One of my wife’s absolute favorite dips is a dip called Bitchin’ Sauce! It’s a magical dip that is almond-based. Specifically, we like the chipotle variety of Bitchin’ Sauce which is great as a dip with chips or vegetables but also really nice as a spread for sandwiches.
The problem with Bitchin’ Sauce is that it can be kind of tricky to find and when you can find it, it’s not the most economical of dips.
So I went on a little quest to try to make a homemade version! Read on to see how I reverse engineered the dip and the results!
What is Bitchin’ Sauce?
Bitchin’ Sauce, besides having a great name, is a great dip. One of our family favorites! The dip is an almond-based dip which gives it a really nice, creamy consistency. Then add they add a lot of spices and flavors to it depending on the variety you get.
Our favorite is the Chipotle Variety!
Generally, we buy our Bitchin’ Sauce at Costco when we can as it’s the best deal, but you can also find smaller containers of it now at most grocery stores. I think you can also buy it directly on their website although I’ve never tried that.
Main ingredients in Bitchin’ Sauce
I had high hopes of being able to make a homemade version of this sauce because there just isn’t a huge list of ingredients on the container. Here are the basics that are listed on the container.
- Chipotle Peppers
- Nutritional Yeast
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice
- Spices (tricky)
Of course the magic is in the mixing, but seemed like a fun project to give it a shot!
How I reverse engineer a recipe
I should start this process by noting that I didn’t contact anybody at Bitchin’ Sauce about this recipe. I just winged it.
The key thing to know when reverse engineering a recipe is that ingredients in recipes have to be listed in order of prominence. So the fact that water is the first ingredient in Bitchin’ Sauce means that if you lined up all the ingredients, the biggest ingredient by weight would be water. Not surprising for a dip. Almonds are next, followed by oil.
You get the idea. So by working through the ingredients in this way you can kind of feel out the basics of a recipe, but there’s a lot to be left to mystery here.
For starters, there is no hint on how much of a difference there is between two ingredients. So there could be one more gram of water than almonds or twice as much water as almonds. Tough to say!
Second, they don’t tell you how to process the ingredients. Are the almonds blanched? Are they peeled? Do you seed the chipotles? What order do you blend everything together? Do you cook it or is it raw?
Third, what the heck are spices? It’s a generic ingredient and could be dozens of things.
To make my homemade version, I first started by trying to nail the consistency. Bitchin’ Sauce is thick and just barely pourable, but easy to dip and spread. I got pretty close by blending almonds and water and then streaming in the oil while the blender was running and then, most importantly, chilling the dip to set it a bit. (The dip is normally sold in the cooler section at stores so this made sense to me).
Once I had the texture close, I worked on flavor. This was the much harder part. I tried various amounts of the salty and spicy ingredients, trying to keep in mind the order on the ingredient list. This was tricky and, if I’m being honest, my version is not 100% there, but is pretty close.
Can you tell the difference between homemade and storebought?
In short, yes. My wife could tell the difference immediately because it’s her favorite dip. I had a harder time on a blind taste test and thought they were pretty close actually.
No matter what, the homemade version is worlds cheaper and is a very good dip even if it isn’t 100% a match for the store-bought version. I think it’s 95% there.
How to make Copycat Bitchin’ Sauce
This process is pretty straightforward, but it does help to have a really good blender. A high powered blender will make a smooth dip out of the almonds and emulsify everything well.
To start the sauce, the only cooking you need to do is blanch the almonds. I just boiled mine for a few minutes and then cooled and peeled them.
Peeling almonds isn’t a super fun process, but you only need about a cup of them for the recipe. If you can find raw, peeled almonds at your store you can use those. It’s also possible that the Bitchin’ Sauce people use unpeeled almonds but I think that would make the dip a very dark color and I feel like I got the color pretty close so I’m assuming they use peeled almonds.
Now you need lots of delicious ingredients. Most of these are very savory, salty, spicy, or zesty!
The order that you blend the ingredients is actually important. You want to make a good base with the almonds and water and then add in the flavors. Finally, drizzle in the oil while the blender is running.
Of course, you can adjust the flavors to your liking, which is one nice thing about making it yourself. If you want it to be brighter, add more lemon. Want is spicier? You know what to do: More chipotle and cayenne!
The dip will look a bit on the runny side after it is blended, but will set up really well after you chill it in the fridge.
As you can see, after a chill time, my dip is a slightly brighter color than the original dip, but speckled with the same flakes and has a very similar texture. The flavor is very close as well.
What to serve with this sauce
There is a wide range of things you can serve with this dip. I usually just serve it with a big bag of tortilla chips, but also crispy vegetables like celery or carrots are really delicious in the dip.
Alternatively, spread this dip on a good sandwich, like these steak sandwiches!
What do you think? Are you a bitchin’ Sauce fan? Would you try a homemade version?!
Copycat Bitchin’ Sauce
- 1 blender
- 1 cup water
- 4 ounces raw almonds, blanched and peeled
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 chipotle peppers, seeds
- 1 tablespoon Adobo sauce, from peppers
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Bring a small pot of water to a simmer and add raw almonds. Boil for 5-6 minutes. Then drain and cool. Peel almonds and weigh out four ounces – about one cup.
- In a high powered blender, add water and almonds and blend on high until well combined and smooth. Then add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, soy, garlic chipotle peppers, and salt. Blend until a smooth consisency.
- With blender running on medium speed, drizzle in oil. Taste dip and adjust to your liking.
- Transfer dip to a container and chill for at least an hour or longer. It will firm up as it cools.
- Serve dip with chips, veggies, or spread it on sandwiches!