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Ancho Chili Sauce – Recipe

This easy-to-make red chili sauce recipe is a flavor POWERHOUSE and essential for Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine, made with lightly toasted ancho peppers. Perfect for enchiladas, chilaquiles, tacos and so much more.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 43 kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 ancho chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey optional
  • Soaking water or stock for thinning

Instructions

  1. Dry roast the ancho peppers on a hot pan about 1-2 minutes per side. The peppers will puff slightly and the skins will begin to turn red.
  2. Set them into a large pot of boiling water and remove from heat. Let them soak covered in water for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the stems and coarsely chop the anchos. Reserve the soaking liquid.
  4. Set the chopped anchos into a food processor.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan to medium heat and add the onion. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
  6. Add the garlic and tomato and cook another minute or so, until you can smell the garlic. Add them to the food processor.
  7. Add the vinegar, cumin, oregano and a bit of salt and pepper along with about 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Process until it smooths out.
  8. The sauce will be thick at this point. You can add more soaking liquid to achieve your desired consistency.
  9. Give it a taste. You can adjust with salt and pepper and this point, and if you feel it needs a touch of sweetness, add the honey and process a bit more.
  10. Press the sauce through a coarse strainer into a bowl. I use a wooden spoon to push it through.
  11. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
  12. As a tasty variation, add up to 15 ounces (1 can) of tomato sauce while cooking, or after you strain the ancho chili sauce to simmer. It makes for an outstanding final sauce. Or, swirl in anywhere from 1 tablespoon to a cup of the ancho chili sauce to tomato sauce to liven up any dish.

Recipe Notes

As a tasty variation, add up to 15 ounces (1 can) of tomato sauce while cooking, or after you strain the ancho chili sauce to simmer. It makes for an outstanding final sauce. Or, swirl in anywhere from 1 tablespoon to a cup of the ancho chili sauce to tomato sauce to liven up any dish.

Makes about 2 cups.

Heat Factor: Mild. There isn't any real HEAT here, just outstanding savory flavor.

Nutrition Facts
Ancho Chili Sauce – Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 43 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Potassium 189mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 47%
Vitamin C 4.8%
Calcium 1.2%
Iron 3.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.