Best Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce: Copycat Recipe

Do you sometimes find yourself dreaming about Subway’s Chipotle Southwest Sauce? You’re not alone. Well, get ready, because we’re about to turn those dreams into a scrumptious reality. With this simple recipe, you’re recreating the tangy and smoky delicious sauce in your very own kitchen in under 10 minutes!

Why This Recipe Works

Why settle for store-bought when you can make the real thing? This recipe hits the bullseye for several reasons: 

  • Authentic Taste: It captures the true spirit of Subway’s Chipotle Southwest Sauce, retaining that tangy and smoky charm that made us all fall head over heels. 
  • Quick and Simple: You don’t need a culinary degree for this. It’s as simple as mixing a bunch of fresh ingredients together. You’re in, you’re out. You’re eating in 10 minutes. 
  • Control in Your Hands: Ever wished for a spicier sauce or perhaps a less tangy one? Now’s your chance. You can tweak this recipe till it suits your tastebuds.
Tasty sandwich spread with Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Say hello to your sandwich’s new best friend!

About Subway’s Chipotle Southwest Sauce

Subway’s Chipotle Southwest Sauce isn’t just another condiment. This creamy, smoky, and slightly spicy flavorful sauce has been a favorite addition to Subway sandwiches since its introduction. Inspired by the flavors of the Southwest, this sauce embodies the spirit of chipotle peppers, which were originally used by the Aztecs and eventually made their way into Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines.

Today, chipotle peppers and the sauce they inspire are enjoyed worldwide, with Subway Chipotle Sauce leading the way in fast-food chains. The sauce’s unique blend of chipotle peppers and zesty spices combined with creamy and tangy elements create an unforgettable flavor profile that has won over the taste buds of millions.

Final result of the homemade Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
The pièce de résistance – your very own Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce!


Here’s the few simple ingredients for our homemade sauce: 

  • Mayonnaise: The creamy, velvety base. Go for the full-fat version; it’s worth the indulgence. 
  • Ranch Dressing or Sour Cream: Both options work beautifully, adding a tangy kick. 
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: The life and soul of our sauce. This is where the smokiness and heat come from. 
  • White Vinegar: For a hint of tanginess. 
Main ingredients required for the Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Assemble your flavor troops for the sauce showdown!
  • Brown Sugar: A sweet counterbalance to all the tang and heat. 
  • Onion powder: A background flavor hero
  • Garlic powder: For that ‘garlicky’ kick
  • Kosher salt: Seasoning, seasoning, seasoning!
  • Optional add-ins: Fresh cilantro, paprika, lime or lemon juice, and black pepper
Optional ingredients to customize Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Meet the game-changers! Customization has never been so tasty.


Alright, kitchen tools check time! Do you have these handy helpers?

  • Food processor or immersion blender: it’s all about that smooth, creamy consistency
  • Airtight container: for storage, because we love freshness

Preparation Steps

Don’t worry, this won’t be as hard as that last math problem you solved. Let’s jump right into it:

  1. Gather Ingredients: Assemble all your ingredients. Take a moment to feel like a master chef! 
  2. Setup: Prepare your food processor or immersion blender. Almost there!
Blending ingredients for Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Embrace the blend! When all good things come together.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine: Combine mayonnaise, ranch dressing (or sour cream), and chipotle peppers into the food processor.
  2. Start Blending: Start your food processor or immersion blender. Remember, we’re looking for a smooth, well-combined mixture. No lumps, please!
  3. Add Rest of Ingredients: Gradually add your vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt while the processor is still running.
  4. Blend until Smooth: Once everything is in, let it blend for another 2-3 minutes. This is like a mini workout for your sauce, and it’ll come out smoother and creamier. You’re looking for a perfectly smooth consistency.
  5. Taste test: Need more heat? Add a dash more chipotle. Too tangy? Balance it with a bit more brown sugar. This is your show, so adjust it to your liking.
  6. Let it Cool: Once it’s just right, transfer your sauce to the airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Cooling it down will also help the flavors meld together even better.
Process of blending the Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Caught in the blending act – where flavors unite!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Mayonnaise: If you’re out of mayonnaise, you can use the same amount of Greek yogurt. It will give the sauce a tangier taste and make it a bit healthier.
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: If you can’t find these, use 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder or smoked paprika as a substitute. It won’t be as spicy, but it will give a similar smoky flavor.
    Chipotle Paste
    : If you have chipotle paste on hand, you can use 1-2 teaspoons instead of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The paste packs a lot of flavors, so start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste.
  • Apple cider vinegar: If apple cider vinegar isn’t available, use an equal amount of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Both will provide the necessary tangy kick.
Adjusting flavors during the preparation of Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Sauce in the making – where your taste buds take control!
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is best, but you can substitute it with 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder for every clove.
  • White sugar: If you want to make the recipe sugar-free or healthier, substitute it with honey or any other sweetener of your choice. Adjust to taste.
  • Adobo sauce: If you can’t find adobo sauce, mix together 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or smoked paprika), 1/2 teaspoon cumin, a pinch of oregano, a pinch of garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.
  • For a vegan version: Use vegan mayonnaise and substitute honey (if used) with maple syrup or other vegan sweetener.
  • For a spicier version: Add more chipotle pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce for an extra kick.
  • For a smokier version: Add a teaspoon of liquid smoke for a deep, smoky flavor.
  • Adding more flavors: Feel free to mix in fresh herbs like cilantro, or spices like cumin and paprika. For a tangier version, add more vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  • For a thinner sauce: Add a bit of water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
Homemade Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce chilling in the jar
Sauce chilling like a villain, getting ready to spice up your meal!

