Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

Creamy jalapeno sauce and chips

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill : 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
265 Calories
27g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 265
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 640mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 122mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The famous restaurant Chuy's is home to all things delicious but is especially close to many Tex-Mex connoisseurs thanks to their simply perfect creamy jalapeño sauce. A tangy combination of jalapeño peppers and cilantro balanced by dairy and mayonnaise, this sauce is as versatile as it is tasty. Serve it with wings, poppers, chips, quesadillas, or drizzle over tacos, burritos, or on a no-bean chili. Use it as dressing for salads, add it to a side sauce to wraps and sandwiches, or dress cold pasta or potato salads with it. A slice of flatbread with jalapeño sauce and feta cheese? Yes, please! The sky is the limit with this sauce, and making it is as easy as inhaling a whole vat by yourself.

Our copycat version of this famous sauce is quickly prepared, but like many great dressings and dips, it's best when prepared at least an hour or two in advance or made the day before you plan to serve it. If you love it as much as we do, make a bigger batch by doubling the ingredients, storing the sauce in the refrigerator, and using it within one week.

Use this sauce in your next grilling session—it's delicious on flank steak, grilled chicken, or fish fillets. Drizzle it on your grilled vegetables, but no matter how you serve it, don't miss out on having corn chips at hand to enjoy the Chuy's way.


  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, packed

  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño pepper rings, plus more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons jalapeño pickling brine from the jar

  • 1 (1-ounce) packet dry ranch dressing mix

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 pinch kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons tomatillo salsa, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for creamy jalapeño sauce
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, cilantro, jalapeño pepper rings, jalapeño pickling brine, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and lime juice. Stir well to blend.

    Creamy jalapeño sauce ingredients in a bowl
    The Spruce / 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 jalapeño sauce in a blender
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Pour the dip into a container or jars and refrigerate until serving time, ideally for at least 2 hours.

    Jalapeño sauce in jars
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Serve creamy jalapeño sauce in a small bowl with poppers, chicken wings, tortilla chips, quesadillas, or any favorite main or side.

    Creamy jalapeño dip with poppers and mozzarella sticks
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Enjoy.

Do I need to remove the cilantro stems?

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.

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 or Greek 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 seeded and coarsely chopped jalapeño pepper to the blender, or increase the amount of pickled jalapeño pepper rings.
  • For a thicker dip, replace all or part of the buttermilk with more sour cream and cut back on the pickle juice.
  • For a thinner sauce, which is an amazing dressing for a vegetable or taco salad, thin it out with extra buttermilk. If you don't often use buttermilk, you can freeze whatever you don't use in ice cube trays for later.

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