Fish taco sauce features a blend of tangy, creamy, sweet, and slightly smoky flavors. It starts with a base of Greek yogurt and Mexican crema followed by chipotles in adobo, lime, and honey. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your fish tacos, this condiment is the one for you!
If you want to make the best fish tacos, it needs sauce! Fish taco sauce is a versatile condiment that adds flavor, complexity, and spice to various foods. It received the name “fish taco sauce” as it’s one of the most common sauces served with (you guessed it) fish tacos!
This version combines Greek yogurt and Mexican crema for a thick, tangy, and creamy base. The chipotle chiles in adobo add a smoky and spicy boost of flavor while the honey balances everything out.
Why You’ll Love Fish Taco Sauce
- Quick: All you need is 5 minutes to create a fresh and flavorful sauce. You’ll be using it to top your favorite recipes in no time!
- Easy: Just add everything to a blender and push start. There’s no reason not to give fish taco sauce a try.
- Customizable: This recipe is highly customizable. Make it spicier, omit the dairy, or adjust the consistency. Adjust it to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.
Looking for a sauce with more herbs? Try this 5-minute Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make this tasty Mexican condiment.
- Greek yogurt: For the base of the fish taco sauce, we love Greek yogurt. It’s rich, creamy, and refreshing. You can also use regular yogurt for a thinner sauce.
- Mexican crema: Provides a tangy flavor and a slightly thinner consistency than Greek yogurt. Mayonnaise or sour cream will work if you can’t find Mexican crema, though you may need to thin the sauce further.
- Honey: Balances the tang and spice of the other ingredients. You can also use agave if you don’t eat honey or leave it out.
- Chipotles in adobo: You can adjust these up or down based on your heat tolerance. If you’re really sensitive to spice, omit the chilies and just use the adobo sauce.
- Lime: Provides a bright, slightly sweet acidity. We strongly recommend using freshly squeezed limes over lime juice from a bottle.
- Garlic: Add garlic powder for a nutty, roasted flavor or freshly minced garlic for a more pungent taste.
- Salt: Brings out the flavor of the sauce. You can use sea salt or kosher salt.
How to Make Fish Taco Sauce
Follow these simple steps to make this homemade sauce in less than 5 minutes.
1. Blend the sauce
We recommend blending this sauce as it helps incorporate the chipotle chilies evenly. Since there isn’t a huge volume, it's best to use a small food processor or personal blender.
Just add everything in and blend it until smooth and creamy. We suggest starting with a small number of chipotle peppers, then tasting and increasing them if you want.
2. Adjust the consistency
If you don’t have Mexican crema available, you may want to use regular yogurt to achieve the ideal consistency. You can add some water, olive oil, or lime juice as well. If you add more adobo, this will also thin the sauce, so keep that in mind!
How to Use Fish Taco Sauce
This sauce is a perfect accompaniment to fish tacos recipes like these:
- Blackened Fish Tacos
- Fish Tacos with Lime Slaw
- Shrimp Tacos
- Fish Tacos and Avocado Crema
- Salmon Tacos
- Baja Fish Tacos
You can also use your fish taco sauce as a dip for chips and vegetables. Or, try serving it as a condiment for grilled chicken and roasted vegetables!
Need a quick and easy fish taco recipe? This is our favorite:
- 1 lb cod, halibut, snapper, haddock, tilapia, or other firm white fish
- 1-2 tbsp fish taco seasoning, taco seasoning, blackening seasoning, or Cajun seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 8 corn tortillas (warmed or toasted)
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage (or green)
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Rub the fish on both sides with the seasoning mix.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the fish and cook for about 3-4 minutes, depending on thickness. Flip and cook an additional 2-4 minutes until opaque and flaky.
- Remove the fish and squeeze lime juice over top of the fish. Serve with shredded cabbage, cilantro, and fish taco sauce.
More Fish Taco Toppings
Like most tacos, fish tacos taste amazing with all types of toppings. Here are more delicious topping ideas.
- Mango salsa with black beans
- Pineapple salsa
- Corn salsa
- Fish taco slaw
- Pickled red onions
- Shredded cabbage
- Pico de gallo
- Creamy chipotle sauce
Storage and Reheating
If you end up with leftovers or want to make extra fish taco sauce to keep on hand, follow these storage tips:
- Fridge: You can store fish taco sauce in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks. Just keep it in an airtight container to preserve the flavors.
- Freezer: We don’t suggest storing fish taco sauce in the freezer.
- Prep ahead: You can prepare fish taco sauce ahead of time (and we recommend it). The flavors come together perfectly when you let it chill for at least an hour in the fridge.
Think of this recipe as a starting place to build the fish taco sauce that works for you. From a classic creamy white sauce to something more creative, this sauce is versatile and easy to customize.
- Avocado: Try adding avocado to the blender for a creamy texture and healthy fats.
- Vegan: For a vegan version, use dairy-free sour cream, mayo, or Greek yogurt.
- Sweetness: Balance the spice and tang with a fruity option like pineapple juice instead of honey.
- Cilantro: For a herbaceous element, include fresh cilantro in the sauce.
- Leave out the spice: If you prefer the classic white sauce for fish tacos, just leave out the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Spicy without smoke: If you prefer a less smoky sauce, use hot sauce, Sriracha, or fresh jalapenos instead of chipotle peppers.
Tips for Making Fish Taco Sauce
Follow these tips for the best results.
- Increase the heat: If you’re looking for more spice, add extra chipotles in adobo, Valentina hot sauce, or cayenne pepper.
- Start slow: Start with fewer chipotles, then taste and add more as you go.
- Fresh lime: Make sure to use fresh lime juice over lime juice from concentrate for the best flavor.
- Chill: Leave enough time to chill your fish taco sauce for at least an hour before serving it. This allows the flavors to build and blend better.
- Use a blender: If you want the smoothest sauce, use a small blender or food processor.
- Double the recipe: Since this sauce lasts so long in the fridge, we recommend making a double or triple batch!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this sauce.
Yes, you can use mayonnaise instead of Mexican crema if you aren’t able to find it. Other alternatives include Greek yogurt or sour cream.
The heat of this recipe depends entirely on how many chipotles in adobo you add. Since chipotle peppers can vary in spice, test some before mixing it together and adjust them up or down based on your preferences.
Yes, fresh garlic also works in place of powdered garlic. You may end up with smaller chunks in the sauce, and it will taste more intense and pungent.
Fish Taco Sauce
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- 1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt for a thinner sauce)
- 1/3 cup Mexican crema (or mayonnaise or sour cream)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo (adjust to taste, just use the sauce for less heat)
- 1 lime, juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 small clove)
- Salt to taste
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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