Expert Tips

  • Customize Heat: Like it hot? If you love spicy food, feel free to add an extra chipotle pepper or a dash of hot sauce to give the sauce an extra kick of spice. Conversely, if you’re sensitive to heat, start with a smaller amount of chipotle and gradually increase if desired.
  • Tang Level: Feel free to add an extra dash of vinegar if you’re all about that tang.
    Selection of Ingredients
    : For the best flavor in your creamy chipotle sauce, always opt for fresh ingredients. Fresh garlic and fresh lime juice will make a significant difference over their pre-packaged counterparts.
  • Sauce Consistency: If your sauce is too thick, you can add a bit more mayonnaise or sour cream to make it creamier. If it’s too thin, adding a touch more lime juice can help thicken it up. Remember, the sauce will also thicken slightly in the fridge.
  • Taste Test: Always remember to taste as you go. The strength of chipotle can vary from brand to brand, so start with less and add more to suit your palate.
  • Using Chipotle Paste: If you can’t find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can substitute with chipotle paste. Begin with a small amount, around 1-2 teaspoons, then adjust to taste.
  • Adobo Sauce: If you love the smoky, tangy flavor of adobo sauce, don’t hesitate to add a bit of extra sauce to the recipe for an added flavor punch.
  • Avoiding Clumps: To ensure a smooth and creamy sauce, be sure to finely mince the garlic and fully incorporate it into the sauce. No one likes biting into a big chunk of raw garlic!
Delicious Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce in a dipping bowl
Dive into this zesty and spicy flavor pool!

Serving Suggestions

  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Enhance your sandwiches and wraps with this creamy sauce. It pairs well with grilled chicken, turkey, or even a veggie wrap.
  • Salad Dressing: Toss it with your favorite salad for a flavorful twist. It works great with a Mexican-inspired salad with corn, beans, avocado, and lettuce.
  • Dipping Sauce: This sauce makes an excellent dip for french fries, chicken nuggets, or vegetable sticks. You can also drizzle it over nachos.
  • Burgers: Spread it on your burger buns for a smoky, tangy, and slightly spicy kick.
  • Tacos and Burritos: Substitute your regular taco sauce with this Chipotle Southwest Sauce for an exciting flavor change.
  • Grilled meats: Use it as a marinade for grilling meats. It can add a spicy, smoky flavor to your barbecue.
Fresh salad drizzled with Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Where fresh greens meet smoky heat – salad revolutionized!


Can I use fresh jalapenos instead of canned chipotle peppers?

While fresh jalapenos will add heat, they lack the smoky flavor unique to chipotle peppers. If you can’t find canned chipotle, consider adding a bit of smoked paprika to the mix.

What is the history of chipotle peppers?

Chipotle peppers trace their roots back to the region that is now northern Mexico City, long before the Aztec civilization came into power. The term “chipotle” comes from the Nahuatl word “chilpoctli,” meaning smoked chili. The Aztecs used this smoking process to preserve the peppers. Nowadays, chipotle peppers, with their distinctive smoky flavor, are key ingredients in various cuisines, particularly in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes.

How can I make the sauce less spicy?

You can make the sauce less spicy by reducing the amount of chipotle peppers used. Additionally, you can increase the quantity of mayonnaise or brown sugar to balance the heat.

What can I substitute for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce?

If chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are not available, you can substitute it with a mixture of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for heat, and tomato paste and vinegar for tanginess.

What does the sauce taste like?

