Chile Morita Guide + Morita Salsa

Learn all about Morita peppers and also make a tasty Morita Salsa with a rich smoky flavor! This Mexican chile will soon become one of your favorite ingredients to cook with!

Dried Chile Moritas scattered on a white plate.
Chile Moritas – everything you need to know about them.

What Are Chiles Morita?

Morita chiles are jalapeño peppers that are left on the vine to ripen until they turn red. Once harvested, they’re dried and smoked to develop their fruity, slightly acidic, and earthy flavor with subtle smokey taste.

They’re small to medium-sized, averaging 3 to 5 centimeters in length, and have a flattened and shriveled, conical appearance, tapering slightly towards a rounded tip. The skin has a pliable and leathery consistency and not too rigid.

One chile morita and one chile jalapeño on a plate.
Jalapeños vs Chile Morita.

Morita pepper spiciness

Moritas are not very spicy and have a moderate heat reminiscent of the intensity of a fresh red jalapeno. They rank between 5,000 – 10,000 SHU in Scoville heat units (SHU). It is important to note that Morita chile peppers are also known as a type of chipotle chile pepper and are similar to that spiciness.

Chile Morita Scoville Scale

A graphic image of a pepper with different colors and words describing different levels of heat.
Peppers Scoville Heat Scale.

How To Use/Cook

Chiles Morita are a versatile ingredient widely used in traditional Mexican cuisine, favored for their smokey, earthy, and fruity taste. This pepper is very popular in Mexico but mostly in the states of Chihuahua, Veracruz and Puebla.

They’re used ground in the preparation of marinades, moles and also incorporated into casseroles, bean and eggs dishes, or they can be diced and stirred into stews and soups. You can make all kinds of salsas as well like the below tasty Salsa Morita. It’s a great all-purpose table salsa and I’m sure you’ll love it!

The dried peppers can be used dried or re-hydrated, and it is recommended to toast the peppers before using them to enhance their depth of flavor.

How do you rehydrate the dried pepper?

Just immersed them in hot water for 15 to 30 minutes to rehydrate. Once softened, the peppers are often blended into sauces, salsas, glazes, and marinades as a flavoring.

Where To Buy

Look for dried chiles that are supple, not brittle; more or less unbroken; and have minimal pale spots. Store dried chiles in an airtight resealable bag, and keep them in a cool, dry place for up to six months.

Where? Check out your local latin grocery stores in the dried spices section. Many regular grocery stores will carry these chiles in the international sections as well. Or, via online retailers  like Amazon, Walmart or Spice stores. In Europe there are online suppliers like The Chilli Experience.

A plastic clear bag of chile morita.
Buying guide for chile morita.

Top Tip!

Can only find brittle dried chiles? Try this: Put them in an airtight resealable bag with a square of just-damp paper towel and by the next day, they’ll be supple.

Two chile moritas on a counter
Example of one good Morita pepper versus one that is brittle and dry.

Substitute

To maintain the smoky flavor, you can use chipotle from cans, or dried poblano peppers.


Storage Icon Graphic.

How to Store Chile Moritas

  • On the shelf – Whole Morita chile peppers will keep 1 to 2 years when stored in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. They can also be frozen in ziploc bags to conserve more freshnes!
  • Freeze – They can also be frozen in ziploc bags to conserve more freshnes!

Chile Morita Salsa

Salsa Morita is a flavorful salsa made with dried Chile Morita as the star. Adding a fresh serrano pepper lends a little fire to this salsa. The result is smoky and bright, tinged with sweetness. Irresistible on tacos, tortas, on top of eggs and among so many other dishes.

A bowl of salsa morita with tortilla chips on the side and two morita chiles on the side.

Ingredients

To make this Salsa Morita you only need a few ingredients.

