Smoky Red Pepper Crema - Copycat HelloFresh Recipe (2023)

If you’ve had the pleasure of sampling Hellofresh’s smoky red pepper crema, you likely know what a treat it is. Unfortunately, Hellofresh only gives you sample size packets which only provide enough to go with the entree you’re currently having. Bummer!Don’t fret. In today’s post, we’ll be breaking down what exactly is in Hellofresh’s smoky red pepper crema, as well as how you can make your own at home. Sound like something you’d be interested in? If so, stick around. We’re getting started right now!

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Smoky Red Pepper Crema - Copycat HelloFresh Recipe (1)

Table of Contents

  • What Is Smoky Red Pepper Crema?
  • What Is in Hellofresh Smoky Red Pepper Crema?
  • Easy Red Pepper Crema
    • Smoky Red Pepper Crema Recipe
      • Ingredients
      • Directions
  • Smoky Red Pepper Crema Calories
  • Healthy Substitute For Smoky Red Pepper Crema
  • Smoky Red Pepper Crema Replacement
    • Spicy Adobo Crema Ingredients
    • Directions
  • Smoky Red Pepper Crema: Simpler Than You Thought!
  • FAQs

What Is Smoky Red Pepper Crema?

Smoky red pepper crema is a type of sauce that can add creaminess and tang to all sorts of dishes. It pairs beautifully with spicy foods but can also be used to top tacos, chilis, and salads. It can even be used as a stand-alone for a dip!

Though red pepper crema recipes already existed in the past, it has recently garnered more popularity through Hellofresh. Hellofresh is ameal-kit delivery servicethat puts fresh food and easy recipes right at your fingertips. It often provides the ingredients you need to make a wonderful supper, but also contains sundry sauces and condiments that can make your meal exceptional.

Popular Hellofresh entrees that often include the red pepper crema are:

  • Turkey and Black Bean Chili
  • Caramelized Pineapple Chicken Tacos
  • Southwest Beef Cavatappi With Poblano
  • Pork Carnitas Tacos

Though these condiments and sauces (like their cream sauce base) are convenient when provided, once they’re gone, they’re gone! Thus, you’ll be left with a craving for that same taste without any idea of how to recreate it. Thankfully, that’s where we come in!

Today, we’ll be diving deep into exactly what Hellofresh’s red pepper crema has in it and how you can make your own version of it right from home.

(Video) Smoky Red Pepper Crema

Ok, enough babbling–let’s get into the details!

What Is in Hellofresh Smoky Red Pepper Crema?

Hellofresh smoky red pepper crema is composed ofsour cream, milk, spice, salt, red pepper puree, lemon juice concentrate, and soy.Of course, specifics aren’t given as to how much of each ingredient Hellofresh uses in their recipes.

Nevertheless, we’ve found a way to recreate the essence of this crema sauce using similar ingredients to create a rendition of this dish on our own.

Easy Red Pepper Crema

As you might be able to tell by the aforementioned ingredients list, Hellofresh’s red pepper crema isn’t hard to recreate. With only a few ingredients, you can pull together this simple and delicious sauce to ladle over a variety of foods.

Allow us to show you how!

Smoky Red Pepper Crema Recipe


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • To begin, preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
  • Take your red bell pepper and chop it in half lengthwise. Lay the two halves face down on the baking sheet.
  • Pop your baking sheet into the oven and cook the bell peppers for about 40 minutes. Be sure to flip the red pepper after 20 minutes in order to roast it evenly.
  • Once the bell peppers are roasted, remove them from the oven. Immediately place the bell peppers on a plate and cover them with foil or plastic wrap. This allows the red peppers to self-steam. Do this for 20 minutes.
  • Once 20 minutes is complete, remove the bell peppers from the plate and peel away the skin. Be sure to also remove any remnants of the stem and to remove the seeds as well.
  • Place your bell pepper along with your sour cream, lemon juice, salt, smoked paprika, and butter into a blender.
  • Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.
  • Serve immediately or chill in an airtight container for future use. The crema should last about a week, or until it shows signs of spoilage (whichever comes first).

Smoky Red Pepper Crema Calories

Smoky red pepper crema can run you around 45 calories per serving, but that will depend on the ingredients used and how much you consider to be a “serving”. Because sour cream tends to be higher in calories, you can bet that using too much of this sauce is going to pose a threat to your waistline.

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Thus, it’s best to keep things modest when using your red pepper crema, especially if you are looking to lose weight.

Healthy Substitute For Smoky Red Pepper Crema

If you are looking to lose weight and don’t necessarily want to follow our recipe as written, you may consider substituting some of the ingredients for healthier choices. Of course, most of the ingredients in red pepper cream aren’t unhealthy, but the sour cream is enough to cause some weight gain if you eat too much of it.