Subway’s Chipotle Southwest Sauce has a unique flavor profile with a creamy base, smoky notes from the chipotle peppers, a touch of tanginess from the vinegar, and a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar.

What is chipotle pepper in adobo sauce?

Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce is one of the key ingredients of this recipe. Chipotle peppers come from red jalapenos that have been dried and smoked. The adobo sauce is a savory concoction made with onion, tomato, vinegar, and spices. The chipotle peppers are combined with adobo sauce to create this flavorful and smooth sauce.

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as a key ingredient for the recipe
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – the smoky secret to the sauce’s success!

Can I make my own chipotle pepper in adobo sauce?

Yes, you can make your own by combining tomato ketchup, vinegar, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt.

What is the chipotle southwest sauce at Subway made of?

The chipotle southwest sauce at Subway is a flavorful blend that includes chipotle peppers, which are smoked and dried jalapeños, and Southwest spices, along with a creamy base which might include mayonnaise and/or sour cream.

Is chipotle sauce like sriracha?

Chipotle sauce and sriracha are both spicy sauces, but they have distinct flavor profiles. Chipotle sauce has a smoky, slightly sweet flavor due to chipotle peppers, whereas sriracha has a tangy, garlicky heat.

Why is chipotle sauce so hot?

Chipotle sauce is hot because it contains chipotle peppers, which are jalapeño peppers that have been smoked and dried. The heat level can vary depending on the preparation and the amount of peppers used.

What sauce is similar to chipotle sauce?

Adobo sauce is often considered similar to chipotle sauce. Both have a smoky flavor profile, but adobo is typically less creamy and may have a more vinegary tang.

What sauce is close to chipotle sauce?

In terms of heat and smokiness, barbecue sauce could be considered close to chipotle sauce. However, BBQ sauce is typically sweeter and less creamy.

What is the equivalent of chipotle sauce?

It’s hard to find an exact equivalent to chipotle sauce due to its unique smoky flavor. However, combining a smoky barbecue sauce with a bit of hot sauce or cayenne pepper could give a similar taste.

Why is it called chipotle sauce?

It’s called chipotle sauce because one of the primary ingredients is the chipotle pepper, a type of smoked, dried jalapeño.

Is Chipotle sauce really spicy?

The spiciness of chipotle sauce can vary depending on the recipe or brand, but in general, it has a moderate heat level. The smoky flavor is often more prominent than the heat.


Store your homemade Chipotle Southwest Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to two weeks. But trust me, it won’t last that long!

Final words

There you have it! Your very own Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce right in your kitchen. No more late-night cravings for Subway’s iconic sauce. Remember, when life gives you mayonnaise and chipotle peppers, make Chipotle Southwest Sauce! Now, go ahead, slather it on your sandwich and take a big bite. Until next time, happy cooking!

Chicken marinating in homemade Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce
Your chicken’s favorite holiday destination – the Southwest!
Header image featuring Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce

Homemade Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce Copycat

7737f8c28c2cc5158e14eaf64d376635Apron Ace
Recreate the zesty kick of Subway's Chipotle Southwest Sauce right at home! This easy-to-follow recipe gives you the perfect blend of smoky, tangy, and sweet, perfect for sandwiches, salads, and more.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 265 kcal


  • Food processor or immersion blender


Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing or sour cream
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional Ingredients

  • Fresh cilantro to taste (optional)
  • Paprika to taste (optional)
  • Lime juice or lemon juice to taste (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste (optional)


  • In a blender or food processor, combine mayo, ranch dressing or sour cream, and chipotle peppers. Blend until the peppers are fully incorporated and the sauce has a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Now, add your white vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Blend again until everything is smooth and well incorporated.
  • Taste your sauce and adjust to your preference. If you want it tangier, add some more vinegar. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more sugar. If you want it spicier, throw in another chipotle pepper or some black pepper.
  • Optional: Add cilantro, paprika, and lime or lemon juice, and give it one last whirl in the blender.
  • Once you're happy with the taste, transfer your sauce into an airtight container and refrigerate. Allow the flavors to mingle for at least an hour before using.


  • For a smoother sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve after blending.
  • You can adjust the heat level by adding more or less of the chipotle peppers.
  • Store your sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Don’t forget, this sauce is great not just for sandwiches but also for salads, as a dip, or even as a marinade.
  • If you’re using it as a marinade, remember to set some aside for serving. Don’t use the sauce that raw meat has been sitting in.


Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 386mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 24IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword Chipotle Southwest Sauce, Copycat, easy recipe, Homemade Sauce, Subway
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating