Chipotle crema is a creamy sauce or dressing that typically includes chipotle peppers, lime juice, Mexican cream, and garlic. It is super easy to make and perfect to drizzle over tacos, nachos, and quesadillas!

This crema sauce is commonly used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine to add a creamy, smoky, and slightly spicy element to dishes like Baja fish Tacos de Pescado or tacos de camarón (shrimp tacos).

The recipe for chipotle lime crema is very easy to make as it only involves blending the chipotle peppers with cream, lime juice, and other seasonings until smooth and velvety.

I love making creamy sauces to go along with my favorite foods. If you’re like me, you should really try my cilantro lime cream sauce and creamy poblano sauce!

Chipotle lime crema sauce in a jar and chipotle in adobo peppers and lime wedges on the side.


  • Crema: Crema Mexicana has a tang and slightly salty flavor, in a pinch you can use sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, or creme fraiche.
  • Chipotle peppers: You can find chipotle in adobo sauce at any Mexican grocery store or on Amazon, some local supermarkets also sell them in small cans or jars under the name of chiles chipotles en adobo.
  • Agave syrup: It balances the flavors. Substitute with honey or sugar if necessary.
  • Lime: Freshly squeezed lime juice is added to the sauce to provide a bright and tangy element. The acidity of the lime juice helps balance the richness of the creamy base and enhances the flavors of the chipotle peppers.
  • Garlic: I like to use fresh garlic, but garlic powder is a good substitute.
  • Salt & pepper: For basic seasoning.
Chipotle crema ingredients on a kitchen countertop.

Remember, the chipotle crema ingredients can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to get creative!

How To Make Chipotle Crema

Add Mexican cream, chiles chipotles, agave syrup, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of water to a blender or food processor.

Blend until nicely smooth. Taste and adjust the sauce as needed.

TOP TIP: Open the blender and scrape down the sides with a spatula, to make sure everything is nicely combined.

Blending chipotle crema with lime juice and all ingredients with an immersion blender.

Transfer the chipotle lime crema to a bowl and enjoy right away or place it in a jar and store it. *Scroll down for easy storage instructions*.

Expert Tips & Notes

  • Fresh ingredients will enhance the overall flavor of the crema. Make sure to use fresh lime juice (stay away from store-bought) and fresh cream.
  • Chipotle chiles can vary in heat, so to control the spice level of this sauce, start with 1 chile and adjust according to your preference. You can always add more if you want it spicier, but it’s difficult to reduce the heat once it’s too spicy.
  • Balance the flavor according to your preferences, some people like this crema chipotle with a high tangy profile and add more lime juice, while others prefer a sweeter taste and add a pinch of sugar or honey. A teaspoon of tomato paste can add also a sweet touch to this creamy sauce.
  • Adjust the crema consistency. For a thicker crema sauce, increase the amount of cream and omit the water, and for a lighter consistency, add more water to thin it out.
  • Once blended, taste the crema and adjust salt, pepper, spicy, and even garlic.
  • For the best taste, refrigerate the chipotle crema for 20-30 minutes before using. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop a richer taste.
Showing the chipotle crema sauce consistency with a spoon.

Recipe Variations

  • Yogurt. For a healthier version of chipotle crema, use low-fat plain yogurt instead of Mexican crema.
  • Mayonnaise. If you want a richer sauce, add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of mayonnaise.
  • Vegan. Substitute Mexican crema with cashew cream or your favorite vegan cream substitute.
  • Chili powder. You can also use chipotle powder to make this recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions to enjoy this creamy chipotle sauce…

Tacos: Drizzle chipotle crema over your favorite tacos, whether they are fish tacos or chicken flautas. It adds a creamy and zesty element that complements the fillings beautifully.

Burritos and Wraps: Spread chipotle crema on the tortilla before assembling these al pastor burritos, your favorite wraps, or burrito bowls.

Quesadillas: Serve chipotle lime crema as a dipping sauce for steak quesadillas or my favorite turkey quesadilla recipe! Its creamy and smoky flavors provide a delicious contrast to the melted cheese and crispy tortillas.

Tortas: Spread the creamy sauce on Mexican sandwiches like torta cubana or torta de jamón.

Salad Dressing: You can use this chipotle crema as dressing for salads, like this chipotle potato salad.

As dip: Use it as a dip for french fries, baked potatoes, or roasted vegetables! You can transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle and bring it to your 5 de Mayo potluck!

How To Store

This chipotle crema recipe lasts up to one week in the refrigerator or as long as the expiration date of the fresh crema you used in the recipe.

Transfer the creamy sauce to a jar or an airtight glass container and seal it tightly to prevent air from entering. Proper refrigeration helps maintain its freshness and extends its shelf life.

If you want to serve this crema chipotle sauce at a potluck or party, especially if the weather is warm, place the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice, so it keeps nicely cold and prevents spoilage.


Is crema just sour cream?

No, crema is not the same as sour cream. Crema is a Mexican-style cream that originated in Mexico, while sour cream has its roots in European cuisine.
Crema is typically thinner and runnier than sour cream, and while both crema and sour cream have a tangy taste, the flavor profile of crema is milder and less acidic compared to sour cream.

What does chipotle cream taste like?

Chipotle cream has a balanced heat and smoky flavor profile with a sour, tangy, and slightly sweet taste. The flavors work together harmoniously to create a flavorful condiment that can enhance a variety of dishes, from tacos, nachos, and quesadillas to grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

What are chipotle peppers?

Chipotle peppers are ripe jalapeños or morita peppers that have been dried and smoked. The name chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, which means “smoked chili”.

More Sauce Recipes

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Chipotle crema recipe with lime juice.

Chipotle Crema Sauce

1.5 cups
This chipotle crema sauce with lime juice is so easy to make, requires only a few staple ingredients, and is perfect to drizzle over tacos, nachos, or quesadillas!
prep 5 minutes
total 5 minutes


  • Blender


  • 1 ¼ cup Mexican crema (or sour cream, or greek yogurt)
  • 2 chipotle in adobo peppers
  • 1 Tablespoon agave syrup (or honey)
  • ½ lime (juice)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • salt & pepper (to taste)


  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  • Blend at high speed until nicely smooth and creamy.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust the flavors to taste by adding more lime juice, salt, etc.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve or to a jar with a tight lid and store for up to 1 week.


  • Use more water if you want to make it thinner. This is perfect for transferring the sauce to a squeeze bottle and serving at potlucks!
  • If you want it less spicy, blend only one chipotle pepper, then adjust adding more if needed.
  • For the best taste, refrigerate the chipotle crema for 20-30 minutes before using. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop a richer taste.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1.5 cups | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1590mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 897IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This chipotle cream sauce is a game-changer! The smoky heat of the chipotle peppers combines beautifully with the creamy base, creating a sauce that’s versatile and full of flavor. It’s the perfect accompaniment for tacos, grilled meats, or even as a dipping sauce. Get ready to elevate your dishes with this delicious recipe!