Is it a dip, a dunking sauce, or a drizzle? Whatever you call it, this Creamy Jalapeño Sauce Recipe is a delicious part of your next Taco Tuesday, breakfast burrito, salad or tortilla chips and dip session.
If you have ever visited a Chuy's Tex-Mex Restaurant, you've surely tried this sauce, which I found to be the very best part of their menu.
I thought I couldn't love it more than when I used it for a creamy chip dip...but then I used it as a salad dressing over a grilled shrimp salad and I've been congratulating myself ever since!
Here's what you'll need to make this dip:
Before we get to the step by step directions, a few notes about the ingredients:
Jalapeños: use a couple of fresh jalapeños that you dice and roast, or take a delicious shortcut and use a small can of diced green chiles.
Ranch mix: the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of dry ranch mix. That is 1 regular packet of name brand or generic seasoning mix.
Lime: fresh citrus didn't make the ingredient photo above, but the recipe calls for the juice of ½ lime. Substitute lemon juice, if needed.
Full ingredient list and measurements included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step by step instructions:
1. Blend all ingredients
Process until thoroughly combined (I pulsed about 10 times). Taste and adjust seasoning.
Keep in mind that the fresh garlic and roasted jalapeños will intensify in flavor as the sauce sits. If you make it at the last minute and you're serving immediately, season as aggressively as your heart desires. If you're making this in advance of an event and will be serving it in a few hours, let the sauce rest in the refrigerator, then taste and adjust seasoning right before serving.
Pour into your favorite dish for serving and lay out with crispy tortilla chips.
FAQ's, Variations & Serving Suggestions:
The beauty of this sauce is it's simplicity, and its ability to please any palette. Do you love spicy food? Add more peppers! Do you prefer a creamy jalapeño recipe with just a little kick of heat? Start with ½ the recommended amount of roasted jalapenos or green chiles, then mix and let the mixture sit. Taste and adjust seasoning after an hour.
For texture, If you're serving this sauce as a dip with veggies or tortilla chips, you'll want a thicker sauce, which is what you'll have if you follow the enclosed recipe.
For a thinner sauce to use as a drizzle over tacos or a salad dressing, add a few extra tablespoons of milk or buttermilk to the sauce, then stir well to combine.
Because the sauce flavors will continue to intensify with time, I often add an extra tablespoon of sour cream to the mixture the next day if the spice level has gone too high for my palette.
Sour cream, ranch mix, fresh jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and milk.
Several copycat versions of this recipe call for pickled jalapeños. They are great recipes and they make a great sauce for tex mex food. But the original sauce from Chuy's doesn't have a strong vinegar flavor that comes from the pickled jalapeño. So this comes down to personal taste. I prefer the heat of the roasted fresh jalapeños combined with a touch of fresh lime flavor. But if all I had in the house was pickled peppers, you better believe I'd make this delicious dip anyway I could!
Absolutely. Roasting was my favorite version on the many rounds of testing to create the best copycat recipe for this spicy dip. I halved and cleaned the peppers of most of the seeds and membranes, which carry a majority of the heat. Roasting the peppers creates a char and a bit of a complex nuttiness to that I'm just crazy for in green chilis. Roasting spicy peppers (as long as you remove the seeds and pith) mellows out some of the heat of the chili. So if using raw jalapeños, start with one pepper, then blend and let the sauce sit. Then taste and adjust seasoning from there.
To store, transfer sauce to an airtight container. You can keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.