Served piping hot, this poblano sauce is an amazing addition to burritos, tacos, enchiladas or your favorite fish, chicken or beef dish. Includes video!
We do love all of the great cold salsas and sauces with our favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex style foods. In this case, though, we’ve created a sauce using a favorite pepper, the poblano, and it’s designed to be served hot.
Poblanos are readily available in most groceries year round these days, so you can make it anytime you like. We’ve also found them to be easy to grow in the garden and we’re always looking for ideas of what to do with all those poblano peppers.
Are poblano peppers hot and spicy?
Typically, they are not. They have a unique taste that adds a great level of flavor to any dish.
Unless you are using a very small one you will most likely find the heat to be minimal. That being said, hot and spicy, is a term that means different things to different people, so we advise nibbling a tiny bite to check.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Poblano Peppers – 2 to 4 depending on their size
- Butter – Salted or unsalted is fine. Just adjust your salt accordingly
- Onion – We recommend sweet onions
- Garlic – Freshly diced
- Flour – Plain all purpose
- Chicken stock – use vegetable stock if you want to be this sauce vegetarian
- Half and Half – you can use whole milk but your sauce will be less creamy
- Salt – plain table salt
- Cumin – ground
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed is always best
Exact measurements are in the recipe card below.
How to make it
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on an affiliate link and buy something, we may receive a very small commission. It does NOT result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra. Click here for our full privacy and disclosure policy. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
- First you’ll roast your peppers, let them cool, and then peel them. They can be roasted over an open flame (like a gas cooktop), on a grill, in the oven at 425 degrees or under a broiler. Just turn them to get an even char like in the photo below. The roasted peppers will be easier to peel if they’re steamed by cooling in a zip loc bag or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Cut the pepper flesh away from the ribs and seeds and then dice it.
- Melt the butter in a deep pot and then add diced onion and the peppers, cooking and stirring until the onions are soft.
- Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute.
- Mix the stock and cream and whisk in the flour, until there are no lumps.
- Slowly stir the stock mixture, salt and cumin into the pot and keep stirring until thickened.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
- If a smooth sauce is desired it can be blended with an immersion blender or briefly in a food processor. (If using an immersion blender it’s helpful to make your sauce in a deeper saucepan.)
COOK’S TIP: For easy peeling of poblano peppers that have been roasted and cooled, scrape lightly with a small paring knife.
This sauce will keep very nicely, refrigerated for 3-4 days if tightly covered.
We have not tested freezing it.
It does have a Mexican-inspired, southwestern type flavor, so you’ll find it a natural with any tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or as a dip for corn chips.
However, it also makes an interesting topping for fish or shrimp and this poblano sauce is excellent over chicken or beef.
If you love sauces like we do, you’ll want to check out these 10 Best Sauces.
You must love poblano peppers, right?
We do too. We’ve got two soups, Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder and Cheesy Poblano Soup that you’ll want to try.
And our Chicken Stuffed Peppers could certainly be made with typical bell peppers, but we love them best of all with poblanos.
Creamy Poblano Sauce
- 4 poblano peppers (2-3 if large size peppers)
- 2 Tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
- ⅓ cup diced onion about ½ of medium onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
- 1 cup half and half could substitute whole milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice about ½ lime, juiced
- 12 leaves cilantro approximately
- Roast peppers until charred and blistered over open flame, grill, in 425 degree oven, or under broiling, turning for even roasting.
- Place hot peppers in plastic bag or in bowl covered with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle.
- Peel peppers and then cut flesh away from stem, ribs and seed. Dice.
- Melt butter over medium heat and then add onion peppers, stirring frequently until onions are limp.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Mix the stock and cream (half and half) and whisk in the flour, whisking until all lumps are gone.
- Slowly stir in the stock mixture, salt and cumin to the pepper mixture and keep cooking and stirring until thicked.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
- If a smoother sauce is desired it can be blended with an immersion blender or briefly in a food processor before serving.
- Use a small paring knife and scrape peppers to peel.
- Vegetable stock may be substituted for chicken stock if a vegetarian sauce is desired.
- If using an immersion blender it’s helpful to make the sauce in a deeper saucepan.
Oh my, this sauce is bursting with such great flavors. I’m already thinking of ways to use it. Yum!
I love poblanos! Your recipe is so versatile on everything. Thanks for sharing!
Lily (GastroSenses) says
I make something similar on the regular. So tasty.
Delicious! Served it with simple baked cod last night and we loved it! Cannot wait to try it with enchiladas too!
Yay! Happy to hear that.