Made with a creamy cashew base, this Vegan Chipotle Sauce is incredibly flavorful and velvety smooth. It's easy to make in 5 minutes and perfect for topping Mexican style bowls and salads!
Learn how to make this easy homemade sauce and drizzle it on top of these Vegan Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls and these Plant Based Cauliflower Taco Bowls! I promise, you'll be reaching for more sauce because it's that good!
I can't get enough of this creamy chipotle sauce! It's one of those sauces that's so good, you use a spatula to scrape the jar clean because you couldn't bare the thought of wasting one little drop! Yeah, it's that good!
While I use the sauce on taco salads and burrito bowls, you could also drizzle it on top of fish tacos, nachos or fajitas. It stays good in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, so you can keep it on hand to add to all of your favorite Mexican recipes!
Ingredients you'll need
This easy chipotle sauce recipe is made from a base of soaked cashews and flavored with chipotle peppers, garlic and lemon juice.
What you'll need to make it:
- Cashews - soaked cashews are the base of this creamy sauce. While the cashews I recommend are unsalted and roasted, you can also use raw or salted cashews. The key is to soak the cashews overnight, or for at least 4-8 hours. This allows them to soften and blend into a smooth and creamy sauce!
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce - you'll find these peppers canned with the adobo sauce, usually in the Hispanic foods section at your local grocery store. They give this sauce it's spicy, smoky flavor.
- Lemon Juice - preferably fresh squeezed!
- Garlic Cloves
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Step by step instructions
- Soak ½ cup of cashews in a bowl covered in water for 8-10 hours.
- Pro tip! If you forget to soak the cashews, you can quick-soak them in 20 minutes. To do this, add the cashews to a small pot, cover the cashews with water. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat and cover. Wait 15 minutes, then remove the lid from the pot and drain the cashews.
- Drain the cashews from the water and add them to a blender or food processor. I use a Nutribullet to blend and store the sauce.
- Add the chipotle peppers, plus a teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can of peppers.
- Add the garlic cloves, salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
How long will it last in the refrigerator?
This vegan chipotle sauce will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a sealed container. You can also freeze the sauce in ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes of sauce to a resealable plastic bag for later use.
To defrost a cube of sauce, simply place it in a small bowl and into the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Before using, place the cube(s) in a blender and puree again, so that the sauce is smooth and creamy before adding it to your favorite recipe.
Is it spicy?
Chipotle sauce does get smokiness and spice from the chipotle peppers, but the spice of the chipotles is balanced nicely by the cashews, lemon juice and olive oil. Overall, I'd say that this Chipotle Sauce is a medium on the spice scale.
How to use it in recipes
This chipotle sauce is so incredibly versatile. That's one of the many reasons why I love it so much!
Add it to burrito bowls, taco salads, nachos, breakfast tacos or fish tacos. Use it as a dipping sauce for veggies, taquitos or sweet potato fries. Drizzle it over grilled corn on the cob, chicken or steak!
The options really are endless! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use the chipotle sauce in recipes at home.
- Drizzle it over this Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl. (Pictured above!) This bowl was the original inspiration for making this Creamy Chipotle Sauce. The roasted sweet potatoes pair perfectly with the smokey chipotle sauce!
- Add it to this Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowl. The cauliflower in this recipe is seasoned with ground chipotle peppers. Adding this chipotle sauce just means doubling up on the spicy, smokey flavor!
- For all my tofu lovers, add the sauce to these Vegan Taco Bowls with Chipotle Tofu Taco Crumbles!
- Drizzle it on this Roasted Delicata Squash Bowl. Hello flavor! The sweet roasted delicata squash, paired with the spicy chipotle sauce is a match made in foodie heaven!
- Serve it on top of this Low Carb Steak Burrito Bowl. This Chipotle-style bowl is so delicious and gluten free!
- Add it to this Breakfast Burrito Bowl. The creamy sauce is delicious drizzled over crispy taco seasoned potatoes and scrambled eggs!
- For a vegan breakfast or dinner, try it on top of this Tofu Scramble Burrito Bowl!
- Serve it on top of fish tacos or in this Low Carb Fish Taco Bowl. Nothing goes better on top of Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos than a drizzle of this incredibly creamy chipotle sauce!
- Pair it with shrimp. Grilled shrimp and chipotle sauce are a perfect match. Try the sauce drizzled on top of this Shrimp Taco Bowl!
- Serve it with this Mexican Quinoa Salad for a healthy, filling vegan meal!
- Try it on this Tex Mex Egg Roll In A Bowl. For a variation on this recipe, top the bowl with this chipotle cashew sauce instead of creamy avocado sauce. It gives it a whole new flavor!
More easy vegan sauce recipes
- Vegan Poblano Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Harissa Tahini Sauce
- Sweet Sesame Sauce
- Miso Vinaigrette
- Lemon Tahini Sauce
- Marinara Sauce
Creamy Vegan Chipotle Sauce
- ½ cup roasted, unsalted cashews soaked 8-10 hours
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with water. Soak the cashews overnight, or 8-10 hours.
- Drain the cashews and add them to a blender or food processor with all of the other ingredients.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- The Chipotle Sauce will stay good in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Can this be frozen? If I frozen in an ice cube tray could it be used as a dressing/marinate/mixed in with other dinners?
Yes, you could freeze it in ice cube trays, then just defrost the amount you need for a recipe. You might want to give it another spin in the blender to make it nice and creamy again, after it's defrosted.
I would love to make this, but am deathly allergic to nut, is there an alternative?
Hi Katie, unfortunately since cashews are the main ingredient in this recipe, I do not have another alternative. You could try it with 1/2 cup tahini instead of the cashews and I would imagine that you would get similar results, but I just want to note that I have not tested the recipe with tahini, so I cannot guarantee the results.
This looks good! What is the serving size?
Thanks Heather! The recipe makes 12 ounces. The nutritional information provided is for one serving size, which is 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons. Enjoy!
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
Yes, it's good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge!
This looks so good! What a versatile and simple sauce to keep in the fridge!