If you’re looking for a quick, creamy, slightly spicy and irresistible sauce for your tacos, nachos, quesadillas or taco salad then look no further- this jalapeño crema is your answer!

small black bowl filled with a creamy, smooth jalapeño crema and topped with minced fresh jalapeño

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Sauce is boss. If you give me a dry AF taco, I’m sorry, I don’t want it. I call myself It’s a Flavorful Life and it IS a flavorful life because we add sauce. Spices. Condiments. Dressings. All the things. Sauces are a great way to take bland and boring to fresh and flavorful.

This creamy jalapeño sauce is versatile and can be used on nearly any Mexican-inspired dish. It is delicious as a dipping sauce with tortilla chips or raw veggies. The recipe features fresh produce (jalapeño peppers, avocado, cilantro, garlic) and a few pantry staples (olive oil, mayo, salt, pepper).

What you’ll need to make jalapeño crema:

picture of the ingredients needed for the recipe

Jalapeño pepper: the primary essence of this sauce, fresh jalapenos add subtle heat and great flavor. You can find jalapeno peppers in any normal grocery store.

Avocado: avocado makes this sauce luscious and creamy without having to add loads of mayo, sour cream or cream.

Cilantro: I personally love cilantro and think it adds the best flavor to any Mexican-inspired dish but if you’re a cilantro hater simply leave it out.

Garlic: use a whole clove of fresh garlic or for a shortcut you can use garlic powder or jarred garlic.

Mayo: good quality mayo adds a lovely creamy texture and elevates the flavors of jalapeño, avocado and cilantro.

Olive oil: the extra virgin olive oil makes this dressing smooth and rich. You could also use avocado oil.

Lime: fresh lime juice balanced out the richness of mayo and oil and spiciness from jalapeño. You can also use fresh lemon juice.

Salt and pepper: to elevate all the other flavors!

How to make creamy jalapeño sauce:

ingredients needed for the recipe in a blender cup

Place all ingredients in a small food processor or high-powered blender. I like to use the blending cup for my Vitamix. Blend for 30-60 seconds until completely smooth and creamy. You may need to add another splash of water if you want a more “drizzle-able” sauce. Taste and add another pinch of salt and pepper, if needed. Serve in a small bowl or store in a mason jar.

side by side pictures of jalapeño crema blended and unblended

Serve this creamy sauce on taco salads, rice bowls, tacos and beyond. I’m currently loving it tossed with leftover chicken, shredded cabbage and crunched up tortilla chips for a very scrappy lil taco salad.

Expert tips and variation ideas:

  • I find that a smaller-sized food processor or the blending cup of a blender work best for this recipe as the volume is not great enough for a full size blender to get it as smooth as I like it.
  • The best way to nail the consistency is to start conservatively with water and add a few splashes as you go until you get the perfect texture. I use a little more water if I’m drizzling and a little less water if I’m serving this as a creamy dip.
  • You can make this with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream instead of mayo although it does alter the ‘sumptuous’ quality a bit.
  • Adjust the spice level by altering the amount of jalapeño you use. For a milder sauce use half of a jalapeño pepper and for more kick, use more jalapeños!
  • To make a cheesier version add 1/4 cup cream cheese.
  • If you want an expert chef-y drizzle, use a squeeze bottle to garnish your dishes!
ground beef and sweet potato tex mex skillet topped with jalapeño crema

Delicious ways to serve jalapeño crema:

  • As a beautiful green sauce to serve with a crudité platter
  • As a sauce to dip chips
  • Drizzled on tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, enchiladas, nachos or quesadillas
  • On this yummy sweet potato ground beef skillet (pictured)
  • As a marinade or sauce for any protein- chicken breast, grilled shrimp, roast salmon or steaks
  • As a salad dressing for taco salad
  • As a dressing for pasta salad, chicken salad, potato salad or quinoa salad

It really is a perfect addition to countless meals!

tortilla chip dipped in creamy green sauce

FAQs

How long will the jalapeño crema last in the fridge?

This stays good for up to two weeks in the fridge. Store in a mason jar or airtight container.

Is this gluten-free?

As written, the recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. To make it vegan, be sure to use a vegan mayo alternative.

How do I adjust the spice level of this sauce?

Adjust the spice level by altering the amount of jalapeño you use. For a milder sauce use half of a jalapeño pepper and for more kick, use more jalapeños!

small bowl of jalapeño crema topped with minced jalapeño

If you love this creamy jalapeno sauce you’ll love these other jalapeño-centric recipes!

hand dipping a tortilla chip into jalapeño crema

Send me straight to chip dip heaven. 🤤

If you try and like this recipe please don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating down below! If you love more lifestyle, behind the scenes and ‘eating in real life’ type of content come find me over on Instagram, @itsaflavorfullife, I love connecting with you all there!

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tortilla chip dipped into a small bowl of jalapeño crema

Jalapeño Crema

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Erica
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup sauce 1x
  • Category: Dressings
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Creamy, versatile, spicy and full of fresh flavor, you’ll want to douse just about everything with this jalapeño crema!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper or 2 small jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, plus more to taste

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a small food processor or high-speed blender. I like to use the blending cup for my Vitamix. Blend for 30-60 seconds until completely smooth and creamy. You may need to add another splash of water if you want a more “drizzle-able” sauce. Taste and add another pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve on tacos, burritos, taco salad, rice bowls, enchiladas, nachos or this ground beef and sweet potato skillet (pictured).


Notes

See above blog post for expert tips, variation ideas and answers to frequently asked questions.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 95
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 35.3 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.2 mg