So, what can be done? For starters, you may consider swapping the sour cream for plain greek yogurt. Yep, that’s right! Opting for low-fat greek yogurt is a great choice for replacing the sour cream in the recipe. It will still provide all the tang, freshness, and creaminess of sour cream, but without all of the fat and calories.

Still worried about nutrition when it comes to smoky red pepper crema? Don’t be.

Once you’ve made the choice to stick to yogurt (or even low-fat sour cream) instead of the real thing, you can relax. Red pepper crema is chock full of red peppers which on its own is a very nutritive option. In fact, red peppers are known to be rich inVitamin C and antioxidants.

Thus, you can chow down with confidence when eating smoky red pepper crema!

Smoky Red Pepper Crema - Copycat HelloFresh Recipe (3)

Smoky Red Pepper Crema Replacement

Like the idea of red pepper crema but want something with a little more kick? We like your style! There are countless types of “crema” available, so you are bound to find one that suits your needs.

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If you’ve got a thing for spice, why not try the following Spicy Adobo Crema to whet your appetite? It’s chock full of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, making this creamy and delectable topping something you’ll want to recreate over and over again. Give it a try and see what you think!

Spicy Adobo Crema Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mexican crema (can sub sour cream)
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • ½ tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • Place all of the ingredients into a blender (or food processor if you have it).
  • Put the blender on pulse and pulse the ingredients until smooth.
  • Use the sauce immediately to chill in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Use the sauce within a week or until it shows signs of spoilage. Whichever comes first!
Smoky Red Pepper Crema - Copycat HelloFresh Recipe (4)

Smoky Red Pepper Crema: Simpler Than You Thought!

Although Hellofresh has outdone themselves with their introduction of red pepper crema to complement its spicy and flavorful dishes, we’re happy to inform you that you can easily recreate this sauce on your own at home. Using only a few simple ingredients, you can be one step closer to enjoying red pepper crema anytime you’d like!

Use sour cream, spices, red pepper puree, and a bit of lemon juice to create a sauce that can be used to top virtually anything. Ladle it over salads, chili, vegetables, and tacos, or use it as a delicious dip for chips. No matter what you utilize it for, we’re certain you’ll love this cool, creamy, and flavorful addition to your next meal.



Where can I buy smoky red pepper crema?

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As of right now, smoky red pepper cream from Hellofresh isn’t being sold for individual purchase. For this reason, you may find it useful to simply recreate the sauce using the recipe from our post above. It is fairly inexpensive to make and can last about a week when stored properly in an airtight container.

Can you buy smoky red pepper crema?

As of right now, Hellofresh isn’t selling its smoky red pepper crema recipe. Whip up a batch at home instead and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference!

What does “crema” mean?

Sometimes referred to as “liquid velvet”, crema is an accompaniment to foods that are similar to sour cream. In fact, most crema recipes do involve sour cream and heavy cream as its main ingredients.

Does Hellofresh sell any of their sauces?

At the moment, Hellofresh does not appear to sell any of their specialty sauces.

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What can I substitute for smoky red pepper crema? ›

Smoky Red Pepper Crema Substitute: A good substitute for smoky red crema is to mix ingredients you probably already have on hand, such as sour cream with smoked paprika. To spice it up or for a little extra flavor, you can add something like cayenne pepper, black pepper, siracha sauce, or other hot sauces.

What is Smoky Red Pepper Crema made of? ›

Virtually every red pepper crema recipe contains the same 4 ingredients for the base. They include red peppers, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Then, you can add whatever else you want. This can include aromatics, spices, broth or stock liquids, and seasonings like tomato paste, tahini, or hummus.

How do you substitute crema? ›

Crème fraîche: The best substitute for Mexican crema is crème fraîche, thinned with a bit of lime juice or water. As a cultured cream, crème fraîche brings similar levels of complex tanginess to a dish. Sour cream: Sour cream has a slightly lower fat content than Mexican crema and a similar level of acidity.

Is smoked paprika the same as red pepper? ›

Dry and smoke the red peppers over an oak fire and you've got smoked paprika, which can be made from both sweet and hot pepper varieties. You'll also see it listed as Spanish paprika or Pimentón de la Vera, as it is Spanish in origin.

What is red pepper sauce made of? ›

There are many versions of this quick-cooking sauce; however it always features roasted red bell peppers, aromatics (shallot/garlic), stock (or broth) and Italian seasonings. Some versions may also include heavy cream (or vegan alternative), butter, parmesan and fresh herbs, such as basil.

