Our easy avocado crema recipe is silky smooth and refreshing, with just a little bit of tang. Perfect for dipping, drizzling on all your favorite Mexican foods from street tacos to nachos, or thin it down with milk for the perfect salad dressing. And it only takes 5 minutes using a small handful of ingredients!
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🥑 What is Avocado Crema?
First, let's start with crema. Crema is a cream-based condiment that is thinner than sour cream with a punchier acidic flavor. Typical crema recipes combine sour cream with a liquid, either heavy, cream, buttermilk, or milk, and an acid like lemon or lime juice.
Avocado crema adds fresh avocados for a thicker creamy texture. It is a play on a traditional crema which is used for topping a variety of foods, but especially for toning down spicier fare.
📖Why This Recipe Works
All the extra healthy fats from the avocados enhance the texture and mouth feel of the crema. Additionally, we have added herbs and spices, such as garlic and cumin to add a light background flavor without overwhelming the palate.
This creamy avocado sauce recipe is naturally gluten-free and ideal for anyone doing the keto diet. This recipe is the cream version of our vegan avocado sauce recipe.
Avocados- see below for tips and tricks on selecting the perfectly ripe avocado
Sour Cream- you can substitute greek yogurt (or even nonfat greek yogurt), but sour cream will give you more of the tang associated with Mexican crema
Milk- I prefer milk to thin down the crema but you can use heavy cream or buttermilk as well
Lime- you need fresh lime because this recipe uses both the zest and the fresh lime juice
Garlic- I prefer using fresh garlic but you can also use ⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder in place of each garlic clove
Cumin- just a little bit, but this untraditional ingredient jazzes up
Cilantro- a controversial ingredient, you can skip it but this recipe does use a small amount of fresh cilantro to maximize the end flavor
How to Pick a Ripe Avocado
Gently squeeze the avocado with the palm of your hand, it should be soft and not squishy. I prefer to buy my avocados slightly firmer and use the below method to ripen.
The skin should be a green-purple color. Too green the avocado will be too firm. Purple to black and you risk the chance of the avocado being overripe.
How to Quickly Ripen Avocado
Avocados ripen after picking, not while on the tree. So often finding a perfectly ripe avocado can be tough. Ripening an avocado at home will take a day or two using the following method.
Just like a tomato, when avocados are exposed to ethylene gas, a natural plant hormone, they ripen faster. Place your avocado in a bag with a banana and close. Trapping the gas will speed up the process. You can also use an apple.
⏲️How to Make Avocado Crema
This is a simple recipe. The most important step is to adjust the seasoning and the texture to your specific taste.
In this recipe, all ingredients go into your blender at once. Don't worry about exact measurements because we can adjust in the next step
You can also use a regular food processor or mini-food processor, but the blending time will be longer, and you will need to scrape the bowl down.
Process on high until smooth. Depending on the ripeness of your avocados, this could take 60 to 90 seconds.
Season to taste. If you are unsure if the cumin or cilantro is spot, let it sit for an hour and taste. Adjust accordingly, but neither flavor should overwhelm.
Add more milk for a thinner consistency or to make into a salad dressing. I have never had avocado crema turn out too thick but if that were to happen, I would add a quarter to a half of an avocado.
🥗How to Use Avocado Cream Sauce
In addition to all the traditional Mexican food pairings, I use this crema as a dipping sauce for my homemade gluten-free chicken nuggets. And as a spread on our blackened chicken sandwiches, drizzled over bavette steaks, and as the perfect topping on our favorite crockpot shredded beef.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- For a thinner avocado cream add one tablespoon of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- For a thicker avocado cream add one-quarter of a fresh avocado at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
💭 Spicy Avocado Crema Variation
You can add any hot pepper you like but I recommend a serrano pepper. Start by adding half of the pepper to the blender. Taste and add more as desired.
For a spicy and smoky flavor try adding a roasted poblano pepper. You can make a roasted poblano pepper using any one of my favorite roasted pepper methods.
Avocado crema will keep in the fridge when tightly covered for 4 to 5 days. But is best served within 2 days. To prevent browning, press plastic wrap down directly onto the sauce then cover with the lid of your airtight container.
Always stir before serving to mix in any brown pieces.
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The acidity of the sour cream and the lime juice will reduce the speed at which the crema sauce browns it will still get dingy on top. To prevent this from happening squeeze a bit of extra lime juice on top. Place plastic wrap tightly against the surface.
Avocado crema will last up to 5 days in the fridge when properly stored.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process on high until smooth.2 avocados, ¼ cup cilantro leaves, ½ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons milk, 1 lime, 1 clove garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon cumin
- Add more milk for a thinner consistency. Add more salt to taste. Serve immediately.
- This crema recipe is best served within 2 days but will keep for up to 5 days when properly stored.
- To prevent browning, press plastic wrap down directly onto the sauce then cover with the lid of your airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.