Creamy Habanero Sauce

5 from 6 votes

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My creamy habanero sauce recipe delivers the fiery heat of habanero peppers in a cool, creamy sauce. Pungently sweet onion, zesty garlic, and zingy lime add dimension and depth of flavor while mayonnaise and sour cream provide a rich creaminess.

closeup: a hand dipping a tortilla chip into a small ceramic bowl of creamy habanero sauce


If there are two items I could guarantee that are always in my refrigerator, it’s my Escabeche Rojo (Pickled Red Onions) and this amazing creamy Habanero Sauce.

My creamy habanero sauce is rich, satiny smooth and exploding with bold flavors. It is the perfect way to experience hot peppers without scorching your tongue. Think fiery heat but without the tears. Don’t get me wrong, though — this sauce is no slouch when it comes to heat! Plus it’s addicting, it’s one of those that has you coming back for more and more.

The silky texture of this habanero sauce comes from both sour cream and mayonnaise. Both of these all-star ingredients work to enhance and harmonize the robust and biting flavors of the peppers, onion, and garlic, giving the sauce a complex, yet balanced profile. Whip up a batch of this creamy habanero sauce for game nights, barbecues, or anytime you want to bring the heat. 

overhead closeup: a small ceramic bowl of habanero sauce

For more delicious sauce recipes, check out my Creamy Jalapeno Sauce, Zesty Bistro Sauce, or this Alabama White Sauce.

overhead: ingredients needed for creamy habanero sauce

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Habanero Peppers Infuse the sauce with a uniquely bright, floral, and fruity heat. If you prefer a milder sauce, feel free to use jalapenos or any spicy pepper of your choice. 
  • Garlic – Gives the sauce a sharp, zesty pungency.
  • Onion I prefer the sweetness of yellow onions for this recipe, but white or red onions will work if that’s what you have on hand. 
  • Chicken Bouillon – Provides a concentrated dose of savory, salty, and aromatic flavors.
  • Sour Cream – Gives the sauce a thick, cool creaminess and bright tangy flavor while toning down the heat level a bit. 
  • Mayonnaise – Adds a rich smoothness and tangy flavor. 
  • Lime Juice – Brightens up the dish with a dash of acidity and sweetly sour citrus flavor.
overhead: blended habanero sauce in an immersion blender cup with the blender visible

Tip From Kevin

Choosing the Right Peppers

As you do your shopping, go for ripe habanero peppers that are vibrant in color and have a slightly fruity smell. The ripeness of the peppers determines much of the flavor and heat level of your sauce. Another word of the wise: be careful when handling these peppers, as they are quite spicy and can cause skin irritation.

overhead: a ceramic bowl full of tortilla chips with a small bowl of creamy habanero sauce to the side

How to Make Creamy Habanero Sauce

  1. Cook the Peppers. Combine the peppers, garlic, onion, and chicken bouillon cube in a saucepan. Add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Leave uncovered and cook for about 15 minutes, giving most of the water time to evaporate. Remove from heat and cool. 
  2. Blend. Transfer the pepper mixture to a blender along with all the other ingredients. Or, add the ingredients to the saucepan and use an immersion blender. Either way, blend until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. 
  3. Chill & Thicken. Place the habanero sauce in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours as it thickens. Give the sauce a taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. 
  4. Serve. Pair with tortilla chips or drizzle some onto any of your favorite dishes.
closeup: a hand dipping a tortilla chip into a small ceramic bowl of creamy habanero sauce

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Frequently Asked Questions

How hot are habanero peppers?


The habanero peppers in this sauce recipe are, indeed, very hot. With a Scoville Heat Units rating of between 100,000 to 350,000, they certainly bring the heat. 

For comparison, consider the common jalapeno with a rating of 4,000 to 8,500 SHU. That means habaneros can be anywhere from 12 to 100 times hotter than jalapenos.

Believe it or not though, there are actually hundreds of even hotter peppers out there in a class called “superhots!” 

Don’t let this scare you off, though! This creamy habanero sauce balances the flavor and spicy heat of these peppers with the cool creaminess of sour cream. Zesty heat without the pain!

