Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe (2024)


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This Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce is creamy and spicy and tastes JUST like the original. From a former Taco Bell worker and current Taco Bell lover.

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe (1)

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce

I have a little confession to make.

I LOVE Taco Bell. It's my guilty pleasure. 🙈

I know, I know. It's not even real Mexican food, but I just love it. I actually used to work at Taco Bell in college! Gotta pay tuition somehow!

My favorite go-to item is a cheese quesadilla. The only thing that really makes a Taco Bell quesadilla different from any other quesadilla on the street is the Taco Bell Quesadilla sauce.

AKA - The creamy jalapeno sauce, or CJ sauce, as we used to call it when I worked there.

So, in an effort to save money (as always) and to feel slightly less guilty about the junk-food-factor, I've come up with this copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce recipe that is 💣

This will satisfy your Taco Bell quesadilla craving and it tastes Just. Like. The original. I swear it.

The Jalapeno Juice

You might notice that the recipe calls for jalapeno juice.

What the heck is jalapeno juice? It's what I'm calling the liquid from a jar of canned/jarred jalapenos. It could also (probably more accurately) be called pickled jalapeno brine.

You don't need to buy it separately. It's just in the can or jar from the jalapenos you're using!

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe (2)

Delicious Quesadilla Add-ins

Even though I love cheese quesadillas best, sometimes it's fun to mix it up. Try these ideas for some fun new flavors.

  • Ground beef - great way to use up leftover taco meat!
  • Steak - grill it or fry it in a pan. For the tenderest steak, cook it whole, let rest, then slice against the grain.
  • Chicken - grill it, bake it, cook it in the slow cooker, or even get it pre-packaged from the store.
  • Pulled pork - another great use for leftovers.
  • Black beans and corn - makes a yummy vegetarian, Tex-Mex style quesadilla.
  • Jalapenos - Spice it up with some spicy peppers. You can also try green chiles, serranos, or habaneros.
  • Bacon - because you should put bacon on everything.

What Do I Serve with Them?

A simple, fresh green salad is always a winner.

I also like to serve it with sour cream, homemade salsa (I always have some in my fridge because you never know when a salsa craving will strike!), and homemade guacamole.

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe (3)

What Else Can You Use Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce for?

Maybe you have extra or maybe you just love this stuff. Either way, there's lots of ways to use up this yummy sauce.

  • Dip - Use it as a dip for chips or just dunk your quesadilla right in.
  • Taco Sauce - Use it on any tacos or fajitas.
  • Burrito Bowl - A little drizzle on a burrito or taco bowl will add just the right amount of creamy kick.
  • Burgers - Use it instead of mayo on a burger piled high with your other favorite toppings, like fresh jalapenos, avocado, and cheese.
  • Chicken Tenders - Maybe not the most refined plate choice, but still yummy on occasion. Dip in the creamy jalapeno sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Nachos - Drizzle it on top with cheese and all your favorite toppings.
  • Sour cream substitute - use it in place of sour cream in your favorite Tex-Mex or Mexican inspired recipes, like the filling in these Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.

More Mexican Inspired Recipes You'll Love

  • Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa - Super easy 5 minute recipe in the food processor for the best salsa you can eat outside of an authentic Mexican restaurant.
  • Authentic Guacamole - creamy and delicious for dipping and chips.
  • Easy Taco Dip - Use your Taco Bell quesadilla sauce in this yummy dip!
  • Rice and Black Bean Burritos - Easy and cheap to make, and delicious to eat, smothered in red sauce and cheese.
  • Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice - another favorite copycat recipe!

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe (4)

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce

Cheese Quesadillas with Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce tastes JUST like the original. From a former Taco Bell worker and current Taco Bell Quesadilla addict.

4.81 from 21 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main, Main Course, Main Dish

Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex

Keyword: Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce, Copycat Taco Bell Quesadillas, Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 103kcal

Author: Michelle


  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeno slices
  • 1 tablespoon juice from jarred jalapenos
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon cayenne

For the quesadillas

  • ½ tablespoon butter or oil
  • ½ cup shredded cheese per quesadilla
  • 2 flour tortillas (or one large burrito size) per quesadilla


  • Add all sauce ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.

  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.

To Make Quesadillas

  • Add butter or oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat.

  • Assemble quesadilla(s): Layer a tortilla, shredded cheese, add-ins (see notes above), and 2 tablespoons quesadilla sauce.

  • Cook in hot skillet until both sides are golden and cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).


Nutrition facts are for the quesadilla sauce only. One serving is two tablespoons (2 T), or about 30g.

