Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

creamy jalapeno sauce and chips
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

If you've ever been to a Chuy's restaurant, chances are you enjoyed a bowl of creamy jalapeño sauce with your meal. Chuy's restaurants can be found in many locations, but if you aren't lucky enough to live near one, here's how you can make a tasty copy of the famous sauce at home. 

The sauce is simply a tangy combination of jalapeño peppers and cilantro. It's an excellent condiment to serve as a dip with wings, poppers, chips, or quesadillas, or to drizzle over tacos, burritos, or chili. For a thicker dip, replace all or part of the buttermilk with more sour cream and cut back on the pickle juice. Or thin it with extra buttermilk and it becomes an amazing dressing for a vegetable or taco salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (packed)
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno pepper rings, plus 3 tablespoons of the juice
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons tomatillo salsa

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for creamy jalapeno sauce
    Diana Rattray
  2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, cilantro, jalapeño pepper rings and juice, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and the lime juice. Stir to blend.

    creamy jalapeno sauce ingredients in a bowl
    Diana Rattray
  3. Pour the sauce mixture into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and add the tomatillo salsa, if using, or add extra jalapeño pickle juice or buttermilk to thin.

    creamy jalapeno sauce in a blender
    Diana Rattray
  4. Pour the dip into a container or jars and refrigerate until serving time.

    jalapeno sauce in jars
    Diana Rattray
  5. Serve creamy jalapeño sauce in a small bowl with poppers, chicken wings, tortilla chips, or quesadillas.

    creamy jalapeno dip with poppers and mozzarella sticks
    Diana Rattray

Tips

  • When using cilantro as an ingredient in a dip or sauce, there's no need to de-stem it; the stems are flavorful with no bitterness. Stems also add extra texture to the sauce. Discard very large, thick stems, but don't worry about the smaller ones. Parsley stems, on the other hand, are somewhat bitter so only the leaves should be used in recipes.
  • Like many great dressings and dips, this sauce is best when prepared at least an hour or two in advance or make it the day before you plan to serve it.
  • Store the sauce in the refrigerator and use it within 1 week.
  • If you don't often use buttermilk, you don't have to waste what's left in the carton. Just freeze it in small amounts in an ice cube tray or small freezer containers.

Recipe Variations

  • Buttermilk and sour cream are similar in flavor and acidity. If you don't have buttermilk, replace it with more sour cream, thinned with a small amount of milk. Plain, unsweetened yogurt is another good option. Whisk a small amount of milk into the yogurt until it is the consistency of buttermilk.
  • For more heat, add a fresh jalapeño pepper (seeded and coarsely chopped) to the blender with the other ingredients or increase the pickled jalapeno pepper rings.

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