The Extra Ingredient You Need To Perfect Your Chipotle Mayo

Chipotle mayonnaise is definitely a heavy-hitter condiment, adding a savory, spicy, and creamy quality to everything from the best grilled fish tacos to a classic chicken sandwich to dips, salads, and more. While the combo of smoky chipotle peppers and slightly tangy and sweet mayo makes for a delicious sauce, one more ingredient can seriously dial up the flavor: lime juice. A squeeze of the sour and slightly bitter juice lifts up both the mayo and peppers, adding depth and a pleasant brightness to the rich condiment.

Both store-bought and homemade versions of chipotle mayo can benefit from a squeeze of lime, and the homemade stuff isn't hard to make. Chipotle peppers are just jalapeños that have been smoked and dried. They're sold whole; canned in adobo sauce; or in powdered form. Dried, canned, or ground peppers can all be combined with lime juice and your favorite mayo to great effect, though whole, dried chipotles will have to be soaked in water and deseeded before use.

To make the simplest form of this condiment, just blend your chipotles of choice with mayo, freshly-squeezed lime juice, and salt. Taste the mayo and then adjust the spice level, tanginess, and saltiness to your preferences. Just like that, you've got an easy, upgraded chipotle mayo that's ready for drizzling, slathering, or eating straight off the spoon.

How to use chipotle lime mayo

Use chipotle mayo with lime whenever you want a condiment that is creamy, spicy, and delightfully tart. It works as a base for coleslaw, chicken salad, or your favorite homemade ranch dressing recipe. Spread it on two pieces of toast, then make a sandwich with a fried egg, your go-to deli meats, or a pile of thinly-sliced fresh veggies and mashed avocado. For spicy food lovers, this mayo can make the best BLT sandwich or classic deviled eggs even better.

The sauce itself can also be tweaked with various other additions. Blend sweet and smoky roasted red peppers into the mix, and you've got a spicier, tangier version of Bobby Flay's go-to sauce for dipping french fries. You can also mix in some chopped pickles to make the perfect special sauce for smash burgers, with a delicious fast food-inspired flavor.

With its tenderizing, acidic properties and a bit of enriching fat, mayo also makes for a great marinade. Marinate chicken breasts or shrimp in chipotle mayo before tossing them on the grill for a delicious fajita filling, and finish with a little more mayo as a garnish, alongside all the other fixings you'd like. And on game day, you can simply set out a bowl of the mayo with fresh veggies, chips, or chicken tenders and let your guests have at it.

More sources of acid also make chiplotle mayo delicious

Acidity is always a welcome counterpoint to bitter, sweet, and spicy flavors. The addition of lime juice allows the subtle earthiness and pleasant smokiness of chipotle peppers to announce themselves, without being overpowering. No limes on hand? Lemon gets the job done, or you could even try mixing orange juice into chipotle mayo for a sweeter take that is perfect for slathering over salmon before baking.

For a similar tang-boosting effect with no citrus, try swapping out a portion of the mayonnaise with sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, or Mexican crema. Yogurt makes the spread both more cooling and thicker in texture. Spread a mix of chipotle mayo and Greek yogurt onto a plate, then mound a variety of roasted vegetables on top for a show-stopping vegetarian dish.

Vinegar would also be a nice addition, and you're likely to always have some on hand. Plain white vinegar offers the most neutral source of tartness, but you can use more creative options in coordination with your dish. Apple cider vinegar is a deliciously fruity and complex choice that's popular in salad dressings, so mix that with your chipotle mayo to dress veggies or pasta salad.