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Salsa de Chile Guajillo

A versatile mild salsa.

Makes 3 cups

Rich in chile flavor that is very simple to make with sundry chiles.

Guajillo chile pepper, a mild dried chile with a complex fruity flavor. It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico for making salsas and one of my favorites.

In this recipe, the chiles aren’t toasted as they are in many other salsa recipes which allows the flavor of the guajillo pepper to come through and if you don’t like your salsa too hot, this is a good one for you!

This a versatile salsa that goes well with many dishes, great staple to have in your fridge for any occasion and specially this grilling season, try this guajillo chile sauce on tacos, enchiladas, chicken, grilled meats, scrambled eggs or even just as a snack with chips.


16 guajillo chiles also called chile cascabel ancho

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

3 to 4 cups of water

2 tablespoons cooking oil

Salt to taste


Remove the stems, seeds, and veins from the chiles. Discard.

Peel the cloves of garlic.

Put all the ingredients in a pan.

Add just enough water to cover the ingredients, about 4 cups.

Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to low.

Simmer for 1 minute then turn off the heat.

Allow the ingredients to soak for 15 minutes.

Pour all of the ingredients including the chopped cilantro and 2 cups the soaking water into the blender.

Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add a little water if needed to blend.

Strain the mixture into mixing a bowl. Discard the paste that remains in the strainer.

Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in your saucepan over medium heat then add the strained salsa and 1 tsp of salt.

Turn the heat to low. Add up to a cup of soaking water to get the desired consistency.

Simmer the salsa for 30 minutes until it thickens. The salsa will darken in color during this time.

Taste the salsa and add salt if needed to get desired taste.

Here are some notes:

Remember that you are controlling the consistency desired of the salsa with the amount of water you are adding as you go.

The flavor of the salsa will deepen if you let is rest for a few hours before serving.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to reduce the bitterness if needed.

This salsa freezes well. Portion it in freezer bags and it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer and a week in your refrigerator.

Always choose sundry peppers that are soft and pliable that have a mild fresh fruity smell. Brittle chiles are stale, lack flavor, and may be bitter.

Happy Cooking!

Chef Martin Lopez

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