Actress Zooey Deschanel, best known for her role as Santa's helper in the iconic Christmas film Elf, adds another special talent to her plate, but this time, in the kitchen. The actress has been serving up delicious, fresh, plant-based meals that will make you want to eat all your veggies, and then some.

In case you missed it, last week we shared Deschanel's secret pesto sauce recipe that she adds to pasta, salads, and soups, and the week prior, we featured her vegan Ceasar salad with roasted chickpeas for a hearty and healthy lunch option. Just when you thought it was over, Deschanel's adds another flavorful recipe to your at-home cookbook. Today's Recipe of The Day is her refreshing cilantro hot sauce she loves to add to cauliflower tacos, salad bowls, and potato-filled stews.

This creamy yet smooth sauce is made with fresh plant-based ingredients like cilantro, pumpkin seeds, jalapenos (if you want to turn up the heat), lemon juice, and a dash of salt for taste. When you throw a fiesta and organize your taco station, you can't leave out this 'special' sauce, and trust us, at least one of your dinner guests will for the recipe to the refreshing, zesty topper.

Pumpkin seeds add a thick, creamy texture to the mix and are a good source of plant-based protein. One ounce contains 9.2 grams of protein and 12 mg of calcium, a hearty amount of a small seed.

"This is based on an Indian chutney recipe, but I adapted it by adding pepitas and omitting the sugar so I can use it on everything from Indian food to tacos and everything in between. The flavors are very versatile."-- Zooey Deschanel

Zooey’s Cilantro Hot Sauce


  • A big bunch of cilantro, about 1 cup
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • ½-1 fresh jalapeño or serrano (depending on how spicy you want to go)
  • 1 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup water


  1. Throw everything in your blender and blend until smooth.

More From The Beet