Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce is the orange quesadilla sauce used in the Taco Bell chicken and steak quesadillas. It’s a sweet and spicy ranch sauce that tastes amazing over a taco salad, quesadillas, chicken, paninis, and so many other foods!

creamy-jalapeño-sauce known-as-Taco-Bell-Quesadilla-sauce

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Spicy ranch dressing isn’t only good as a quesadilla sauce, you can dip pretzels and crackers with this sauce or use it in meat, as a dipping sauce for fried calamari and oysters, including seafood. This spicy ranch dressing recipe is perfect over Doritos Taco salad, Chicken Quesadillas, Sandwiches, and fries!

What is Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce?

Taco Bell is known for its cheese and chicken-filled tortillas oozing out with this tangy, sweet, and spicy quesadilla sauce. This sauce is best for quesadillas although it makes a fantastic dipping sauce, too! This quesadilla sauce tastes just like the “Creamy Jalapeno Sauce” from Taco Bell that is typically used in their signature quesadillas. It’s basically a spicy ranch sauce infused with flavorful spices and is so versatile for many different foods!

Taco Bell quesadilla sauce recipe

How I Made the Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce:

My first attempt to make the copycat taco bell quesadilla sauce was with sour cream and mayo, as a result, it didn’t taste like the authentic Taco Bell chicken quesadilla sauce. So, that’s when the experimenting began. Comparing the ingredients label off a bottle of ranch and the ingredients from Taco Bell’s Creamy jalapeño sauce, I realized almost all the ingredients in a bottle of ranch dressing were found in the creamy jalapeño sauce ingredients!

So, I bought creamy jalapeno sauce from Taco Bell and used it as my taste guide. I started by using Hidden valley ranch as the base and added more spices and seasonings to intensify the ranch flavor. After much testing, and starting over I finally realized how important the addition of cumin was, I was so HAPPY! I even called my husband from the excitement!

Search no more folks! This has got to be the closet copycat for the Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe! I make this at our home as a staple sauce, especially when we’re having Tacos or Easy Burrito Bowls for dinner! And the sauce only gets better after sitting! The excitement is real, so use this sauce for quesadillas or make our chicken quesadillas to satisfy that legit Taco Bell craving!

Taco Bell Spicy Ranch vs Creamy Jalapeno Sauce:

Although this quesadilla sauce has a ranch base it is slightly different from the spicy ranch sauce Taco Bell has on its menu. The creamy jalapeno sauce (aka quesadilla sauce) is more orange and has jalapenos, whereas the Taco Bell spicy ranch has habanero peppers. Both sauces have different profile flavors that make each other stand out.

Here is a photo of Taco Bell’s creamy jalapeno sauce in comparison to my homemade quesadilla sauce: Taco Bell’s creamy jalapeno sauce is to the right and my homemade quesadilla sauce is to the left. Does Taco Bell’s creamy jalapeno sauce look like mine? Let me know your comments down below.

copycat taco bell quesadilla sauce vs the real creamy jalapeño sauce

 

Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Ingredients:

If you have ever wondered what’s in Taco Bell’s creamy jalapeno sauce, I tell you it’s super easy to make at home using simple ingredients. Taco Bell Sauce for quesadillas is basically my version of a spicy ranch recipe only created to replicate the spicy sauce from taco bell. I used my favorite ranch dressing to make it spicy but you can use any ranch dressing as the base. I find it best with Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing.

  • Ranch Dressing: this Taco Bell spicy ranch is built from a bottle of prepared ranch dressing. This thick salad dressing is typically made with sour cream or buttermilk and is the perfect tangy base.
  • Seasonings: I used to make the Taco Bell Creamy jalapeno sauce were cayenne pepper, paprika, cocoa powder, sugar, cumin, onion, and garlic salt. To substitute the seasoned salts you can use plain garlic or onion powder with the addition of salt.
  • Hot Sauce: of choice that I used was sriracha sauce. Any spicy sauce with red chili peppers and garlic is a good substitute.
  • Jalapeno Pepper: depending on what I have on hand I will either use sliced pickled jalapenos or a fresh jalapeno.

