This Vegan Chipotle Mayo is not only dairy-free, but incredibly easy to make! It's creamy, subtly spicy and pairs perfectly with tacos, burritos, buddha bowls and fries!
I love using cashews as the base for dairy-free sauces, whether that's cashew nacho cheese, cilantro lime sauce or classic ranch dressing. Whenever I need a sauce or dip that has a little bit of kick, I love to make this Vegan Chipotle Mayo. Not only is this vegan mayo easy to make, but it's also customizable depending on your spice tolerance. I love serving this mayo with vegan burrito bowls, fajitas or baked sweet potato fries. Yum!
Why This Recipe Works!
- Cashews are the perfect base for any creamy, dairy-free sauce. Simply soak your raw cashews in boiling water for a few minutes and they'll transform into a creamy, rich sauce in minutes!
- In order to get the traditional tang that comes from mayo, you'll be adding some lemon and/or lime juice to this mayo for the perfect balance of spicy and sour.
- This sauce calls for 7 pantry-staple ingredients, so it's a great condiment to whip up when you're in a pinch, but want some flavor.
- Thanks to the lemon and lime juice and apple cider vinegar, this vegan chipotle mayo lasts for quite a while in the fridge, making it a great condiment to meal prep at the start of your week.
- This vegan mayo is super versatile and can work as a sauce, dip, or even a spread on sandwiches!
- Cashews - Raw cashews make up the base of this sauce. I usually buy my cashews in bulk and store them in the freezer. Just make sure your cashews are raw and haven't been roasted or seasoned in any way.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce - This is one of my favorite ingredients to add to taco meat or sauces and you should be able to find it at your local grocery store (Look in the international aisle!) Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried jalapeños. The ones you get in a can are stored in a delicious, spicy adobe sauce.
- Lemon and Lime Juice - I love using both lemon and lime juice in this recipe. The lemon juice helps to create vegan mayo and the lime juice pairs perfectly with the chipotle peppers. However, if you only have one on hand, just use it!
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Again, adding a touch of apple cider vinegar helps to create that classic mayo flavor and tang. You'll just need a little to make this chipotle mayo!
- Smoked Paprika - I love the smokiness that smoked paprika adds to this sauce. If you don't already have smoked paprika on hand, I highly recommend making it a pantry staple! Not only is it great for sauces, but it also is great for making faux meats or meaty fillings as it adds that perfect smokey flavor.
See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
Spiciness - The amount of chipotle peppers and adobe sauce you use is entirely up to you. I like to use 2 chipotle peppers and about 1 tablespoon of adobe sauce, but if you want it spicier, add more! For a more mild chipotle mayo, add less. Remember, you can always add more, but you can take it out!
Sourness - It might seem overkill to use lemon juice, lime juice and apple cider vinegar in one recipe, but I love the different flavors each one adds to this vegan chipotle mayo. If you don't have all three on hand, you can use a combination of whatever you have. However, keep in mind that the total amount of sour ingredients should be about 3 tablespoons.
Consistency - If you want this to be more like a sauce, add more water (and possibly more salt). For a thick chipotle mayo, use just enough water to blend. I love my Vitamix blender because it has a tamper, allowing me to limit the amount of liquid I include.
How to Make Vegan Chipotle Mayo
Drain your soaked cashews. Then place all of the ingredients into your blender, starting with fewer chipotle peppers, if desired.
Blend until smooth. Taste and add more chipotle peppers and/or adobe sauce, lemon or lime juice, and salt as needed.
Hint: Always start with less when it comes to the chipotle peppers and water. You can always add more as needed to get the right spice level and consistency. I make this chipotle mayo super thick like sour cream when I'm serving it with tacos or burritos. For buddha bowls where I want to drizzle sauce all over my food, I make it thinner.
Thanks to lots of acid from the lemon juice, lime juice and apple cider vinegar, this sauce should last for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
It can even be frozen for 1-2 months. I made too much of this mayo before leaving for vacation one time, so I just popped it in my freezer. When I got back from my trip, I just thawed it in the fridge overnight for a quick and easy flavor blast!
My Top Tips
- If you're serving this mayo to kids, mayo omit the chipotle peppers all-togther. I know that defeats the purpose of making chipotle mayo, but this vegan mayo will still taste delicious, even without the spice.
- This sauce thickens up as it sits in the fridge, so whenever I need to serve it, I simply stir some water into it until it reaches the consistency I want.
Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried jalapeños. If you like to cook, you've probably used chipotle peppers in adobe sauce which have a delicious, smokey flavor with quite a bit of spice.
No, traditional mayonnaise is not vegan as it contains egg yolks. Thankfully, there are a lot of vegan mayo options on the market, so you should be able to find vegan mayo at your local grocery store.
Yes, traditional chipotle mayo would contain eggs as traditional mayo contains egg yolks. However, this vegan chipotle mayo is really easy to make and is egg free!
Pair This Chipotle Mayo With:
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Vegan Chipotle Mayo
- 1 blender preferably high speed
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes
- ½ cup water plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce + 3-4 teaspoons adobe sauce
- Soak your cashews in boiling water for about 15 minutes. If you own a high speed blender, you can also skip this step. Drain and rinse the cashews.
- Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Start with fewer peppers if you're worried about the spice level. You can always add more!
- Taste and add more chipotle peppers for kick, salt for saltiness, lemon or lime juice for tang and/or water for a runnier consistency.