Fish tacos, burritos, and quesadillas are not complete without this irresistibly rich Baja sauce!
Creamy with a fun kick, Baja sauce has a perfect blend of flavors.
It comes together in a snap and holds well in the fridge. So be sure to make double – you’ll need it!
What is Baja Sauce?
This sauce, which was first introduced by Taco Bell, is a fusion of Mexican and Southern California flavors.
In case you’re not familiar, Baja California is a sovereign state in Mexico.
Sadly, Taco Bell discontinued the sauce years ago. But it’s okay because the one you’re about to make is a pretty fantastic copycat.
Baja sauce is a smooth and creamy condiment with a predominantly rich flavor.
It has notes of tanginess from lime juice, mild heat from spices, and smokiness from ancho chile.
Served chilled, it’s the perfect topping for fish tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more.
What Does Baja Sauce Taste Like?
It’s much like ranch dressing, but with extra oomph. It’s rich and creamy with a little bit of tanginess and heat.
That’s why it works so well with tacos! You get heat, but it’s nice and cool at the same time. Yum!
What is Baja Sauce Made Of?
There are quite a few recipes out there, and they’re mostly the same. But I prefer this version because it’s simple and always delivers.
- Sour Cream and Mayonnaise – They form the base of the sauce. For a healthier option, use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
- Lime Juice – This sauce is very rich, so it’s nice to have something tangy to balance out the flavor.
- Cilantro – Some can’t stand its soapy taste. So, feel free to leave it out.
- Seafood Seasoning (like Old Bay®) – Usually a blend of garlic, dill, dry mustard, celery seed, paprika, and parsley, it’s a spice mix that complements seafood well.
- Ground Ancho Chile Pepper – to give the sauce some smokiness and a little bit of heat.
How to Make Baja Sauce
I said it’s simple, and it really is. In fact, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:
- Dump all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix them until they’re well-combined.
- Cover and chill.
The hardest part is waiting for the flavors to marinate. The minimum is 1 hour, but let it sit in the fridge overnight for best results.
Tips for the Best Baja Sauce
While this recipe makes a great copycat of the original Taco Bell sauce, there’s no need to stick to it religiously.
Feel free to add more or less of the ingredients to suit your taste.
Other than that, here are a few more tips:
- Taste as you go. This is the best way to know whether you need to add more of anything.
- Try alternatives like serrano peppers for ancho chile or adobo for seafood seasoning.
- Add garlic and sriracha for an extra kick.
- Add ketchup if you want a hint of sweetness.
- Use ground chipotle chile pepper if you want it smoky.
- Skip the Old Bay. If you plan on using this on dishes other than fish tacos, skip the seafood seasoning and double the ancho instead.
- Mix in cream cheese to make the sauce extra rich.
What to Serve with Baja Sauce
Baja sauce is so versatile you can serve it with almost any savory dish you can think of.
But since it’s an original creation of Taco Bell, it makes sense that it tastes phenomenal with Taco Bell offerings, such as:
But the list doesn’t end there. Use this smooth and creamy condiment as a filling for:
It also makes for a fantastic dip! Think of anything savory with a crunchy exterior, like:
You can even use it as a salad dressing or sandwich filling. Seriously, the list goes on and on!
How to Store Baja Sauce
Place Baja sauce in a jar or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 to 5 days.
Do not freeze. The mayonnaise in the sauce will become grainy once thawed.
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