This chipotle lime sauce is extra creamy, smoky, and spicy. It is a great way to spice up chicken, tacos, or bowls. Thin it out a bit to use as a salad dressing. It’s easy to prepare, and only takes about 5 minutes to make!
The best homemade chipotle sauce
I have a special place in my heart for sauces of any kind.
I love a creamy sauce for dipping, topping, or drizzling over my favorite dishes. This chipotle lime sauce is so good with spicy and smoky chipotle peppers and zesty lime.
Use it as a topping for tacos, burritos, sandwiches, salads, chicken, shrimp, bowls, and more. It makes a zesty dipping sauce for fries, chicken tenders, onion rings, and tater tots.
- Why you'll love this recipe
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- Equipment needed
- How to make lime chipotle sauce
- Expert Tips
- Make ahead directions
- Storage & Reheating
- Ways to use lime chipotle sauce
- What to serve with chipotle lime sauce
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More condiment and sauce recipes
- Homemade Chipotle Lime Sauce
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy recipe to make, and only takes 5 minutes!
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Adjust the spice level. Add peppers in one at a time to easily adjust the heat level.
- Amazing flavor. This sauce is spicy, smokey, creamy, and zesty. It is a great way to spice up a boring meal!
Ingredients & Substitutions
The secret to a thick and creamy sauce is using a combination of mayonnaise AND sour cream!
- Mayonnaise - Gives this spicy sauce a rich and creamy texture.
- Sour cream - Adds thickness and tangy flavor to this sauce. You can substitute for plain greek yogurt, but this will slightly change the taste. To make greek yogurt taste more like sour cream, substitute for just under ½ cup of greek yogurt with a splash of milk and squeeze of lemon juice.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - These smoky and spicy peppers have a delicious and unique flavor! They can be spicy, so add a few at a time and taste before adding more. They should be located on the international aisle in the grocery store, and will be stored in cans.
- Fresh cilantro - The flavor of cilantro goes perfectly with chipotle peppers! If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute it for parsley, chives, or green onions. Keep in mind this will change the flavor.
- Lime zest - Adding too much lime juice can make the sauce watery. Adding lime zest is a great way to add more limey flavor while keeping the sauce thick.
- Honey - Sweet honey helps to balance the spicy flavor of the peppers. Plus spicy and sweet is a great flavor combination! You can add more if you like, but I don’t like it too sweet.
See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make lime chipotle sauce
PRO TIP: Start with 2-3 peppers and blend. Taste first, then add one at a time as needed. You can always add more, but can’t take them away once the sauce is too spicy!
STEP TWO: BLEND
Blend until the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
PRO TIP: For the best flavor, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.
- Zest first. Zest the lime before juicing it! It is much easier to zest the lime when it's still intact.
- Adjust your spice. Add peppers in one at a time, tasting in between so it doesn’t get too spicy.
- Chill it. Refrigerate this sauce at least 30 minutes before serving. It tastes better once chilled. It will also thicken up as it chills.
- Make it a dressing. To use this sauce as a salad dressing, thin it out with a little water and stir until combined.
Make ahead directions
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time, as it gets better after chilling for a few hours. Make a day or 2 in advance, and refrigerate in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.
Storage & Reheating
How to store leftovers: store leftover chipotle lime sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this sauce (or any sauce with sour cream or mayonnaise). It will ruin the texture.
Ways to use lime chipotle sauce
I LOVE a good sauce to put on just about anything! Here are some ways to use this spicy homemade sauce.
- On burrito bowls or taco salads
- The perfect topping for tacos, like fish tacos, or Chimichurri Shrimp Tacos
- On a perfectly cooked chicken breast, Blackened Shrimp, or Blackened Chicken.
- Dipping sauce for fries, onion rings, or tater tots
- As a dressing for southwest salad with chicken, blackened corn, tomatoes, and avocado
- A spread for sandwiches using Cajun Turkey Breast
- Spicy slaw for tacos. Mix ½ cup chipotle lime sauce with 2 cups of finely shredded cabbage
- Drizzle on protein and rice bowls
- A dipping sauce for Blackened Chicken Wings
What to serve with chipotle lime sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
Chipotle peppers are actually jalepeño peppers! The jalapeños are allowed to ripen past the green stage until they turn red. Next they are dried, smoked, then rehydrated in adobo sauce made with tomatoes and spices. They are usually sold in cans in the international aisle in the grocery store.
Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried red jalapeño peppers, so they taste spicy, smoky, and slightly sweet. They are usually in adobo sauce which is a tomato and spice based sauce. Chipotle peppers add so much flavor to this sauce!
Chipotle peppers are moderately spicy, but can vary. That is why it’s a good idea to add them one at a time to this sauce.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce should be found canned in the international aisle of most grocery stores.
More condiment and sauce recipes
Homemade Chipotle Lime Sauce
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Citrus juicer
- cutting board
- sharp knife
- silicone spatula
- BLEND: Add mayonnaise, sour cream, a few chipotle peppers*, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and honey to an immersion blender container or a food processor. Blend until the sauce is smooth.
- TASTE: Taste and add more lime juice, chipotle peppers, or salt and pepper to taste.
- CHILL: Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.
- SERVE: Serve as a taco topping, salad dressing, or dipping sauce.
- To substitute sour cream for greek yogurt, use slightly less than ½ cup of greek yogurt with a splash of cream/milk and lemon.
- Add 2-3 peppers first, then blend and taste. Add in more peppers as needed to reach desired level of heat.
- To thin out the sauce for salad dressing, add a splash of milk, cream, or water.
- How to store leftovers: store leftover chipotle lime sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this sauce (or any sauce with sour cream or mayonnaise - it will ruin the texture.)
- Make ahead instructions: This is a great recipe to make ahead of time, as it gets better after chilling for a few hours. Make a day or 2 in advance, and refrigerate in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.