Healthy Quesadilla Sauce: use a lite ranch dressing as the base and use honey for the sugar. You can also eat this sauce with healthy greens like a salad for a light meal. Look for keto-friendly ranch dressings without the added sugars for a keto-approved sauce.

How To Make Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce:

Homemade chicken quesadilla sauce (spicy ranch dressing) is made easy. I love to blend everything in my 2-Cup Measuring Cup using a Hand Blender. This sauce recipe takes a few minutes to make and can keep for months! DIY and skip the drive-thru for the sake of this taco Bell quesadilla sauce that you can make in under 5-minutes!

Taco Bell quesadilla sauce

 

  1.  This sauce for quesadillas is made all inside a measuring cup. Pour 1 cup of ranch dressing into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add all the remaining ingredients.
  2. Using a hand blender, blend all the sauce ingredients until smooth and the jalapeno peppers are pureed.
  3.  Pour quesadilla sauce into a squeeze bottle and keep it in the fridge for up to 6 months. Prepared ranch dressing from the store will last up to 6 months homemade ranch dressing will go bad much quicker.

Tip: No jalapenos? Quesadilla sauce without jalapenos isn’t the same so if you don’t have fresh jalapenos use a tablespoon of sliced pickled to make a great substitute.

Creative Ways To Use Quesadilla Sauce:

This spicy ranch sauce can be used in so many delicious ways! We put it over taco salad and it goes best with a chicken quesadilla, but you can totally use this as a dipping sauce or side to many main dishes!

Tip: make homemade marine subs like the restaurant if you need a good sandwich bread recipe for using this spicy sauce.

Storing Quesadilla Sauce:

I love how this sauce keeps! Prepared ranch dressing can keep for months after opening and adding some spices and pickled condiments (if using sliced pickled jalapenos) can last up to 6 months if not more! Simply keep the sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle to keep out any fridge odors. Avoid leaving out the sauce for long periods of time and keep it out of the sun. I’ve kept this sauce for months without it going bad.

Sauce Variations:

Ranch dressing makes an amazing base for sauces! Outback and Chili restaurant have their takes on spicy ranch sauces and they are so easy to build from, with the flavors you want to infuse. Here are some ideas:

  • Spicy Chipotle Ranch- is made with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Spicy Avocado Ranch Dressing: puree 1 Tbsp of cilantro and 1 small avocado into this sauce only omit the paprika.
  • Buffalo sauce ranch- add 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce (like Frank’s or Tabasco).
  • Creamy Jalapeno Sauce: follow this recipe for quesadilla sauce

 

Q&A

What Sauce Is on Taco Bell Quesadilla:

Have you ever wondered what sauce is in a taco bell quesadilla? The name of that sweet and spicy Taco bell sauce is called Creamy Jalapeno Sauce and it’s found in the steak and chicken quesadillas. Taco bell uses it in their quesadillas, and some of their burritos, and you can also have it as a dipping sauce on the side!

Is Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeno Sauce Spicy?

Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeno Sauce is mildly spicy. You can see how to make spicy ranch above in the recipe card, it isn’t overpowering by the chili peppers.

Can You Buy Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce?

Walmart and Kroger sell bottled Taco Bell sauces including the taco sauce (mild and hot), creamy chipotle sauce, Baja sauce, Creamy Spicy Ranchero Sauce, and Avocado ranch. You can easily buy these sauces in stores or on Amazon, however, one sauce Taco Bell doesn’t sell in stores is the quesadilla sauce (known as the creamy jalapeno sauce.)

Quesadilla Sauce Tips

  1. Don’t have onion or garlic salt? Use onion and garlic powder with the addition of salt!
  2. Fresh or Sliced Pickled jalapeños work!
  3. Hidden Valley Ranch is proven to show the best results for making the creamy jalapeño sauce!
  4. This spicy ranch dressing recipe is great as a dip!
  5. For extra nutrition use fermented jalapenos.
  6. Bring this zesty sauce to a bbq cookout as a burger topping or side, people will love this sauce.
  7. Taco Bell copycat quesadilla sauce is best in quesadillas, tacos, or anything Tex Mex.
  8. Chicken quesadilla sauce is great with steak or seafood so dress it up with different poultry and meats!

