September 20th, 2010

Creamy Habanero Sauce

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There’s a local Mexican restaurant that’s famous for it’s creamy habanero sauce.  And they’re not giving out the recipe.  So I decided to try and replicate it at home.  I noticed that the sauce didn’t actually have any habanero peppers in it, just the habanero flavor. I thought it might work to cook the entire habanero in the sauce, and it did! Cutting the pepper open allows that spicy flavor to work it’s way more easily into the creamy sauce. I only use half the pepper to keep the sauce on the milder side, but if you want a spicier version, throw in both halves! Just don’t forget to remove the habanero when your finished, and be very careful to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the pepper. You may want to taste the sauce as it’s cooking, and remove the habanero as soon as things are spicy enough for you. This is kind of like alfredo sauce with a kick, and it’s sooooo good. You can use it in all kinds of Mexican dishes, like enchiladas and burritos. My favorite thing to do is to stir in a big handful of cheese and some pico de gallo for an out of this world queso!


Creamy Habanero Sauce

Preparation 10 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 20 mins


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Slice habanero in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Add half of the habanero and the minced garlic to the pan.
  3. Saute for 1-2 minutes to release the flavors of the habanero.
  4. Stir in the flour and continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream and sugar.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until the cream is thick and bubbly.
  6. Reduce heat and stir in the chicken broth. Season with salt, to taste. Remove habanero from sauce before serving.
Who Dished It Up First: Inspired by Cafe Mexicali



  1. I have never had Habanero sauce before…what do you serve it with/on? It sure does look yummy even though I have never had it! And congrats to you for replicating it so well! 🙂

  2. I’m so excited you have recreated this!! Every time we visit Ft Collins, we eat at Cafe Mexicali so I can get this! I’ll be trying it soon.

  3. Oh I can tell you what to do with it!~~~ Take corn tortillas and layer them with shredded beef cooked before hand, and then add the creamy habanero sauce to the top sprinkle with cheese and warm it in micro or oven… just to melt the cheese and warm the other parts a little. Then add tomatoes and lettuce or whatever you wish on top.. serve with some salsa on top and yummmmmmmmmm!

  4. I think I forgot the first layer of corn torilla gets refried beans the second beef and then one for the top.

  5. Tried this recipie the other day as I love the creamy habanero sauce from Cafe Mexicali – thought this just tasted tooo italian, not mexican like the one they have – more like a spicy alfredo, like you said – any ideas to get it a little more authentic?

  6. I love Cafe Mexicali and I’m so glad you posted this recipe. I figured out how to make their lime drink. In case you haven’t, you can just google Brazilian Limeade and up pops such an easy recipe for a yummy drink.

  7. Ever since I had Cafe Mexicali’s white habanero sauce, I have been unable to consume any other cheese sauce or queso without being sorely disappointed. Finding this recipe today makes me so happy. I think I’m going to cry.

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  9. Holy Crap! I was just craving Cafe Mexicali, and I just learned to make sweet pork, so I did a search for creamy habinero sauce… We lived in Fort Collins until about six months ago- My favorite food of all time is the creamy habinero sauce over a smothered sweet pork burrito! Thank you for this! I cannot wait to try it out!!

  10. Found this because I did a search for Cafe Mexicali Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe, my weakness! Any thoughts on what that might be made of?

  11. Now you just need to add a sweet pork recipe to go with the creamy habanero sauce! My husband and I are addicted to Cafe Mexicali’s sweet pork quesolle’s still can’t find a sweet pork recipe that even comes close. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. I made this tonight and I have to say, when it was done and I tried it, I was disappointed. I ended up doctoring it a bit with some puréed green chilies, cumin and cayenne pepper. I also used the whole habanero instead of half. Now, after we put it on our sweet pork burrito bowl, the flavor completely jelled with the pork and it ended up being absolutely delicious! If your questioning this at all, just whip up some sweet pork for it!

  13. After reading some comments I decided to combine with another recipe. I added a spoonful of sour cream and a handful of Mexican blend cheese. Very delicious. It probably would have been great the way it was. Thanks for your creativeness to get us here!

  14. What happened to the creamy habanero recipe? I made it once and should have printed it. It was soooo good. I hope you put it back up: )

  15. Alexandra says:

    Hi everybody. We moved away from the Fort Collins area 4 years ago and I was thrilled to find this recipe. I have made this several times and love it. It is not the same as CafĂ© Mexicali, but still delish. I use very little garlic now and I think that helps make it not so Italian. I will try adding some spices next time. My question is now:”How was their salad layered with this sauce on it.” I cannot remember anymore. Anyone know?

  16. This recipe is close but I have watched them put shredded Monterrey Jack cheese into the large pots they are cooking the cream sauce in. They add it just at the end of the cooking process.

  17. I have used this recipe several times and love it. We use it on sweet pork tacos. I know this is an older Post. If anyone Is still reading it or interested. Search for Mitt and Ann Romney’s sweet pork. I think you can find it on the Rachael Ray website. It is pretty amazing. I like to serve the sweet pork on warmed corn tortillas with shredded cabbage and this cream sauce. It has been a hit every time I made it!


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