Ancho Cream Sauce

Perfect for Mexican night…

Want something different than the typical salsa or tomato-based chili sauce for Mexican night? Something that’s mild enough that the whole family can enjoy, yet still has plenty of flavor? Meet the ancho cream sauce. It’s super-mild (ancho peppers are typically half the heat of even the mildest jalapeños), yet anchos are packed with flavor. They’re earthy, slightly smoky, and even a little sweet – a perfect foil to rich cream flavor.

Use this sauce with tortilla-based Mexican meals – enchiladas, burritos, or quesadillas are all great options.

Ancho cream sauce

Ancho Cream Sauce

5 from 1 vote


  • 2 ancho peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Rehydrate the chilies

  • Fill a medium sized pot halfway with water, then bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  • Move the pot off the heat, then add the ancho peppers. Allow the ancho peppers to soak in the water for half an hour to rehydrate them, then remove them from the water.
  • Put 1/3 cup of the water to the side.

Prep the chilies

  • Cut the stems off the anchos, then slice the chilies lengthwise and remove the seeds.

Make the ancho cream sauce

  • In a blender (or using a food processor and a high-sided pot), combine the anchos, the reserved ancho water, and garlic, then process until smooth.
  • Transfer the ancho mix into a pan and add the whipping cream. Stir to combine and bring the sauce to a quick boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes (until slightly thickened).
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and add the lime juice and salt to the sauce. Stir to combine and use immediately.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on April 2, 2020 to include new content.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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Is there any way I can substitute ancho powder for the chillies? I can’t find them in my area