If you love the smoky red pepper crema from Hello Fresh, this copycat recipe is for you! Made from roasted red peppers and infused with a touch of smokiness (thanks to the smoked paprika), this crema offers a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and smoky notes. Delicious when drizzled over tacos, spread into your favorite sandwich, or paired with grilled meats!
I recently just made some homemade fries using my version of their fry seasoning, but I felt like it needed something more.
That's when I remembered my love for their smoky red pepper crema! I knew I had to make a copycat version ASAP.
After experimenting with different ratios and ingredients, I finally came up with the perfect recipe that is almost identical to Hello Fresh's version.
Now I can enjoy this delicious crema anytime I want (and you can too)!
Why you'll love this smoky red pepper crema
- This crema has the best blend of flavors- smoky, sweet, and tangy!
- Roasted red peppers have a sweetness that balances out the smokiness of paprika.
- Sour cream adds a tangy creaminess that ties everything together.
- Pairs great with grilled meats and veggies or drizzled-over tacos and salads.
- Make it under 15 minutes!
Key ingredients and why we use them
Making a batch of this smoky red pepper crema is so worth it for how much flavor it packs into one dip.
Here are some of the key ingredients in this recipe and why we use them:
- Sour Cream: This ingredient adds a creamy and tangy element to the sauce, balancing out the smokiness of the red peppers.
- Smoked Paprika: As the name suggests, this spice adds a smoky flavor to the sauce and complements the roasted peppers well.
- Roasted Red Peppers: These give the sauce some sweetness and add a vibrant red color to the dish.
Heather's helpful hints
- If you don't feel like using those store-bought peppers in a jar, you can roast your own red peppers right in your oven at home. Check out this awesome guide on how to roast red peppers - It's super easy!
- If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a little bit of water to thin out the crema.
- The longer you let the flavors meld together, the more delicious this crema will taste. So, if you can, make it a day ahead and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Before you do anything, drain your smoked red peppers using a colander. Give them a quick pat dry with a paper towel to get rid of any extra moisture.
To make the smoky crema, follow the steps below.
Step 1) Place the red peppers in a small food processor and pulse until you get a smooth consistency.
Step 2) After that, add the peppers with the sour cream and lemon juice. Stir well until combined.
Step 3) Sprinkle in smoked paprika and the rest of the spices and give it a good stir.
Step 4) Taste the crema and adjust the seasoning as needed. Store in an airtight jar until you are ready to serve!
The great thing about this copycat recipe from Hello Fresh is that it is really easy to customize to your liking. Here are a few ideas for variations and substitutions:
- Spice it up: If you and your guests enjoy a bit of heat, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper and chili powder or a bit of hot sauce to give the crema a fiery kick.
- Cilantro lime crema: If you're serving a Mexican-inspired menu, consider adding finely chopped cilantro and replacing the lemon juice with lime juice. The zesty, fresh flavor complements many Mexican dishes deliciously.
You'll need the following pieces of equipment to make this delicious red pepper crema:
- Blender: To get the creamiest sauce possible, you'll want to use a blender to mix all of the ingredients together. If you don't have a blender, you can also use a food processor or immersion blender.
- Kid-friendly: Use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika!
- Vegan version: If you're vegan or lactose intolerant, you can swap out the sour cream for a non-dairy yogurt or a vegan sour cream substitute. Just make sure it's unsweetened to keep that savory flavor of the crema.
And, if you are in a pinch and don't have all of the ingredients on hand, you can mix sour cream (2 Tablespoons) with Sriracha sauce (1 teaspoon).
Make ahead and storage
This smoky red pepper crema can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. In fact, it tastes even better if you let the flavors meld together overnight! Just give it a good stir before serving.
Since it does have a dairy base, I don't recommend freezing this crema.
When I first tried this smokey red pepper cream from Hello Fresh, I actually tried it with their Cantina Shrimp Fajitas. It is my absolute favorite way to serve this crema!
If you are making their red pepper crema at home for dinner, here are some other meal ideas that go great with it:
- Tacos: Use this creamy topping on your favorite tacos, whether they're made with beef, chicken, or a veggie filling.
- Salad dressing: Thin out the crema with a bit of water and use it as a delicious and flavorful dressing for your favorite salads.
- Dipping sauce: Smoky red pepper crema can also be used as a dipping sauce for veggies, chips, or even chicken tenders.
Frequently asked questions
No, this smoky red pepper crema isn't spicy at all. The smoked paprika just gives it a touch of smokiness without any heat. But, if you're feeling adventurous and want a bit of a kick, go ahead and add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the crema.
Yes, if you like a chunkier texture in your crema, just give the peppers a few quick pulses in the food processor or chop them by hand before mixing them with the other ingredients.
Oh, absolutely! You can use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in this recipe. Just remember, it might change the taste and texture of the crema a bit. Greek yogurt is a bit tangier and thicker than sour cream, you know. So, you might want to adjust the seasoning to match.
If you're in the mood for more Hello Fresh recipes, check out these favorites from My Sweet Precision!
Not sure what to try? Check out our complete recipe index to search for recipes, baking tips, and more!
Hello Fresh Smoky Red Pepper Crema
- ½ cup roasted red bell peppers drained
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Drain your smoked red peppers using a colander. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove additional moisture.
- Place red peppers in a small food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Store in an airtight jar overnight before using.
Notes and Tips
- There are several Hello Fresh meals that call for this sauce: some of my favorites include: Cantina Shrimp Fajitas, Yucatan Citrus Chicken Bowls, and One-Pan Cheesy Beef and Black Bean Tacos.
- According to Hello Fresh, the official ingredient list is as follows: acidified sour cream, modified corn starch, lactic acid, citric acid, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, calcium phosphate, potassium sorbate, locust bean gum, red bell pepper pure, lemon juice concentrate, salt, spices, natural flavor.
- As a substitute, you can mix sour cream (2 Tablespoons) with Sriracha sauce (1 teaspoon).
- You can roast red peppers in your oven at home, if you don't want to use the store-bought peppers in a jar.