Homemade Red Chile Sauce




About: I love all aspects of cooking...okay that's not true, I'm not a fan of baking. I love the free form of cooking savory foods versus baking but with time, I hope to learn more techniques as I peruse the differ...

This recipe will teach you how to make rich flavorful red chile sauce.  You'll never go back to buying it from a can ever again...or you'll know what's missing from the canned sauce and fill in the flavor.  Sometimes you need sauce in a pinch..I know, I've been there!

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Step 1: Ingredients

DISCLAIMER: Red chile sauce will stain your clothes! I suggest using an apron or wearing an old t-shirt when making this recipe.  Cuidado! Be Careful!

2 pkgs of California or New Mexico Hatch dried chile pods 
1 onion
3 Garlic cloves
Ground Cumin
1/4 Cup Flour
1 chicken bouillon cube
Salt (if needed, bouillon cubes can be quite salty)

Fine mesh strainer

Step 2: Boil Bomb!

Fill a pot to about half way with water.  Turn your stove to medium high.  Add a bouillon cube and break it up so it will dissolve and stir.  Remove the stems and shake out the seeds of the chile pods.  Give your garlic cloves a good whack with the flat side of your knife to remove the papery skin.  Remove the outside skin of the onion and slice in half.  Add the chiles, garlic cloves and onion to the pot of warm bouillon water. Let this cook for about 30 minutes or until everything is very soft.  

Step 3: Liquify Man!!

Now that your solids are now softened, add to your blender.  You might not be able to fit all of your chiles in one go but it's okay if you split it up.  Add about 2 cups of your broth water (reserve any leftover broth), 10 shakes of your cumin, 1/4 cup of flour.  Remember, when blending hot foods or soups, it's important to remove the lid to the pour spout because the steam will rise and blow the top right off.  I hold a clean damp towel over the hole to minimize chile splatter.  I don't know which button really gets the sauce the way like it so I start pressing them at different times to hear a buzzing whirring symphony. (Thanks for the blender Mom!)  You'll want to blend this for a LONG time, like for AT LEAST 15 - 20 minutes.  The longer you blend the better the chance that you wont have icky chile skin parts in your teeth.  

Step 4: Strain and Bubble....

Okay so you've blended the heck out of your chiles and all you hear are echoes of "WRRRRR." The good news is that you're one step closer to making it happen cap'n!  With your mesh strainer over your pot, gently pour some of your sauce into the strainer.  Take your whisk and stir it around, gently pushing the sauce into the pot.  Repeat until the blender is empty. 

Turn the heat up to medium and whisk gently. The sauce should be smooth.  If it's too thick, add some of your reserved broth.  It should be a little thicker than gravy and should coat the back of a spoon.  Taste your sauce.  Adjust the flavors with salt, cumin, whatever tickles your fancy.  

This sauce can be used for enchiladas, red chile meat, chilaquiles, (Instructables coming soon!) etc.  

Happy Eating!



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    9 Discussions


    3 years ago

    How big are the package of peppers?


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great easy recipe! I made it this morning as the base for my Huevos Ranchero sauce and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey, you're welcome! Glad you liked it!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey this looks awesome and fairly simple! Do you think other kinds of peppers could be substituted for the California / New Mexicos? I might have some dried pasilla peppers around... Or do you think the peppers you recommend would work better as an enchilada sauce?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Pasillas are excellent for this and tend to make a spicier sauce. I would definitely use them! I wrote this instructable when I was living in Oklahoma and all I could find were the ones I used here. Any dried chiles will work...that'll be one tasty pasilla enchilada sauce.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm making this right now! I had to use a food processor and a sieve and a little more liquid because my food processor is slightly awful, but it's reducing on the stove now. Can't wait to use it.

    Thank you for posting this!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Doesn't it smell AMAZING? I love this sauce, I use it for tamales too. Thanks for making it. :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It does smell sooooo good. It just finishing reducing, and I'm going to be making corn and chicken enchiladas with it, I think. So excited. :D