  • Tomatoes (about 3 medium). Remove the core prior to roasting them.
  • A serrano pepper. You can skip it for a milder salsa but it does lend a delicious kick!
  • 3 morita chiles. Rinse under cold water to remove any dust.
  • Onion. White or yellow will work.
  • A garlic clove.
  • Plus a little sugar, white vinegar (cider or apple vinegar will work too) and salt and pepper.
All ingredients for this recipe on a clay bowl.

Let’s Make Salsa Morita

  1. Line a large skillet with aluminum foil and heat on medium-high heat. Or roast on a grill.
  2. Place the tomatoes and serrano pepper. Roast until all sides have blackened and the tomatoes are cooked. Keep turning to cook all sides. About 20 minutes total.
  3. Note: If the pepper gets roasted faster than the tomatoes, remove and set aside. Remove the stem from the serrano pepper and keep the seeds.
A small saucepan with chile moritas, garlic clove and onion.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add two cups of water, the chiles morita, onion and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until it boils. Remove from heat and set aside to hydrate the chile until the tomatoes are cooked through.

5. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, serrano, chile morita peppers, onion, garlic, sugar, white vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth.

Note: If the salsa is too dense to blend, add ¼ cup water from where the chiles were cooked.

Transfer to a bowl, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

What to serve with

Now all you have to do is grab some tortilla chips, dip it into the salsa and savor the smoky flavors! This Morita Salsa also goes great on top of Papas Con Huevo, with Tacos Gobernador or Bistec Ranchero. Enjoy with a glass of agua fresca.

A hand with a tortilla chip dipping into Salsa Morita.

This bright, colorful, super delicious, and deeply satisfying salsa is waiting for you. Are you going to make it?

A tortilla chip dipping into Salsa Morita.
Salsa Morita is perfect for tortilla chips.
Pestle and mortar icon graphic.
MORE EASY…

Mexican Salsas To Try:

Try any of my delicious salsas…. Always authentic, easy & delicious!

💫 If you make this recipe be sure to leave a rating in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram at @anafriasb.🙏

A hand with a tortilla chip dipping into Salsa Morita.

Smoky Morita Salsa

Servings 2.5 cups
Ana Frias
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Salsa Morita is a flavorful salsa made with dried Chile Morita as the star. Adding a fresh serrano pepper lends a little fire to this salsa. The result is smoky and bright, tinged with sweetness. Irresistible on tacos, tortas, on top of eggs and among so many other dishes.
2.5 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound tomatoes (about 3 medium) cored
  • 1 small serrano pepper (optional for extra heat)
  • 3 morita chiles rinsed and stemmed
  • ½ medium white onion cut in two quarters
  • 1 large garlic clove peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Line a large skillet with aluminum foil and heat on medium-high heat. Or roast on a grill.
    1 pound tomatoes (about 3 medium), 1 small serrano pepper (optional for extra heat)
  • Place the tomatoes and serrano pepper. Roast until all sides have blackened and the tomatoes are cooked. Keep turning to cook all sides. About 20 minutes total.
  • Note: If the pepper gets roasted faster than the tomatoes, remove and set aside. Remove the stem from the serrano pepper and keep the seeds.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add two cups of water, the chiles morita, onion and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until it boils. Remove from heat and set aside to hydrate the chile until the tomatoes are cooked through.
    3 morita chiles, ½ medium white onion, 1 large garlic clove
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, serrano, chile morita peppers, onion, garlic, sugar, white vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth.
    ¼ teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Note: If the salsa is too dense to blend, add ¼ cup water from where the chiles were cooked.
  • Transfer to a bowl and taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed according to taste.

*Ana’s Notes:

Makes about two and a half cups. 
Storing: Place in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to two months. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 0.25cup | Sodium: 115mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 14mg | Calories: 22kcal | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 5g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

A bowl of salsa morita with tortilla chips on the side.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Your Salsas are The Best Ana!!! heading to the Mexican grocery store this weekend to buy Morita chiles to make this salsa!
    XOXO <3

  2. 5 stars
    This salsa Morita turned out amazing! We could not stop eating it with tortilla chips…now i have to make it again to eat it with actual food lol! So good!