Chipotle Lime Crema

Chipotle Lime Crema adds creamy, spicy, citrusy goodness to tacos, burritos, enchiladas, grilled meats and more.

I love sour cream on all types of Mexican food – its creamy coolness tames the heat from chiles and adds richness and tang to tacos, burritos, nachos, tamales, and lots of other dishes. Sour cream also makes an excellent base for a flavorful sauce, like this Chipotle Lime Crema.

I developed this recipe as a dipping sauce for my Chipotle Lime Chicken Kabobs, but it also tastes great with Allie’s Black Bean Tacos, Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken or just about any of our Mexican or Southwest recipes. It’s actually a faux crema – true Mexican crema is made with heavy cream and buttermilk, not sour cream. This sauce only takes about five minutes to make, and you can serve it with fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, beans or vegetables.Chipotle chiles are red, ripe jalapeños that have been smoked. A lot of recipes call for canned chipotles packed in spicy adobo sauce, but the dried powder is more convenient and easier to use in small amounts. Chipotle chile powder is moderately hot, so for a little more heat I used Tapatio, my favorite brand of Mexican-style hot sauce. I love the tangy flavor of Tapatio, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

The process for making this recipe couldn’t be easier. Just mix sour cream with chipotle chile powder, lime juice, lime zest, finely chopped cilantro, salt and hot sauce until well blended. 

Chipotle Lime Crema takes only minutes to make with sour cream, lime, chipotle and cilantro.

Start with just 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder and 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, and then taste test to decide if you need more. I ended up using about 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce. This sauce is so yummy, I didn’t mind doing two or three “taste tests”! 

It’s best to make the crema about 30 minutes before serving, so the flavors have time to develop. Have fun trying this creamy sauce on anything and everything!

Creamy, spicy and citrusy Chipotle Lime Crema is a tasty topping for all kinds of Mexican cuisine.

Chipotle Lime Crema
Author: Marsha Maxwell,
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 cup
Chipotle lime crema adds creamy, spicy, citrusy goodness to all types of Mexican cuisine. This version is made with sour cream instead of the buttermilk and heavy cream traditional in Mexico.
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Tapatio hot sauce, or your favorite hot sauce
  • ¼ c. finely chopped cilantro
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl until well blended.
  2. Taste and add more chipotle powder or hot sauce if desired.
  3. Serve with fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, beans or salads.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories: 57 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 1g
Chipotle lime crema adds creamy, spicy, citrusy goodness to tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads and all kinds of Mexican or Southwest recipes.


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