  • This recipe is naturally keto, gluten free, and dairy free.
  • If you have a food processor, you can throw all of the ingredients in for the sauce, mix it up, and it's done.
  • Do I have to chill it? No, you can eat it right away if you can't wait. But it's really best after the flavors mingle, so I highly recommend chilling at least 2 hours if possible.
  • Grate your own cheese! Pre-shredded cheese has powder to help it not stick together, so freshly grated cheese melts so much smoother and gooier!
  • Cover your quesadillas while you cook them to steam them and make sure the cheese melts all the way through.
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 12.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 137.3mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 2.25mg | Calcium: 16.9mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Did you make this recipe?I love seeing your creations. Snap a quick photo and mention @TheGraciousWife or tag #thegraciouswife on Instagram! Leave a STAR rating below!

UPDATE INFO: This post was originally published in September 2014. It has been updated and republished in September 2020 with new pictures, tips, and video.

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Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce Recipe (2024)


What sauce does Taco Bell use for their quesadillas? ›

The Cheese Quesadilla is a purist's meal: a simple flour tortilla, a hefty portion of melted three-cheese blend, creamy jalapeño sauce, and absolutely zero bells and whistles.

What is creamy jalapeno sauce made of? ›

Place minced jalapenos, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight, before serving.

What is the best cheese for quesadillas? ›

Cheddar and Monterey Jack are standards of American-style quesadillas. But if you are planning ahead, consider that freshly grated cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack makes the meltiest quesadillas.

Does Taco Bell quesadilla have mayo? ›

Grilled soft tortilla filled with your choice of protein, creamy jalapeno mayo and extra melted cheese. Toasted to perfection and served with your choice of chips and a drink.

Can you buy Taco Bell taco sauce? ›

Get your favorite Taco Bell Sauce by the bottle! We know you love Taco Bell sauces packets. But there's only so much you can do with a 2"x1" packet. So we've bottled it for you.

What is Taco Bell sauce made of? ›


Does Taco Bell have creamy jalapeno sauce? ›

Lucky for you, creamy jalapeño sauce wants nothing more than to share its knowledge. It believes in hands-on learning. Meaning, getting your hands on some to discover which of your Taco Bell® favorites (spoiler: a legendary quesadilla sauce) it goes great with. Find creamy jalapeño sauce at participating locations.

Does Taco Bell sell jalapeño sauce? ›

Is Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeno Sauce Available for Purchase? The short answer is, not directly from Taco Bell. Unfortunately, Taco Bell does not sell their creamy jalapeno sauce in bottles in stores or online. This special sauce is a Taco Bell exclusive, making it a must-visit for fans of this tangy condiment.

Does Taco Bell creamy jalapeno sauce have mayo? ›

The Taco Bell quesadilla sauce uses mayo and sour cream as its base. Greek yogurt gives it a lighter flavor as well as reducing the calorie content and increasing the protein in your sauce. You could substitute Greek yogurt for a combination of mayo and sour cream instead, though.

What cheese do Mexicans use in quesadillas? ›

Traditional Mexican cheeses like Oaxaca cheese or Chihuahua cheese are commonly used in quesadillas because they melt easily and have a mild, slightly salty flavor. Other cheese options include Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, and mozzarella.

What kind of cheese do Mexicans put on their tacos? ›

Cotija, either crumbled or grated will be the most authentic. Alternates would be Añejo, Enchilado or Chihuahua. For additional richness, crema (a sour cream product) can be added. Other Mexican cheeses like panela, queso asadero and queso fresco do not have much in the way of flavor to effectively garnish a taco.

What size tortilla is best for quesadillas? ›

When using store-bought tortillas I prefer using flour tortillas for quesadillas — you can usually find the larger 9- or 10-inch size, which makes them easier to handle. They also fold easier without splitting or crumbling. If you prefer corn tortillas, choose high-quality soft tortillas for best results.

What tortillas does Taco Bell use? ›

Where do your ingredients come from? We buy many of our ingredients for our restaurants from the same brands that you see in the grocery store and your kitchen: for example, lettuce from Taylor Farms, tortillas from Mission, Hass avocados and poultry from Tyson.

Is Baja sauce on Taco Bell quesadilla? ›

The only thing that really makes a Taco Bell quesadilla different from any other quesadilla on the street is the Taco Bell Quesadilla sauce. AKA - The creamy jalapeno sauce, or CJ sauce, as we used to call it when I worked there. This will satisfy your Taco Bell quesadilla craving and it tastes Just.

What is creamy Baja sauce on at Taco Bell? ›

Taco Bell Creamy Baja Sauce adds a quick and easy flavor boost that makes any meal a fiesta. Ideal for shrimp tacos, burritos, fajitas, salads, sandwich wraps, chicken quesadillas, enchiladas and more, our bold Baja sauce adds a zesty punch.

What is the Baja sauce at Taco Bell? ›

Our sauce is made with jalapeo peppers, dried red bell peppers and dried garlic. Squeeze some creamy, spicy flavor on your tacos, burritos, fajitas, salads, sandwich wraps, quesadillas, enchiladas and more. The convenient squeeze bottle lets you pour the perfect amount of Creamy Baja Sauce every time.

What is Baja sauce made of? ›

Stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, seafood seasoning, and ancho chile pepper in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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