What is Honduras crema? ›


The locals serve this Honduran version of sour cream with every meal. Honduran Crema is thinner and less tangy than sour cream. It's also more savory, yet slightly tangier than Mexican Crema. Enjoy it as a tastier alternative to either.

What does creamy pepper sauce taste like Whataburger? ›

Whataburger one-of-a-Kind Creamy Pepper Sauce is the perfect combination of peppery, creamy goodness. Bring the classic Whataburger taste home and use as a spread for your favorite burgers, deli sandwiches, hot dogs, and more!
Whataburger One-of-a-Kind Creamy Pepper Sauce.
Total Fat12g18%
Total Carbohydrate2g1%
3 more rows

Can I use sour cream in place of crema? ›

Sour cream is thicker and more acidic than crema fresca with a lower fat content. For toppings, sour cream is a good substitute, but sour cream shouldn't be used in dishes that are hot or it will curdle.

Is crema just sour cream? ›

Mexican crema is typically thinner than sour cream. Think of crema as a thickened cream that's like a combination of sour cream and French crème fraîche. Also, sour cream is made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, while the culturing process for crema uses a natural ingredient; lime juice.

Why is Mexican crema so good? ›

Mexican crema has a higher fat content of about 30%, isn't quite as sour and is a lot thinner. It doesn't curdle which makes it perfect for mixing into hot dishes and adding some richness.

Can I use normal paprika instead of smoked? ›

Hungarian paprika, sweet paprika and hot paprika can be used instead of smoked paprika. They will provide the beautiful colour, however you won't have the same intense smoky flavour.

Which is hotter paprika or smoked paprika? ›

Hot paprika is made with spicy varieties of peppers that packs the heat. If you don't have hot paprika on hand, cayenne pepper may do the trick. Smoked paprika is made from peppers that are dried by way of smoking. It imparts a smoky flavor to the dish that may or may not add a spicy heat as well.

Can you use ground paprika instead of smoked? ›

You can sub in sweet paprika into dishes that call for smoked, but it will drastically change the flavor of the dish by removing the smokiness.

What can you substitute for red pepper sauce? ›

List of Hot Sauce Substitutes
  • Chili Powder. If you're looking mainly for a bit of heat to drizzle over your meal, a good chili powder or chili powder blend will work in a pinch. ...
  • Chili Flakes. ...
  • Sambal Oelek. ...
  • Harissa. ...
  • Sriracha. ...
  • Gochujang. ...
  • Curry Paste. ...
  • Chili-Garlic Sauce.
Mar 3, 2019

Is red pepper sauce the same as hot sauce? ›

Also called hot sauce, hot pepper sauce is a spicy sauce made from chile peppers and other ingredients. In the United States, the most common hot pepper sauce is Louisiana's famous Tabasco, which is a combination of red Tabasco chiles, vinegar, and salt.

How do you thicken red pepper sauce? ›

For a thicker sauce: if you want to change the thickness of the sauce, you have two options. For a marinara-style sauce, you can slowly simmer it on the stovetop over medium heat to reduce and thicken the sauce. You can also use starch – such as cornstarch, to thicken the sauce quickly – without reducing it.

What is the difference between Mexican crema and Salvadoran crema? ›

A milder version of rich, cultured spreadable sour cream. This is a rich, cultured spreadable sour cream similar to crème fraiche. It is slightly less salty than both Crema Mexicana Agria and conventional Crema Mexicana and its color is slightly more yellow.

Why is it called crema? ›

Crema is the Spanish word for cream. In the United States, or in the English language, it is sometimes referred to as crema espesa (English: "thick cream"), also referred to as crema fresca (English: "fresh cream") in Mexico.

Is Nestle crema the same as evaporated milk? ›

Hi there. Media Crema is not the same as powdered milk. It is thicker than Evaporated milk…

Which burger sauce tastes most like Big Mac sauce? ›

McDonald's Big Mac Sauce is similar to Thousand Island dressing, but they're not the same. Thousand Island dressing normally incorporates ketchup, while a lot of Big Mac Sauce recipes incorporate French dressing. French dressing gives it a bit of a tangier flavor than ketchup does.

Does Whataburger creamy pepper sauce have mayonnaise? ›

What's in Whataburger creamy pepper sauce? Whataburger creamy pepper sauce is prepared with mayonnaise, mustard powder, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, black pepper, white vinegar, smoked paprika, onion powder, ground white pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice.

What is the red sauce called at Panda Express? ›

Panda Express Sweet and Sour Sauce is the perfect classic Chinese takeout dipping sauce that is bright red in color, sweet and acidic. The perfect dipping sauce for egg rolls, wontons and crispy wonton strips.

