There’s nothing quite like the bold and creamy kick of Chipotle Crema made with smoky adobo sauce, sour cream, garlic, and fresh lime juice. You can make this bold and creamy Chipotle Crema recipe (crema de chipotle), or even Sriracha Aioli, with only 4 ingredients in only 5 minutes.
What is Chipotle Crema
“Mexican Crema” is a thick cream used in Mexican cuisine similar to how the United States uses sour cream. It adds a cooling effect to burritos, tacos, Mexican green verde, etc. When mixed with chipotle peppers it turns into chipotle crema.
Traditionally, this flavorful sauce is made with Mexican crema, but it’s not easy to locate so we utilize sour cream, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, or a mix of those options.
Here are the “must have” ingredients to make this chipotle adobo sauce recipe. For the full list of ingredients, reference the recipe card below.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Sour Cream (Substitute Mexican crema, mayo or a mix)
- Fresh Lime Juice
Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce are smoked and dried red jalapeños rehydrated and stewed in a tangy, slightly sweet tomato-based sauce. The peppers provide a rich, smoky flavor and moderate heat, while the adobo sauce adds depth with its complex blend of flavors, including notes of vinegar, garlic, and various spices.
They are often used in Mexican and Southwestern U.S. cuisines to add a smoky heat to dishes such as chili, stews, marinades, and sauces.
You’ll also find them used in our Carne Picada recipe!
While this chipotle sour cream mix is perfect as is, it can be adapted to suit your tastebuds. Here are a few common edits to consider:
Add more peppers to the mix to amp up the spice. Start with half a pepper and work your way up.
Looking for a toned down crema? Skip adding the peppers and only use the adobo sauce.
Instead of sour cream replace it, in equal parts, with Mexican crema.
If you don’t have chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can use dried chipotle powder. Start with 1/2 tsp and work your way up.
- Lime Juice – Do not replace fresh lime juice with bottled lime juice. Since the ingredient list is minimal, you won’t be able to mask the “bottled” flavor.
- Extra Smooth – use a blender, food processor or immersion blender for an extra smooth final product.
- Taste Test – add more of any ingredient to suite your taste. We love adding extra peppers and garlic.
- Refrigerate – the longer the chipotle crema rests, the more the flavors meld together. It also allows the sauce to thicken a bit, so it’s a key step if utilizing as a dip vs sauce. We recommend refrigerating a minimum of one hour before serving.
- Thin The Sauce – The sauce thickens as it sits, so stir in a 1/2 tbsp of water at a time, until your desired consistency is achieved.
Check out our 37 Tacos Toppings list!
To ensure your Chipotle Crema stays fresh, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should remain fresh and tasty for up to a week.
- 1 Cup sour cream (*Note 1)
- 2-4 chipotle peppers, finely minced (*Note 2)
- ½ lime, juiced (*Note 3)
- clove garlic, minced
- salt, to taste
- Add the sour cream, chipotle peppers, lime juice, garlic and salt to a small bowl and mix to combine. Taste and adjust any ingredient.