Easy Chipotle Sauce

This easy chipotle sauce is zesty, smoky and creamy: perfect for tacos and burritos! The magic ingredient: canned adobo sauce.

chipotle sauce in small bowl with spoon

In our household, Alex and I eat a lot of tacos. A lot of tacos. It’s probably our most frequent dinner: these 5 minute egg tacos save our nights often. So it’s pretty often that we’re searching for a tasty taco sauce. Meet our perfect match: this easy chipotle sauce! It’s creamy, savory, smoky and spicy: all at once! Drizzle it over tacos or burritos — even a burrito bowl — and it adds so much flavor, you might want to bathe in it.

Chipotle sauce ingredients

The magic ingredient in this chipotle sauce? Tahini. What is tahini? It’s a paste made of sesame seeds, typically used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. Tahini is perfect for making creamy sauces for salads and tacos, but it’s also fantastic for desserts like cookies or as a replacement for peanut butter for peanut allergies. We use it in many of our vegan recipes as a creamy alternative to dairy. (Here are more tahini recipes you can make with it).

Here’s the full lineup of ingredients in this chipotle sauce:

  • Tahini
  • Lemon
  • Mexican hot sauce (we like Cholula brand)
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (see more below!)
spoon hovering above glass filled with chipotle sauce

What is adobo sauce?

Alex and I use adobo sauce all the time to bring a savory, smoky flavor to Mexican dishes. What is adobo sauce?

  • Chipotles in adobo sauce are sold in most mainstream grocery stores here in the US, available next to the Mexican products.
  • The small can includes chipotle chiles, which are smoked and dried jalapeños that then are rehydrated and canned in adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and some other spices.
spicy tahini sauce in glass dish with spoon

Make sure to save leftover adobo sauce

Most of our recipes call for a very small amount of adobo sauce, because it’s super potent! Many times we only use the adobo sauce, not the chipotle chilis. In this sauce, we’ve called for only 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce. You can freeze the remainder of the chipotle chile in adobo sauce for future use. See below for more recipes to use up the can!

How to make chipotle sauce (some tips!)

Got all those ingredients? Simply mix all of the chipotle sauce ingredients together in a bowl and you’re good to go! Here are a few things to note:

  • The consistency of tahini brands differ. So your sauce may need a little more tahini or a little more water or lemon juice to get to the right consistency.
  • Store refrigerated, then warm to room temp. You’ll need to store the homemade chipotle sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. If it seems a little thick when you take it out of the fridge, let it sit on your counter for a few minutes before serving. Tahini tends to solidify when chilled.

Related: How to Make Vegan Nacho Cheese

spoon in jar of chipotle sauce

More recipes with chipotle chile in adobo sauce

If you bought chipotle chile in adobo sauce for this recipe and want ideas for using it up, here are a few of our recipes that use it!

This chipotle sauce recipe is…

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and refined sugar free.

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chipotle sauce in small bowl with spoon

Easy Chipotle Sauce


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (66 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 1/2 cup 1x

Description

This easy chipotle sauce is zesty, smoky and creamy: perfect for tacos and burritos! The magic ingredient: canned adobo sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon or 2 limes, enough for 3 tablespoons juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican hot sauce (Cholula)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce)

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemon or limes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Since the consistency of tahini brands can vary, add a little more tahini if the consistency of the sauce is too runny, or a little water or extra lemon juice if the consistency is too thick. Store refrigerated.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Chipotle sauce, How to make chipotle sauce, Chipotle chile in adobo sauce, Vegan chipotle sauce

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Last updated: June 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Amber Vanderlinden
    June 15, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    How long does this last refrigerated?

  • Reply
    Mim
    August 12, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Just made tonight. I thought it was awesome. I left out oil and reduced hot sauce a little, but other than that followed directions and it was perfect. Sorry no place to leave 5 stars

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