Chipotle Lime Sauce

Chipotle lime sauce is a smoky, creamy, and spicy sauce that is perfect for adding a punch of flavor to your meal. It makes a great dipping sauce or for drizzling or tacos, bowls, and more.
Lime chipotle sauce in a serving bowl.

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!

Lime chipotle sauce in a bowl with limes and chipotle peppers next to it.

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.

For more zesty sauces, try Cajun Ranch or Garlic Aioli

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

Ingredients needed to make chipotle lime sauce.

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.

Equipment needed

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!

Ingredients for chipotle lime sauce in a container.

STEP ONE: ADD

Add ingredients to an immersion blender container,  food processor, or blender. 

Blending chipotle lime sauce with an immersion blender.

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. 

Expert Tips

  • 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. 

Chipotle lime sauce in a bowl with lime zest and red pepper flakes.

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. 

What to serve with chipotle lime sauce

Chipotle lime sauce with red pepper flakes and chipotle peppers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are chipotle peppers in adobo?

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. 

What do chipotle peppers taste like?

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!

Are chipotle peppers spicy?

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. 

Where to find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the grocery store?

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce should be found canned in the international aisle of most grocery stores. 

More condiment and sauce recipes

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Meet Lauren

I’m the blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and otherwise food obsessed gal behind Lauren From Scratch. I was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in South Louisiana most of my life. Growing up around Cajun country has instilled a love of food that runs deep in my bones. I am passionate about food and teaching you how to make mouth-watering Louisiana inspired dishes in your own kitchen!


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Lime chipotle sauce in a serving bowl.

Homemade Chipotle Lime Sauce

Chipotle lime sauce is a smoky, creamy, and spicy sauce that is perfect for adding a punch of flavor to your meal. It makes a great dipping sauce or for drizzling or tacos, bowls, and more.
4.96 from 49 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course condiment, sauce, topping
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 141 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 97mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.1mg
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing looking sauce. Pinned it.
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4.96 from 49 votes (48 ratings without comment)

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