Jalapeño poppers are a classic! Most likely because they are delicious. But what sauces go best with jalapeño poppers? As it turns out, there are many, many different sauces you can use, and I am going to be walking you through some of the very best here today.
So, what are the best sauces for jalapeño poppers? One of the classic dipping sauces for jalapeño poppers is sweet chili sauce. Other sweet sauces include watermelon sauce, chipotle raspberry sauce, and mango sauce. Guacamole, lime cilantro sauce, creamy lime sauce, ranch and avo sauce, and sriracha dipping sauce also pair very well. For something less creamy and very fresh, try a salsa or marinara sauce.
Now, let’s explore the recommendations above in greater detail, add some other tips, and also go into what sauces you want to avoid for your jalapeño poppers!
- 1 The Best Sauces For Jalapeño Poppers
- 2 What Types of Sauces Pair Best With Jalapeño Poppers?
- 3 What Sauces To Avoid Serving With Jalapeño Poppers
The Best Sauces For Jalapeño Poppers
Let’s start this list off with something a little different–watermelon sauce.
I don’t know about you, but it’s not the kind of sauce that often finds its way to my table!
But as watermelons offer a cooling sensation and jalapeño poppers a hot one, they go well together. Watermelon is also the perfect flavor for summer.
To make the watermelon dipping sauce, you’ll need watermelon puree (made from the flesh of a deseeded watermelon), soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes (not necessary if you have made very hot jalapeño poppers!).
You may prefer a sauce that’s a bit more creamy, like guacamole. If so, why not make watermelon guac?
To make watermelon guacamole, you’ll need avocados, diced/minced watermelon, garlic powder (or fresh garlic), cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
Possibly some black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste.
Now, this watermelon guacamole was actually suggested as a filling for jalapeño poppers (as opposed to some form of cheese), but who says you can’t use it as a dipping sauce instead? Not I!
The recipes for both these watermelon sauces can be found here.
Chipotle Raspberry Sauce
A lot of people find that a sweet sauce works well with jalapeño peppers. If you’re one of those people, you might enjoy a chipotle raspberry dipping sauce.
To make this sauce, you’ll need (frozen) raspberries, corn starch, water, sugar, lime juice, and a tiny bit of chipotle sauce.
You’ll need to cook this sauce, so it does require a bit of work, but it’s still very easy to make.
You’ll find the full recipe here.
Sweet Chili Sauce
Sweet chili sauce is perhaps the most well-known of the sauces associated with jalapeño poppers.
And it’s easy to make as all you have to do is pick up a bottle from your nearest supermarket… Of course, you can make it yourself, too!
To make sweet chili sauce, you need water, rice vinegar, minced chili (or chili flakes, or sambal olek), garlic, and corn starch.
Some people add ketchup for the color if not using sambal olek. You can also add ginger for flavor.
Creamy Lime Sauce
If you want something creamy and easy to make, try a lime sauce made with mayo and lime juice (you could add some zest if desired).
You can opt for a vegan mayonnaise if you want to avoid eggs.
If mayo alone is a bit too fatty for you, go half-and-half with mayo and sour cream.
Sriracha Dipping Sauce
If you just can’t get enough of chilies, try making some sriracha dipping sauce!
For this sauce, all you need is mayo and sriracha sauce. Both of which can be found in well-stocked food stores.
If you like a bit of a smokier flavor, substitute the sriracha with chipotle sauce.
Mango Dipping Sauce
We’re back to a sweet sauce!
This mango sauce requires only three ingredients–fresh mango, rice wine vinegar, and lime juice.
Blend them together, and you’re good to go! Should the sauce not be sweet enough, add some honey or brown sugar.
Ranch and Avo Dipping Sauce
This is another sauce that requires very few ingredients. For the best result when making it, you will need a food processor, however.
Simply blend together ranch sauce, avocado, and lime juice.
Lime Cilantro (or Parsley) Dipping Sauce
If you love something creamy and fresh, then this sauce is brilliant.
You’ll need sour cream, green onions, lime juice, cilantro (or parsley), and garlic salt (or salt and garlic powder).
All you need to do is chop the cilantro and onions finely and stir them into the sour cream together with the other ingredients.
