Roasted poblano crema (poblano cream sauce)

Are you over putting plain old sour cream on your flavorful Mexican dishes? Well then this is the recipe for you! This recipe for roasted poblano crema puts a fresh twist on the concept of Mexican crema. This cream sauce is a great option if you are looking to mellow out a bold, spicy recipe or freshen up a heavy fried dish. As always, this recipe for poblano cream is gluten free. In addition to being gluten free, this recipe is also vegetarian and keto friendly.

Roasted poblano crema (poblano cream sauce)

What does poblano cream sauce taste like?

Poblano crema or poblano cream sauce is supposed to taste creamy and fresh. The flavor of poblano crema is most similar to that of sour cream or standard Mexican crema. However the poblanos add an extra layer of flavor to the crema and make it taste more light, fresh, and sweet. I would say that the poblano peppers bring the same qualities that poblano cream sauce that cucumbers bring to tzatziki sauce. 

Is poblano cream sauce spicy?

Poblano cream sauce is not spicy! Poblano peppers themselves are not particularly spicy and the cream and sour cream in the poblano cream sauce wash away any hint of spice the poblanos might have. Poblano cream sauce is meant to be a fresh, creamy condiment that can be used to balance out other spicy foods.  

Roasted poblano crema (poblano cream sauce)

What do you put poblano cream sauce on?

You can put poblano crema on any dish you could imagine putting Mexican cream or sour cream on. Poblano crema has a light, fresh taste so I recommend using it to balance out foods with bold, spicy flavors or heavier fried foods. Here are some of my favorite dishes to put poblano crema on. 

Poblano crema also makes a great topping for roasted vegetables! Here are some of my favorite vegetables to top with poblano crema. 

  • Roasted asparagus
  • Baked potatoes
  • Roasted broccoli 
  • Roasted yucca

What pepper is closest to a poblano?

There are a few peppers that are similar to fresh poblanos. Anaheim peppers are similar to poblanos in that they do not have much heat and are not overly sweet like bell peppers. Anaheim peppers are smaller than poblanos, you should substitute about 1 1/2 – 2 Anaheim peppers for one poblano.

Ancho peppers are just dried poblano peppers so if you are able to substitute in dried peppers then ancho chiles are an option. Pasilla peppers, which are dried chilaca peppers, are another good option. Dried chiles generally have a smokier taste then fresh peppers so if you make this crema with ancho chiles the taste will be a little smokier. This crema is supposed to be light and fresh so I recommend trying to find a fresh pepper to use for this crema.

Are poblano peppers good for you?

As with most vegetables, poblano peppers are very good for you! They are a completely natural ingredient that is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Roasted poblano crema

This roasted poblano crema is a great companion for your favorite spicy Mexican dish!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, keto, vegetarian
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Destem and deseed the poblano pepper then quarter it.
  • Broil the poblano and onion for 5-7 minutes on high. Allow the pepper and onion to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend them for 1 minute.

Substitutions & additions for poblano crema

  • If you have some remade Mexican crema on hand, you can substitute one cup of Mexican crema for the sour cream and heavy cream. 
  • If you are a fan of cilantro, you should try adding a quarter cup of cilantro leaves to this recipe. Unfortunately I have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap so I skip out on the cilantro. 
  • If you are having trouble finding poblano chiles you could also use Anaheim chiles for this recipe. 

Other recipes you might like

vegetarian chalupa (taco bell style)

This poblano crema would go great on our vegetarian chalupas. Just replace the traditional crema the recipe calls for with equal proportions of poblano crema. 

Baked vegetarian taquitos with pinto beans

We absolutely love to dip these baked cheese and bean taquitos in our poblano crema! The creamy poblano sauce balances out the bold flavor of the refried beans we use in these taquitos.

vegetarian refried pinto beans

This poblano crema makes a great companion for our refried pinto beans. The pinto beans are bold and flavorful and this poblano crema balances them out with some smooth and creamy flavors. 

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