozen jalapenos from 2 years ago. Did not cook anything since peppers were already soft. Still a lot of heat in the peppers. Looking forward to places I can use this as a garnish or an additive. Yield was just over a pint.
    Need to check the freezer. May have a bag of ripe, i.e. red, jalapenos to try.

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Jason, vinegar is not needed for the emulsification, but you can use it if you’d like.






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