An easy to make dairy free Mexican chipotle crema sauce to add the perfect finishing touch to all your tacos, enchiladas, and more! Dairy + nut free!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, tomatoes, and more
Mexican crema is a creamy, tangy ingredient that is the topper for a lot of Mexican cuisine. Similar to sour cream, it is a cooling element that rounds out the flavors and elevates dishes.
This dairy free chipotle crema sauce is made with dairy free sour cream and a few extra simple ingredients that can be found in local grocery stores. It is a little spicy, a whole lot refreshing, and is the perfect creamy sauce for taco night!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy to mix together in under 5 minutes
- Cool and refreshing flavors
- Simple ingredients
- Make it spicy or not!
- Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Gluten free, and more!
What is Mexican Crema?
Traditional Mexican crema, also known as crema fresca, is a creamy, slightly tangy condiment that is similar to sour cream, but with a higher fat content and smoother texture. It is thicker and richer than American sour cream but not as heavy as French crème fraîche.
Typically, it’s used on top of tacos, enchiladas, or mixed into soups.
A homemade version uses a combination of heavy cream with sour cream, covered in plastic wrap, and left in a warm spot until the following day (12-24 hours). However, since this is a vegan version, we need to make it a little bit differently!
Here is a quick rundown of the ingredients that you’ll need to make this dairy free Mexican chipotle crema. See the recipe card below for the full ingredient measurements and the allergy substitutions for how to adapt this recipe to your unique needs.
- Dairy free sour cream: Use your favorite dairy free sour cream for this recipe. I really enjoy the Tofutti brand and think it works the best in this recipe. The tofutti brand is free from coconut and tree nuts, however, it contains soy. Other brands like Trader Joe’s or Kite Hill are soy free, but contain tree nuts. Just choose the one that works best for you.
- Lime Juice: A touch of fresh lime juice to brighten the crema.
- Honey / Maple Syrup: This is to help balance out the spiciness of the chipotle. Use whichever you prefer as they both sweeten it nicely.
- Chipotle Powder: This makes it spicy! I added only a small amount to the recipe, so you can make this as spicy as you like and add more, or, omit this ingredient to make a sweet and creamy crema.
- Garlic Powder + Salt: A few extra spices to make everything blend together.
Use the best dairy free sour cream for you and your unique needs. If you can’t find one, you can also use dairy free Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. That is the easiest way to replicate the texture. Since the yogurt is a little more tangy than sour cream, you can reduce the lime juice, or enjoy a tangy cream sauce!
For the full instructions, complete with recipe measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Mixing this together is as easy as can be!
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dairy free sour cream, honey, lime juice, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk together until it’s fully incorporated. Give it a taste for seasoning and enjoy!
Tip! If you find that the crema is too thick after adding the lime juice, add a spoonful of coconut milk or soy milk to help get the right texture. Different brands of dairy free sour cream have different levels of thickness, so adjust it till it’s just right!
American sour cream has a lower fat content at about 20% and is more tangy and slightly acidic in flavor profile. Mexican crema has a higher fat content at about 30% and is richer and less tangy.
With a similar fat content at 30%, French crème fraîche is a good substitute for Mexican crema. However, that is not dairy free.
I find that soy based vegan sour creams are some of the best dairy free Mexican crema substitutes with their high protein and fat content and similar texture to crema.
My favorite dairy free sour cream is Tofutti Soy Sour Cream. This brand is totally nut free, even coconut free! Trader Joe’s also makes a great vegan sour cream. However, the best dairy free sour cream for you to use is the one that fits best with your unique food allergy needs.
How to Store + Make Ahead
Traditional Mexican crema can be made at home sitting on the countertop and kept at room temperature. However, since we did not add buttermilk with the lactic acid, I don’t recommend this to sit out for long periods. The best storage is in the fridge.
How to Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Make Ahead: Mix this together the day before a big event. Give it a quick stir before serving and enjoy!
More Tex Mex Recipes to Love
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Chef’s knife
- 1 cup vegan sour cream
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 2 tablespoon honey swap maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Mix and serve. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine vegan sour cream, lime juice, chipotle powder, honey, garlic powder, and salt. Taste for seasoning and enjoy!
- How to Store + Make Ahead
- How to Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
- Make Ahead: Mix this together the day before a big event. Give it a quick stir before serving and enjoy!
- Allergy Substitutions
- Use the best dairy free sour cream for you and your unique needs. If you can’t find one, you can also use dairy free Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. That is the easiest way to replicate the texture. Since the yogurt is a little more tangy than sour cream, you can reduce the lime juice, or enjoy a tangy cream sauce!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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