More Mexican Recipes To Try:

How to Make Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeño Sauce:

 

Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce is the orange quesadilla sauce used in the Taco Bell chicken and steak quesadillas. It's a sweet and spicy ranch sauce that tastes amazing over a taco salad, quesadillas, chicken, paninis, and so many other foods!

Equipment

  • 1 2-cup measuring cup
  • 1 hand blender (or blender to puree the sauce)

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Ranch Dressing (Original Hidden Valley Homestyle)
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper (can use 1 Tbsp of sliced pickled Jalapenos)
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt (see substitute below)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt (see substitute below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Instructions

Directions:

  • How to make Taco bell quesadilla sauce
    Place all the ingredients into a 2-cup measuring cup. Blend using a hand blender until smooth or until the jalapeno pepper is pureed.
  • taco bell quesadilla sauce
    Pour sauce into a squeeze bottle and keep refrigerated for up to 6 months*.

Notes

  • Garlic and Onion Salt Substitutes: substitute 1/4 tsp of onion and garlic powder with the addition of 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • For the closest results use Original Hidden Valley Ranch Homestyle dressing.
  • **if using prepared ranch dressing from a bottle it can last up to 6 months in the fridge after making this quesadilla sauce. homemade ranch dressing will not last as long.

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1TbspCalories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 330mgPotassium: 14mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg

 

Taco Bell quesadilla sauce

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84 comments

    • Colin

    Doubled the recipe with vegan versions of the animal products. If I would make one recommendation, use less Sriracha sauce (and maybe more cayenne to compensate)! I’m thinking it’s a balancing act between having enough sriracha to give it enough kick, without making it taste very sriracha-like. After the sauce settled in the fridge, the sauce still tastes delicious though!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Colin, I couldn’t detect the sriracha sauce in this but hey using all cayenne would probably work just as good.

        • Colin

        Actually BIG update. Before, I was testing it with chips to taste the sauce in isolation. But after putting a considerable amount of it in vegan chicken quesadillas, it TASTES JUST LIKE TACO BELL QUESADILLAS. So happy with this recipe. Thank you for making it.

          • Alyona Demyanchuk

          Good to know Colin, I’ve noticed the sauce gets a little better after sitting, perhaps the flavors meld more.

            • Ryan

            I made this but for some reason it didn’t taste anything like their creamy jalapeno sauce. I used organic Hidden Valley so maybe that’s why? It had a fresh taste and a nice kick, however.

            • Alyona Demyanchuk

            Hi Ryan, when I use the Original homestyle Hidden Valley Ranch (buy it from Costco) the Creamy Jalapeño Sauce turns out SO MUCH like Taco Bell’s sauce (I know because I make it regularly and use pickled jalapeños when out of fresh.) So the organic ranch may be the cause of the sauce not tasting as close. I also noticed the more the sauce sits the better it marinades and tastes. Try it with the original ranch and see how it goes, I tried it recently with an aldi ranch and did notice a different taste so maybe I should note what ranch to use for best results.

      • Carina

      Colin — would you mind sharing your veganized version? I’m allergic to dairy and I’ve been searching for a vegan version because I’m not very good at experimenting.

        • Alyona Demyanchuk

        Hi Colin, perhaps you can prepare the ranch dressing from a packet and use whatever alternative to dairy that you have, like almond milk or something. Then proceed with the recipe? What are some vegan alternatives to dairy, perhaps you know more?

    • J

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    • Janelle

    Made your original recipe of this tonight ! It was tasty and very similar! I added more cayenne per my liking and used a light sour cream. Gonna try this one next time! Thanks for your great recipes ?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      You are very welcome, Janelle! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Kyle Kirchner

    I LOVE this sauce from taco bell. I taste the slightest difference but honestly I didn’t think I would like this recipe (not a fan of ranch) but you NAILED it. Amazing job figuring this out. Thank you!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thank you, Kyle!

    • Christal

    I was just about to make the old recipe and found that you updated it to this one. This was spot on. Worked perfectly for the Taco Bell quesadillas, but I also put it on tacos and it just added the perfect flavor. Great job!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thank you so much for the feedback!

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