How do you make creamy habanero sauce thicker?


If your habanero sauce comes out thinner than you’d like after the 3 hours, no need to worry. There are a couple of steps we can take to avoid it and some simple solutions to fix it. 

First of all, be sure that you are letting the habanero, onion, and garlic mixture cook long enough. Only add enough water to cover the ingredients and keep it simmering until the liquid has been reduced to almost nothing. Less water present means a thicker sauce from the start. 

Secondly, keep in mind that this habanero sauce will thicken as it chills in the refrigerator. Give it time to thicken naturally before adding any thickeners. 

However, if it still isn’t thick enough, now you can try blending in a bit more sour cream. For this size recipe, start with about ¼ to ½ cup of sour cream. Blend in just a bit, chill it, test it, and adjust as needed.

How can I use this habanero sauce?


Creamy habanero makes an amazing dip, drizzle, and condiment. Here are just a few ideas of ways to fit it in and spice up your life.

– Serve with tortilla chips and other dips like Classic Fire Roasted Salsa, Refried Bean Dip, and Authentic Guacamole.
– Drizzle some on your favorite taco recipes like Mahi Mahi Tacos, Carne Asada Tacos, or these Ground Chicken Tacos
– Add a little to your next batch of Grilled Steak, Grilled Chicken, or Shrimp Fajitas.
– Jazz up your next Pulled Pork Sandwich or Grilled Turkey Burger
– Use as a dipping sauce for fried foods like french fries, onion rings, or even Fried Chicken.

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Creamy Habanero Sauce

5 from 6 votes
This creamy habanero sauce features fiery habanero peppers, zesty garlic, sweet onions, and sour lime in a smooth sour cream base.
Servings: 12
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Add the habaneros, garlic, onion and chicken bullion cube to a saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes, uncovered, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Let cool.
  • In a blender or use an immersion blender, add cooked habanero mixture and remaining ingredients. Blitz until creamy and smooth.
  • Chill for 30 minutes and creamy habanero sauce firms and thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. If not as thick as you'd prefer, add more sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or use as a sauce for tacos and more.

Notes

  1. This makes about 1 1/2 cups, nutritional information based on 2 tablespoon serving. I have 4 habaneros in my photos as I like it HOT, beware if you choose!

Nutrition

Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: condiments
Cuisine: Mexican
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): creamy habanero sauce

Kevin

Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Sir, I wanted to thank you for taking the time in publishing this amazing recipe. You have no idea how long I’ve searched for this recipe and couldn’t find a decent one that convinced my taste buds. You’re a valuable resource to those wishing to be a home chef, like myself. 🙂

    I used 8oz of the sour cream instead of 14oz since I prefer the sauce to be on the thinner side. I also used about 10 twigs of fresh cilantro, but added that at step two of your recipe. I cut them with a knife and used an immersion blender to blend everything in.

    With or without cilantro, your recipe rocks. Thanks again for all that you do.

  2. 5 stars
    This was easy to make- followed direction’s except used 2 habanero peppers, and cut the garlic cloves to 5, the heat is good, without being overwhelming, next time will up the garlic to 8 cloves though. Thank you for this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Holy cow, amazing! Made it and added more sour cream as I like it thicker, more like a dip than a sauce. Great with chips and I even drizzled it over my eggs this morning. So many uses!

    1. 5 stars
      I adapted this to make a creamy jalapeno sauce. I did everything the same except used about a dozen jalapenos and added a teaspoon of smoked paprika. It is awesome.

  4. 5 stars
    I just would like to thank you for your awesome recipes and website.
    I wish the best, you are an great asset to the cooking kingdom.

  5. Thank you, thank you for putting in an actual amount of onion! Too many recipes call for “one medium/small/large” onion. There’s no measurement in that—what I consider to be small/medium/large is probably nothing like what someone else considers to be those sizes. Using raw onion in a recipe, you can just pick out or add more onion if the tastes are off, but when the first step is to cook the onion and then puree, how can you add or subtract more or less cooked onion after the recipe is completed.