Condiments, Recipes

Tacodeli Dona Sauce Recipe: Green Creamy Salsa


Tacodeli is one of my favorite restaurants here in Austin.  They serve a laundry list of tacos with options that will please palates of both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. The restaurant is routinely praised for their delicious tacos, but they have also garnished awards for their salsas too.

Their signature salsa is a spicy bright green sauce called Doña. Reviewers on Yelp refer to it as liquid gold, the bomb, money and a 10 out of 5 stars.

Tacodeli is only open for breakfast and lunch but according to, they motor through five gallons of Doña sauce every day. What separates this salsa apart from others is its smooth and creamy texture. Most people use the hot salsa to adorn their tacos, but I have seen people eat it straight with tortilla chips.

The recipe is supposedly top secret, but for all you Tacodeli or hot sauce lovers, I’ve cracked the code.

The creaminess is achieved by emulsifying roasted peppers with oil.  Here’s the recipe for Doña Sauce from Tacodeli, I call it Creamy Jalapeño Salsa!

Tacodeli Dona Sauce Recipe

Recipe by Dave Coopers (inspired by Tacodeli)Course: Condiments, RecipesCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


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Tacodeli Dona Sauce Recipe. If you’re looking for the delicious secret recipe of Salsa Dona – you got it! Creamy and Green. You can use the hot salsa to adorn tacos or eat it straight with tortilla chips.


  • 1 pound jalapeño peppers

  • 4 garlic cloves unpeeled

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup vegetable or other neutral oil


  • Roast the jalapeños and garlic
  • Roast the peppers on a cookie sheet under the broiler until well charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam.
  • Next, roast the garlic cloves under the broiler until browned on all sides. Add to the bowl with the peppers.
  • Blend the salsa
  • Once cooled peel the garlic and peppers.
  • Seed and devein the peppers.
  • Add the garlic, salt and peppers to a blender and puree.
  • Slowly add the oil until a creamy smooth texture is achieved.

Recipe Video


  • Recipe idea from:


  1. Dang, that’s easy enough for even me to make. Can’t wait cuz it sounds so good.

  2. This sauce is delicious!!

  3. elizabeth @LocalSavour

    Mad love for TacoDeli ~ this looks amazing ~ can’t wait to try!

  4. brisketandbagels

    Thanks Elizabeth. Enjoy!

  5. brisketandbagels

    It is! Glad you liked it!

  6. brisketandbagels

    It is easy. Let me know how it turns out.

  7. I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Tacodeli, but I’ve tried a handful of mock Doña sauces after hearing friends praise it, and this is by far the best. I’ve made it half a dozen times now since this post was published.

    How do you store after making it (assuming you don’t gulp the batch in one sitting)? I typically will put it in a mason jar and refrigerate out of fear of germs/bacteria, but it’s never quite the same after.

  8. brisketandbagels


    Thanks so much for the complement. I’m glad you enjoy my hot sauce recipe. I don’t have any special storage secrets. I would agree that you should keep it refrigerated. What specifically isn’t the same after you refrigerate it? The texture? Taste? You might try bringing the hot sauce back to room temperature before you consume it again as some foods don’t taste as good when they are chilled.

  9. The texture/ consistency definitely seems to change after refrigeration. It seems to lose its smooth creaminess and becomes almost thick and clumpy. Even letting it thaw or trying to reheat it doesn’t change much. Luckily, it still tastes great afterward, regardless. I just convince myself to eat it quicker

  10. brisketandbagels

    If I can figure out a fix I’ll be sure to let you know. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

  11. Re-blend room temp sauce

  12. David Moser

    Thanks ruby!

  13. Will olive oil emulsify as well as vegetable oil?

  14. Canola oil won’t clump.

  15. This is good. I am trying to duplicate the creamy jalapeño salsa from a local Mexican place and this is getting close. Think I will add a few hotter chilis next time I try to see if I can match the heat of their stuff, but for me the heat on this is just about right. Husband needs it hotter!

  16. Steve Rogers

    Olive oil has been my go to for making the Dona sauce. Maybe the type of oil you are using is causing texture issues when chilling?. Perhaps trying an oil thats viscosity isn’t greatly effected by cooler temperatures will help.

  17. I used to roast my jalepenos, but I read somewhere that the same results can be achieved by simply boiling the jalepenos until soft. That is what I do now–makes it much easier to prepare. Depending on how hot my batch of jalepenos is, I might use a paring knife to scoop out the seeds out, but sometimes I just blend everything up whole…it’s supposed to by spicy.

    I don’t notice much of a flavor difference despite the lack of roasting. If you have a good blender, there is no difference in texture. After refrigerating, the oil gets cold and it thickens. Don’t put it in the coldest part of your fridge and give it a good shake once it comes up to room temperature and the smooth texture should come back. Or hit it with an immersion blender.

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