Guacamole is a versatile dip and works really well with jalapeño poppers (as mentioned above with the watermelon guacamole).
There are many different ideas about what actually goes into guacamole. Some people claim that it’s mashed avo, lime juice, and salt.
Others add to that base one or more of the following:
- Minced garlic or garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper/chopped jalapeño peppers/chipotle sauce or seasoning
- Cilantro or parsley
- Chopped onions or onion powder
- Paprika or smoked paprika
- Sour cream
Chances are that if you’re a guacamole lover, you already have your own special recipe!
While a fresh salsa would be hard to dip your jalapeño poppers in, a cooked version that has a sauce-like consistency works really well as a dipping sauce!
That’s not to say you can’t use fresh salsa, just note that it’s harder to dip a jalapeño popper in it and make the sauce stick!
You’ll be able to find salsa in supermarkets.
Usually next to the nachos! You can also make your own salsa with tomatoes, onions, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and chilies.
Some people like sweeter salsas, like a peach salsa. For that, you’ll need peaches, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, jalapeño peppers, brown sugar, garlic, and, if you like, cilantro.
You can find the full recipe here.
While on the topic of tomato-based sauces, let’s mention marinara sauce. If you love your tomato sauce, this is the way to go when looking for a sauce for your chili poppers.
You can buy marinara sauce in supermarkets or make your own. To make your own, you’ll need tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, oregano, and basil.
There are, of course, recipes that call for more ingredients, but this is a classic marinara sauce recipe.
What Types of Sauces Pair Best With Jalapeño Poppers?
Jalapeño poppers are often paired with a sweet sauce, like sweet chili sauce, chipotle raspberry sauce, or mango sauce. You can also pair them with creamy sauces like a lime (and cilantro) dipping sauce, guacamole, or an avocado and ranch sauce. Some people enjoy tomato-based sauces such as a salsa (not that common) or marinara sauce.
If you find you want something to “cool” your palate while eating jalapeño poppers, opt for a creamy sauce and go light on the chili in that sauce.
You could even just serve them with mashed avocados mixed with some lime juice and sour cream or plain sour cream.
If you like to dip your jalapeños with a sweet sauce, sweet chili, raspberry, chipotle, or mango sauce are all good options.
Consider, again, the heat factor.
Generally speaking, jalapeños aren’t that hot, but you don’t necessarily want to serve them with a hot sauce!
When it comes to tomato-based sauces, one option is to make or buy salsas (cooked ones will likely stick better to the jalapeño poppers when you dip them). You can choose a sweet salsa, such as a peach salsa, or a regular one.
The other option for a tomato-based sauce is a marinara sauce.
What Sauces To Avoid Serving With Jalapeño Poppers
You want to avoid something that’s really hot and spicy as the jalapeños pack a bit of a punch themselves. As jalapeño poppers contain cheese (usually), you don’t hear of cheese sauces, either. Nor would soy sauce or mustard do the trick.
I’ve heard of people eating jalapeño poppers with ketchup, but mustard would be taking things a bit too far.
Likewise, you don’t really use soy-based dipping sauces like you would with spring rolls.
Some people are likely to find that a mayonnaise-based sauce gets a bit too heavy (fatty) as the jalapeño poppers have cheese in them.
Sour cream and mayo, or just sour cream, is nice and creamy but not as heavy.
For the same reason, a cheese sauce wouldn’t work very well.
While a sweet chili sauce is nice as it’s not too spicy, dipping them in a hot sauce will likely make the poppers a tad too hot!
Looking for other sauce recommendations for other delicious finger foods? Then check out my other guides below:
- Best Dipping Sauces For Pizza ⋆ 11 Unusual Combinations! ⋆
- Best Sauces For Pizza Rolls ⋆ 9 Delicious Options! ⋆
- Best Dipping Sauces For Artichokes ⋆ 16 Options You Should Try ⋆
- Best Sauces For Egg Rolls ⋆ 7 Of The Best Combinations! ⋆
- What Sauce To Eat With Mozzarella Sticks ⋆ 15 Options To Try! ⋆
- What Sauce Goes With Sweet Potato Fries? ⋆ 8 Winning Combinations ⋆
- What Sauce To Eat With Falafel ⋆ 6 Options To Try! ⋆
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.