Chili Pepper Madness

June 28, 2017

Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa

Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa – Recipe Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa – Recipe

This robust salsa recipe is made with lightly toasted sunflower seeds, seared red bell peppers, fiery serrano peppers and smoky chipotles to make a thick, rich, spicy salsa that is sure to satisfy. Bust out the chips!

I have something new for you all to try today, something you may have never considered before, but once you've tried it, I think you'll find yourself enlightened. I'm talking about using sunflower seeds as a base for your next batch of salsa.

What? Oh yeah!

Truly, sunflower seeds are rich and help to form a thick, bold texture that clings to every chip you dip into it.

Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa – Recipe

It's not that unusual, really, considering that Mexican cuisine incorporates pumpkin seeds into some of its dishes. In many ways, this is similar to a traditional Sikil Pak, which is a Mayan dip made with vegetables and toasted pumpkin seeds. See this version on the site: Chipotle Pumpkin Seed Dip (Chipotle Sikil Pak) Recipe.

Of course sunflower seeds alone do not a salsa make, so we're also incorporating pan seared peppers, red bell and serrano peppers to be exact. The red bell pepper brings not only flavor, but color and body to the salsa, while the serrano brings a touch of spicy heat we're looking for. If you'd like a hotter version, feel free to incorporate habanero peppers, which would be quite welcomed here, or even any of the superhots. I know you want those!

Spice it up!

Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa – Recipe

Round out the salsa with a bit of garlic, chopped tomato, lemon juice, seasoninigs and plenty of cilantro for a phenomenal flavor. 

Let us NOT forget the chipotle! Chipotles add a touch of welcomed smokiness, and the adobo sauce is rich and just a bit tart, which also adds a nice red hue to the final salsa. Season liberally with salt and pepper to your own tastes and serve it up with tortilla chips.

Look at how this stuff coats a chip. So thick and rich. Every bite is creamy and robust and definitely satisfying.

Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa – Recipe

This stuff is perfect for your next party or gathering, and it travels well, so whip up a batch for your next event.


Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa – Recipe


  • 4-5 ounces lightly toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small Roma tomato, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 ounces chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat a pan to medium heat and add the sunflower seeds. Dry toast them in the pan a couple minutes. Remove, cool, and add to a food processor.
  2. Heat the oil in the same pan and add the peppers. Give them a quick sear and cook about 4-5 minutes to soften them.
  3. Add the tomato and cook down 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic. Cool the mixture and add it all to the food processor.
  5. Add the chipotle, cilantro, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. The salsa will be thick, like a spread or a paste. You can thin it out if you’d like with more lemon juice, more chipotle, or a bit of water or stock. I like it thick.
  6. Adjust for salt and pepper and serve.

Makes about 1.5 cups.

Spicy Chipotle Sunflower Seed Salsa - Recipe

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Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

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Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US


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