What can I substitute for red pepper sauce? ›

List of Hot Sauce Substitutes
  • Chili Powder. If you're looking mainly for a bit of heat to drizzle over your meal, a good chili powder or chili powder blend will work in a pinch. ...
  • Chili Flakes. ...
  • Sambal Oelek. ...
  • Harissa. ...
  • Sriracha. ...
  • Gochujang. ...
  • Curry Paste. ...
  • Chili-Garlic Sauce.
Mar 3, 2019

What can I use instead of red pepper paste? ›

Tomato paste can make a suitable replacement. It is nice and thick and filled with flavor. You won't get the same flavor, but the consistency will be there. I suggest combining the tomato paste with either a few dashes of hot sauce, or with a teaspoon or two of chili powder or crushed red pepper flakes.

What can I use instead of red pepper seasoning? ›

The 5 Best Substitutes For Red Pepper Flake
  • 1 – Cayenne Pepper Powder.
  • 2 – Chipotle Powder.
  • 3 – Chili Powder.
  • 4 – Paprika.
  • 5 – Homemade Red Pepper Flakes.
Jan 1, 2023

Can I substitute smoked paprika for liquid smoke? ›

What's the conversion: 1 teaspoon smoked paprika = ½ teaspoon liquid smoke. You could also add another ½ teaspoon regular paprika for color.

What is red pepper seasoning made of? ›

Red Pepper is made from the ground fruit of a plant in the Capsicum family. The fruits, commonly known as “chilies” or “chili peppers,” are fiery red or orange pods which rarely grow to more than 4 inches in length. The ground product ranges from orange-red, to deep, dark red.

Is Tabasco sauce the same as red pepper sauce? ›

Also called hot sauce, hot pepper sauce is a spicy sauce made from chile peppers and other ingredients. In the United States, the most common hot pepper sauce is Louisiana's famous Tabasco, which is a combination of red Tabasco chiles, vinegar, and salt.

Is Sriracha the same as red chili paste? ›

Sriracha sauce is thicker than chili paste, so it can be used as a condiment or dipping sauce. It can also be used in marinades and stir-fries. To use Sriracha as a substitute for chili paste, 1 teaspoon of Sriracha can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of chili paste.

What is red pepper paste called? ›

Alternative namesRed chili paste
Associated national cuisineKorean cuisine
Main ingredientsGochu-garu (chili powder), glutinous rice, meju-garu (fermented soybean powder)
Other informationHS code: 2103.90.1030
Media: Gochujang
2 more rows

Is gochujang the same as red pepper paste? ›

If you have a look at my blog carefully, you will know how often I use gochujang (a type of hot chilli sauce). Its known English name is Korean chili paste and Korean red pepper paste.

Is paprika just ground red pepper? ›

Paprika (US /pəˈprikə/, /pæˈprikə/ ( listen); UK /ˈpæprɪkə/, /pəˈpriːkə/) is a spice made from dried and ground red peppers. It is traditionally made from Capsicum annuum varietals in the Longum group, which also includes chili peppers, but the peppers used for paprika tend to be milder and have thinner flesh.

Is red pepper seasoning paprika? ›

What Is Paprika? Paprika is a ground spice made from the sweeter varieties of red peppers from the plant family Capsicum annuum. In other words, paprika is made from red bell peppers and similarly sweet, mild types of peppers.

How do I make my own pepper seasoning? ›

Grind dry peppers into a powder using a blender, food processor, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle. Store in a glass container with an air-tight lid. It will be good for over a year stored in the pantry. Flavor is best if chilis are ground as-needed in smaller batches, one small jar at a time.

How do you get smoky flavor without liquid smoke? ›

7 Liquid Smoke Substitutes You Can Use in a Pinch
  1. Smoked Paprika.
  2. Chipotle Powder.
  3. Smoked Salt.
  4. Smoked Tea.
  5. Smoked Meats.
  6. Charcoal.
May 11, 2022

How do you mimic liquid smoke? ›

Liquid Smoke Substitute
  1. Smoked paprika, a spice made by drying peppers over oak burning fires for several weeks, is a great alternative.
  2. Smoke tea (or lapsang souchong) can be used as a dry rub on meats or to flavor soups or stews in need of a smoky kick.
  3. Chipotle powder is famous for its smoky flavor.
Oct 21, 2019

How do you recreate liquid smoke? ›

Simply set up a fire pit, grill, or charcoal smoker with a piece of heating duct to extend the smokestack, and by doing so allowing the smoke to cool down and be easier to condense. On top of the smokestack, add a Bundt pan, then place an upside down bowl over the Bundt pan and place a bag of ice on top of the bowl.


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