This homemade quesadilla sauce has everything – creaminess, sweetness, acid, and heat. You can’t ask for a better sauce!
Mayo is the base component that really gives the sauce its creamy consistency. Cayenne and hot sauce make it spicy, ketchup lends its sweet flavor, and apple cider vinegar transforms it into being a slightly tangy sauce — no one can accuse this recipe of being one dimensional.
The next time you need an easy recipe for a versatile sauce, turn to this one. The next thing you know, you’ll be putting it on everything.
What is Quesadilla Sauce?
Quesadilla sauce is a creamy sauce that has an amazing sweet-plus-heat combination of flavors as well as acidity and earthiness. Despite its name you can use it on tons of different dishes.
You may recognize this as something similar to what you’ll find on chicken quesadillas from Taco Bell. It’s a bit of a copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce — possibly the only thing missing is the jalapenos (though you can add them).
While there are a couple ingredients that add spiciness to the sauce, you can adjust them to taste. They’re also balanced by the creamy mayonnaise, the acidic vinegar, and sweet ketchup.
You can use this as a dipping sauce or you can drizzle it over your favorite foods. I like to pair mine with Chamoy Sauce.
This sauce has simple ingredients you probably already have hanging around. If not, they’re all easy to find at most grocery stores.
- Mayonnaise – Use full fat mayonnaise to be sure to achieve the creamiest sauce.
- Ketchup – You can grab it at the grocery store or you can make your own homemade ketchup.
- Hot sauce – Use your favorite brand.
- Apple cider vinegar – We like to buy the kind with the “mother” in it for its health properties but you can choose whichever you like.
- Dijon mustard – This adds earthiness to the sauce and balances out the sweetness and heat.
- Coarse Kosher salt – Salt brings out the flavors of each ingredient.
- Cayenne pepper – This will add a bit more heat to your sauce.
How To Use Quesadilla Sauce
Kick up any savory food with this sauce.
- Dip – Quesadilla sauce is perfect for dipping tortilla chips, especially next to a bowl of queso.
- Mexican food – Use this as a sauce to dunk tacos or quesadillas in or drizzle it over burritos and enchiladas. Nachos are also amazing with this sauce and it’s perfect on top of a taco salad — it goes well with nearly any Mexican dish.
- Soups – Pack a flavor punch by adding this to soups or chili.
- Potatoes – Dip your french fries or just drizzle it over roasted potatoes.
- Burgers and hot dogs – Spoon this over the top of your freshly grilled hamburger or hot dog for a spicy kick of flavor.
- Salad – Use this a delicious salad dressing for any salad. You could also use it for an interesting twist on traditional pasta salad or potato salad.
Like any great sauce, there are lots of options for changing up the flavor profile of avocado crema.
- Sour cream – Instead of Greek yogurt, you can use sour cream.
- Guacamole – If you don’t have fresh avocados on hand you can mix in prepared guacamole and adjust the other ingredients to taste.
- Herbs – If cilantro is an herb that doesn’t work with your palate (or your guests’) you can try parsley, Thai basil, or dill instead.
- Spices – For a nuanced flavor profile try adding ground cumin or tajin. You can also use a little bit of onion powder or even taco seasoning.
- Heat – Hot sauce, green chile, chili powder, and cayenne will all add some spicy flavor to the sauce.
- Fresh jalapenos – Make a creamy jalapeno sauce by adding diced jalapeno peppers to it. You can also drizzle in some jalapeno juice from a jar of pickled jalapenos.
- Garlic – For a garlicky twist, add minced fresh garlic or garlic powder.
- Dairy – For less creamy texture consider adding heavy cream. For more creaminess, try using cream cheese.
- Ranch – Mix a bit of ranch dressing into this for a ranch-style spicy sauce.
- Vegan – Use vegan mayo to make a vegan quesadilla sauce.
- Tomato sauce – Instead of ketchup, consider using canned tomato sauce.
Storage, Make Ahead and Freezing
Store this spicy sauce in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Make Ahead: Quesadilla sauce will last for a few days so make it ahead for parties or meal prepping and stir well before serving.
Refrigerator: Store quesadilla sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezer: We don’t recommend freezing mayonnaise based sauces.
Other Savory Sauces
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and cayenne in a bowl, blending well.
- Cover and chill for 15-30 minutes.
- Stir again and serve with anything that needs a zesty dipping sauce.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.