Baja cream sauce is an incredibly delicious condiment and it's perfect way to add lots of zesty flavor to so many of your favorite foods. It's most famously known for being a tasty addition to fish and shrimp tacos (but don't let that limit you, trust me)!
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I often have a jar of this deliciousness on hand because it's so easy to make and takes only 10 minutes from start to finish! Most recently I used my sauce on these super delicious Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos and it was HEAVENLY. I highly recommend this combo! You also can't go wrong drizzling a little bit on top of these White Chicken Enchiladas or Chicken Tinga Enchiladas.
What is baja sauce?
It's simply a creamy, white/orange sauce featuring tangy flavors with a bit of a spice. Baja style sauce was popularized by the fast food chain, Taco Bell, in the late 90s. They've since discontinued it from their menu, leaving many in despair.
You can still buy bottled, Taco Bell brand Baja sauce on Amazon (and at a few other large retailers), though lots of people say that the stuff in the bottle just isn't the same as they remember.
Never fear, you can make your own Baja sauce at home!
Why make this recipe?
I love a good homemade sauce, free from lots of preservatives. You can use light ingredients to cut down on calories and the fresh taste can't be beat.
This homemade version is gluten free, low carb, low sugar and keto friendly. I like to use light mayo to cut down on calories, and I've even made this recipe with half mayonnaise/half Greek yogurt to make it even healthier (it was delicious)!
- Peppers: red bell pepper and jalapeño (remove jalapeño seeds for a milder sauce or leave them for more spice).
- Light mayonnaise: full fat mayonnaise can also be used. I use light to cut down on calories, in my opinion this doesn't affect taste at all, so why not?! You can also use half mayo and half Greek yogurt.
- Lime juice: add juice from half of one lime for some tangy flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated it best, though I have made this recipe with shaky parmesan cheese and it was still very delicious.
- Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and powdered mustard seed (you can substitute a little regular mustard in a pinch).
How to make baja sauce:
This sauce is super quick and easy to make! Keep scrolling down for the full recipe card and measurements. We'll start here with an overview:
Prep your peppers by removing stems/seeds and dice them into smaller pieces. (*Note: if you like a hotter sauce, you can leave the stems and seeds in your jalapeno pepper).
Transfer chopped peppers into a blender and add all other ingredients.
Puree for 30-60 seconds, until smooth. Do a little taste test and add more salt or parmesan cheese if desired. If you left your jalapeno seeds in but still want it hotter, you can add a bit of sriracha.
Transfer your sauce from the blender into a serving bowl, add to all of your favorite foods. Enjoy!
Blender vs food processor: you can use either a blender or food processor to puree the ingredients for your sauce. I prefer to a blender because it tends to result in a bit of a smoother texture.
What is this sauce used on?
Use your sauce as a dip or drizzle for any food your heart desires. It's really versatile! Here are some ideas:
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Shredded Beef Tostadas
- Tasty Shrimp Tostadas
- Beef Enchiladas
- Nachos or tacos
- Taco casserole
- Stuffed peppers
- Veggie platter
- Roasted veggies
- Cauliflower wings
- Chicken nuggets
- Avocado toast
- French fries
- Fried shrimp
- Spring rolls
- Poke bowl
- Kale chips
- Baked potato
- Baked/fried salmon or Chicken
- Taco Salad
- Garden Salad
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes
Store your sauce in an air-tight, food storage container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. I don't recommend freezing. Mayonnaise, the main ingredient in this recipe, can become grainy and change in texture/taste when frozen.
Frequently asked questions:
It's a white/light orange colored sauce typically used on foods like fish or shrimp tacos. However, it can really be used on a myriad of different foods to add amazing flavor.
Baja sauce is typically made with peppers, parmesan cheese and seasonings blended with mayonnaise to make it creamy (some recipes call for yogurt instead of mayonnaise).
Baja sauce is creamy and a little bit tangy, but it's not necessarily all that spicy. However, you can customize your sauce and make it hotter by using a spicy chili powder or a bit of sriracha, if desired!
It's hard to say! So many people loved this menu item and were disappointed to see it go. I think that brands sometimes try and create a sense of urgency around their offerings, a "nothing will last forever" mentality. If you love a menu item, you'll seek it out often if there's fear of loss looming! This however, is pure speculation on my part . We will probably never really know why the chain discontinued the beloved sauce.
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Easy Baja Sauce Recipe (Taco Bell Copycat)
- Blender or food processor
- ½ small red bell pepper
- 1 small jalapeno
- 1 & ¼ cup light mayo *see note below
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese *freshly grated
- Juice from ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder *see note below
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
Recipe notes:Light mayo: you can also use full fat mayonnaise! I prefer light since it has a lot less calories. If you want to cut calories even further, use half Greek yogurt and half light mayo (also super delicious)! Mustard powder: sub 1-2 teaspoons of regular mustard in a pinch.
- Remove stems and seeds from peppers and chop into large pieces. (*Tip: you can leave the seeds in your jalapeno pepper for a spicier sauce, remove them if you like a more mild flavor).
- Transfer chopped peppers to a blender and add light mayo, parmesan cheese, lime juice, mustard powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and oregano.
- Puree ingredients for 30-60 seconds, until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the blender and puree again if you're getting a lot of splash.
- Transfer your sauce to a serving bowl. Add to desired foods and enjoy!
- Store your sauce in an air-tight, food storage container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. I don't recommend freezing as the main ingredient, mayonnaise, can become grainy and change in texture/taste when frozen.
Did you make this recipe?!
Wahoo! Thank you so much for trying it out – Would you leave a rating? Simply click on the stars in the recipe card above.
Vicki Schoenwald says
I didn't have chili seasoning but had Old Bay seasoning and it was awesome. I cant find This sauce in any grocery store as I'm out in the toolies but thank you for sharing this. Now I have sauce for my Fish Tacos. I also made red cabbage slaw and it was delicious with the tacos.
Garlic Salt & Lime says
So glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, Vicki! I really appreciate your rating, review and kind words. And it's great to know this recipe works with Old Bay seasoning!
Rock Warnick says
Garlic Salt & Lime says
Thank you, Rock! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!