Enhance your backyard grilling experience with this jalapeño cilantro sauce. It's smoky, spicy, and packed with a punch that could instantly elevate the deliciousness of any meal.
Summer always brings out a bountiful variety of herbs and spices, and cilantro is a valuable gift from nature. Cilantro has a unique, refreshing flavor and works excellently in this hot cilantro sauce recipe.
Not only that, cilantro and jalapeño are classic flavor combinations that pair exceptionally well together.
With summer already here, it's the perfect time to incorporate refreshing flavors into your dishes and try out this delicious jalapeno cilantro sauce(like this green taco sauce with pineapple jalapeno sauce.
This recipe is straightforward. All you need to do is gather and blend the ingredients in a food processor. That’s it, a delicious, flavorful side dish ready in minutes effortlessly.
Why we love this recipe
Flavorful. The complex flavors of the sauce are highly addictive and add depth to any dish.
Versatile. With this recipe as a base, numerous variations are possible, and each one tastes delicious in its own right.
Customizable. Whether you're looking for a mildly spiced sauce or a super spicy one, this jalapeno cilantro sauce recipe is for you. You can control the heat level by increasing or decreasing the quantity of jalapeños.
Homemade. Homemade sauces are always better as we can alter the ingredients to suit our individual preferences,
Simple ingredients. The ingredients are simple and easy to find; most are possibly already in your refrigerator.
Ingredients needed for this recipe
Jalapeno. I have used fresh jalapeno peppers. However, You can use pickled or roasted jalapeños as well. However, it's worth noting that every addition of a different variety of jalapeño pepper will result in an incomparably delicious and unique flavor.
You can also adjust the sauce's heat by removing the seeds, membranes, and peppers.
If you're a beginner or sensitive to chili peppers, wear gloves to avoid skin burns or irritations.
Cilantro. Cilantro makes this spicy jalapeno sauce fresh and vibrant with its unique color and taste.
Garlic. Garlic is a flavor booster that intensifies the overall taste of the sauce.
Lime juice. It balances all the ingredients and gives the dish citrusy notes.
How to make
In a food processor/blender, add roughly chopped cilantro, jalapeno pepper, and garlic.
Pulse it until these ingredients are finely chopped.
Now add mayonnaise, sour cream, and lime juice. Blend until the mixture turns to a smoother consistency.
Transfer this jalapeno cilantro sauce to a bowl and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes to 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop and meld.
And enjoy it as a dip for chips or vegetables, a salad dressing, or a sauce for taco or grilled meat.
How to serve jalapeño cilantro sauce
As we've already discussed, this sauce is highly customizable and versatile in many ways. Here are a few of my favorite serving ideas.
Dipping sauce. Serve this jalapeño cilantro sauce along with tortilla chips, pita bread, or fresh-cut vegetables.
Topping. Drizzle this hot cilantro sauce over tacos(I love this Street Tacos) or use it as a spread for sandwiches and burgers. Then stack them with other toppings like avocado, tomato, onion, and lettuce for a satisfying meal.
Marinade. Use this sauce as a marinade for meats and vegetables.
Salad dressing. Whisk with extra lime juice or water to make a spicy salad dressing that adds flavor to any salad.
Lighter condiment option. Substitute sour cream with Greek yogurt for a creamy, tangy, lighter version of this sauce.
Olive oil. Replace mayo and Greek yogurt with olive oil. This jalapeno cilantro sauce variation also works excellent for marinating the meat.
Avocado. For a creamier consistency and a pleasant green color, add a ripe avocado along with the ingredients of this recipe and blend it. This variation also adds a delicious taste to the sauce.
Tropical fruit. Add half a cup of diced pineapple and the other ingredients to add tropical flavor to the sauce. This variation is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet and spicy combination. Swapping with mango also tastes yum(like this spicy mango sauce).
Roasted jalapeño. Instead of fresh jalapeños, try roasted or pickled jalapeños for a different flavor. This variation is worth trying out as it can add a unique smoky or tangy taste to the sauce.
How to store jalapeno cilantro sauce
Refrigerator. Store the jalapeño cilantro sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freezer. This dish does not stay well in the freezer, as the mayonnaise turns grainy when thawed.
Frequently asked questions
The heat level of jalapeno cilantro sauce can also depend on how we add the jalapeno peppers to this recipe.
If we only add the jalapeno pepper flesh (without its seeds or core), the sauce falls on the milder side. And vice versa.
Yes, It's a tremendous make-ahead-friendly recipe. Allowing the sauce to sit in the refrigerator makes the flavors meld together. As the ingredients in this recipe vary highly in texture, make a quick whisk to combine all the ingredients.
To adjust the heat level of jalapeno cilantro sauce, remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno peppers for a milder flavor, or add more jalapeno peppers (with the seeds and membranes intact) for a spicier flavor.
The cilantro stems can be added to jalapeno cilantro sauce if tender and soft. However, if the stems are thicker or more mature, removing and discarding them is best, as they can be challenging to blend.
Recommended tools for making this recipe
Food Processor. This appliance will help you turn your fresh cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic into a delicate mix and then incorporate the creamier ingredients into a smooth jalapeno cilantro sauce.
Sharp Knife. You'll need a sharp knife to chop the main ingredients roughly before placing them in the food processor.
Measuring Spoons. These will ensure you add the right mayo, sour cream, and lime juice to your sauce.
Printable recipe card
Jalapeno cilantro sauce
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- In a food processor or blender, add roughly chopped cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic.
- Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and lime juice to the food processor and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the jalapeno cilantro sauce to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Enjoy the sauce as a dip or as a salad dressing.
- Store the jalapeño cilantro sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Make a note that, this dish does not stay well when frozen.