Poblano Sauce: Tangy Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce

poblano cream sauce on enchiladas
Poblano sauce is a thick, creamy Mexican condiment. It blends earthy, verdant roasted Poblanos with sour cream, tangy lime juice, and spices for a delectable sauce that goes with many Mexican dishes.

What Is Poblano Cream Sauce?

Poblano sauce is a flavorful Mexican sauce made with simple ingredients, including roasted poblano peppers, spices such as garlic, salt, or cilantro, and a cream to give a thick consistency. Mexican crema, Greek yogurt, and sour cream work best.

Poblano cream sauce is a good pick if you don’t like spicy sauces. Also known as ‘Poblano Crema’ or ‘Roasted Poblano Cream,’ the sauce is excellent for almost all cuisines. It makes a tasty dip for homemade hamburgers or enchiladas and a taste-bursting topping sauce for your fresh veggies or chicken.

poblano cream sauce

You can personalize the heat level and flavor by adding other peppers and additional ingredients.

Is Poblano Sauce Spicy?

Poblano cream sauce is mild in spice. Poblano pepper, the main ingredient, is a mild pepper with a range of 1,000-2,000 SHUs on the Scoville scale.

If you want to up the heat, add other roasted hot peppers, such as jalapeno or serrano, into your sauce.

Small-sized poblano peppers are richer in capsaicin than big ones, so choose small peppers in the grocery store for a naturally hotter sauce. Including seeds and veins may give your sauce more heat. However, the sour cream helps mellow the heat, and the tang creates a beautifully balanced poblano cream sauce.

What Does Poblano Cream Sauce Taste Like?

Roasted poblano chiles produce a hint of smokiness with moderate spiciness. Combined with savory garlic and spices, tangy lime and sour cream, poblano cream sauce has a bold, earthy, and fresh taste.

What Dishes Are Poblano Cream Sauce Used In?

Poblano cream sauce goes with the most popular Mexican dishes. Its creamy texture, deep, rich taste, and mild spice make it very versatile.

Poblano sauce is best served in the following dishes:

  • Rice and beans burritos – complete your vegetarian burritos with a creamy drizzle of poblano sauce.
  • Quesadillas – serve any quesadilla with poblano cream sauce in place of traditional sour cream.
  • Deep-fried fish – poblano cream sauce is an excellent topping for deep-fried fish in place of traditional tartar sauce.
  • Tacos – drizzle poblano cream over your tacos for a bright, tangy alternative to sour cream.
  • Tortilla chips – serve tortilla chips with poblano sauce in place of boring French onion dip.
  • Fried/baked potato wedges – drizzle poblano sauce over your potato wedges or use it as a dipping sauce.
  • Pico de gallo- poblano sauce accentuates the flavors in classic pico de gallo sauce and gives it a creamy consistency.
  • Taquitos – use this delicious condiment as a dipping sauce for homemade or frozen taquitos.
  • Chalupas – complete your homemade Mexican pork Chalupas with a drizzle of cool roasted poblano cream sauce.
  • Roasted vegetables – this mildly-spiced sauce makes an excellent topping for roast broccoli, potatoes, or spinach.
  • Grilled beef, pork, or chicken – drizzle a spoonful of poblano cream sauce on your grilled, roasted, or pan-fried protein.
poblano sauce on taquitos
Poblano sauce on taquitos.

Does Poblano Sauce Have Dairy?

Yes. The original poblano sauce recipe includes Mexican crema, sour cream, or Greek yogurt, which are dairy products.

If you don’t like dairy for personal and medical reasons, substitute yogurt or Mexican crema with whole-fat coconut milk (refrigerate the can and only use the solid fat from the top of the can) or vegan almond milk sour cream.

Cashew cream sauce gives you a surprisingly silky texture, while nutritional yeast mimics the taste of cheese.

Do You Have To Roast The Poblanos For Cream Sauce?

Poblano peppers are healthy and delicious both raw and cooked. You can also make this sauce without roasting them. However, roasting brings out the poblano pepper’s unique, earthy and smoky flavor.

Since poblano’s thick skin may be hard to digest, roasting makes peeling easy. Roasted/peeled poblano peppers quickly blend into a smooth texture for poblano cream sauce.

Helpful tips to make roasting and peeling easier include:

-Slice your Poblano peppers in half and deseed and devein them to save time when roasting.

-Cover your roasted pepper with a plastic bag or put them in a covered bowl to loosen the skin for easy peeling.

-Apply olive oil on your hands before peeling to protect you from the pepper’s capsaicin.

-While poblano pepper is moderate in heat, it may burn your skin. Wear protective gloves when peeling.

Substitutes For Poblano Peppers In Cream Sauce

If you can’t find poblano peppers, or you just want to experiment with different peppers in your cream sauce, try these:

  • Green bell peppers – the thick walls, color, and similar taste make green peppers an excellent substitute for poblano, only milder in heat.
  • Anaheim chile – this pepper is similar to poblano chile in appearance and thick walls, but with a slightly higher heat level.
  • Cubanelle pepper – cubanelles are milder and sweeter than poblano peppers. Despite its thinner walls, it can replace poblanos in the poblano cream sauce.

Variations For Creamy Poblano Sauce

Here are variations you can make to your poblano cream sauce to suit your preferences:

  • To add nutrients, blend in a slice of avocado, some roasted tomatillos, sauteed kale or spinach, or fresh cilantro.
  • If you’d like a hotter, smokier sauce, put 2-3 jalapeno, chipotle, or serrano peppers. Or add a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • For a deep, earthy flavor, add black pepper, cumin seeds, ranch seasoning, garlic cloves, or any other spice of your choice.
  • Add cheddar cheese and cook the sauce for a more American-style cheese sauce. Top burritos, quesadillas, or enchiladas with the cheese sauce.
  • Add water, chicken broth or vegetable puree for a lighter, thinner consistency.

How To Make Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce

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poblano cream sauce

Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce

  • Total Time: 25 minutes


This creamy and delicious Mexican cream sauce comes together in no time. Drizzle it over your favotire dishes or use it as a dipping sauce or in place of sour cream.


Units Scale
  • 4 fresh poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 8 oz Mexican crema, sour cream, or Greek yogurt


  1. Roast the poblanos under the broiler or in a cast iron pan. Turn until all sides are charred. Place peppers in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Wearing gloves, remove skin, seeds, and stems from peppers and transfer them to a blender.
  2. Add oil to a pan and saute onions and garlic until transparent and fragrant. Transfer to the blender.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. For a chunkier consistency, pulse the blender.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: sauce
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutritional Information For Poblano Cream Sauce

Nutritional information will vary from recipe to recipe, but in general, a traditional poblano cream sauce has the following:

Calories per serving: 45 kcal

Total Fat: 4g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Cholesterol: 15mg

Sodium: 30mg

Total Carbohydrates: 2g

The sauce is also rich in vitamins A & C, Iron, calcium and potassium.


Aside from being a writer, Regie is a food lover. She loves adding chili to almost everything – apart from tea. Within her small compound, she has lots of red and green chilis that grow throughout the year. She looks forward to sharing her love and passion for pepper through crafting informational pieces that you’ll love. Happy reading!

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