Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Roasted Jalapeno Pepper Sauce
- Roasted Red Jalapeno Pepper Hot Sauce
- Pineapple-Jalapeno Hot Sauce
- Jalapeno-Honey-Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Spicy Basil Cream Sauce
- Creamy Sriracha Mayo
- Sriracha Aioli
- Tomatillo Sauce
- Adobo Sauce
- Or try this Spicy Serrano Hot Sauce Recipe
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.
- 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
- 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!
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.