Chile Guajillo Sauce

This Guajillo Sauce recipe is super quick, easy to make, and full of the best smoky and slightly-spicy flavors that everyone is sure to love! It’s the perfect salsa for eggs, seafood, steaks & even to make chilaquiles.

A white bowl with chile guajillo salsa and tortilla chips on the side.

**This post was originally published on Sept 2018. It has been updated to be more helpful.

The Guajillo Sauce

Guajillo (pronounced wah hee yo) Sauce is a classic & popular salsa in Mexico for many reasons. It’s smoky, slightly spicy (not hot) but full of flavors and it’s actually healthy too!

Many times it will be referred as Salsa Roja and it’s the perfect addition to many Mexican dishes like Bistec Ranchero, to make Pambazos, top your Papas Con Huevos, and it’ll also be a hit at any gathering with Tortilla Chips!

I have to be honest… I can’t live without salsa in my home! If you open my fridge any day of the week, one of the food items you will always find in there is salsa!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • So healthy – The peppers are packed with capsicum which help with many health problems.
  • So flavorful! – It’s not a spicy salsa but it’s packed with flavors!
  • Perfect for meal prep – It lasts in the refrigerator for days and there are many different ways to cook with it!
A hand with a tortilla chip dipping into the sauce.
Salsa De Chile Guajillo looks spicy but it’s not!

Five Star Review!

OK, this salsa is so good. And it’s really easy to make!

We took your salsa to my parents’ house last weekend and they loved it!!
Then for Halloween I brought chips and queso to our neighbors house and brought
the salsa, and they loved it too!! They got the recipe and suggested instead of making candy for the neighborhood like I’ve done for 15 years I should make the salsa. It’s a perfect gift for everyone. I’m doing it! ~ Jimmy

✔️ Ingredients for Guajillo Salsa

To make this homemade salsa recipe, you will need the following ingredients (amounts included in the full recipe below):

  • Guajillos chiles – This chili is the star of the salsa!
  • Arbol chiles – Adding a few for a little kick since guajillo peppers tend to be on the milder side.
  • Garlic cloves – A must for a good cooked salsa should have garlic!
  • Onion – It gives so much flavor!
  • For seasoning: kosher salt, ground cumin, dried Mexican oregano, ground black pepper

Ingredients placed on a blue board.
Ingredients Icon Graphic.

A Note on buying Guajillo Chiles

Good quality dried chiles should feel soft, pliable and not brittle. Also look that they have a sheen to them. This means they are still fresh and have not been sitting on the shelves for too long.

Lastly, avoid chiles with light patches on their skin, which usually means a fruit moth or insect has gotten to them.

A bag of guajillo peppers from the grocery store.

Find them in your regular grocery store in the latin area. Usually they come in bags in the spice section. You can also find online like amazon or instacart.

How To Make Guajillo Chile Sauce

  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the guajillo & arbol chiles.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the chiles, garlic cloves, onion, 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt.
  3. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the guajillo chiles are soft.
  4. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the hot water.
  5. In a blender, add all of the ingredients with 1 cup of the chile liquid. Add the 1 tablespoon salt, the cumin, oregano and black pepper. Puree until smooth. About 2 minutes.

💛 Health Benefits

Want a good reason to eat this salsa? It’s good for you!

There are many health benefits on chile guajillo. Hot peppers containing capsicum help with health problems like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, vascular headaches, infections, kidney trouble, and more. 


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Tips & Notes

  • This salsa is perfect for those that don’t like cilantro. Some people add some to their recipe but I prefer not to for this type of salsa to keep the chile flavor being the hero of this recipe.
  • No need to toast. Since we’re not toasting the chile, it will not become bitter and the salsa will retain the mild flavor – usually the toasting process (if toasted too long) is what makes chile bitter.
  • Don’t strain the salsa mixture. The dried chiles gets soft enough when cooking to be blended well and not leave big chunks of skin. It actually provides the perfect amount of texture.
A white bowl with guajillo salsa and a blue napkin on the side.

🍽 What to serve with

You can serve this salsa in so many delicious ways! I like to serve it in a bowl as an appetizer with my favorite Tortilla Chips! , Classic Guacamole, and a delicious Agua Fresca. However, you can also serve it to compliment many dishes!


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How to Store

Prior to storing your salsa, let it cool completely before storing it.

  • Refrigerate – Refrigerate in an airtight storage container for up to a week.
  • Freeze – Freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container or freezer bags for up to 3 months.
  • To Thaw – Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

FAQ

What does guajillo sauce taste like?

This salsa is mild, smoky, slightly spicy (not hot) but full of flavors and it’s actually healthy too!

What is guajillo sauce made of?

The sauce (or salsa) can be made the same by using onions, garlic, and for spices use salt, ground pepper, oregano and cumin. This guajillo sauce is perfect for chips and salsa, to make chilaquiles and enchiladas.

Are guajillo peppers hot?

Guajillo peppers are mild but they’re loaded with flavor. They sit in the mild-hot zone of the scale, rated 2,000 – 50K+ SHU.

A bowl with guajillo sauce and tortilla chips on the side.
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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 white bowl with chile guajillo salsa and tortilla chips on the side.

Easy Guajillo Sauce Recipe

Servings 2 cups
Ana Frias
4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
This Guajillo Sauce recipe is super quick and easy to make, and full of the best smoky and slightly-spicy flavors that everyone is sure to love! It’s the perfect salsa for eggs, seafood, steaks & even to make chilaquiles.
2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 6 dried guajillos chiles
  • 3 dried arbol chiles
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Remove the stems and seeds from the guajillo & arbol chiles.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the chiles, garlic cloves, onion, 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt.
    6 dried guajillos chiles, 3 dried arbol chiles, 3 garlic cloves, ½ onion, 4 cups water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the guajillo chiles are soft.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the hot water.
  • In a blender, add all of the ingredients with 1 cup of the chile water. Add the other 1 teaspoon salt, the cumin, oregano and black pepper. Puree until smooth. About 2 minutes.
    1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Video

*Ana’s Notes:

Make sure your chiles are soft and pliable. This means they are still fresh and have not been sitting on the shelves for too long.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

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

NUTRITION

Serving: 1oz | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

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.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Made this exactly per the recipe. It isn’t very flavorful. Added a bit of vinegar, which helped, but not much. Mostly taste cumin. It’s pretty spicy, might be better on food, not much for dipping.

  2. 5 stars
    OK, this salsa is so good. And it’s really easy to make!

    We took your salsa to my
    parents’ house last weekend and
    they loved it!!
    Then for Halloween I brought
    chips and queso to our
    neighbors house and brought
    the salsa, and they loved it too!!
    They got the recipe and
    suggested instead of making
    candy for the neighborhood like
    I’ve done for 15 years I should
    make the salsa. It’s a perfect gift for everyone. I’m doing it!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m never made any type of salsa! This was super easy to make, and so flavorful! Endless possibilities with this recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      I used your salsa de Guajillo for my Enchiladas..It had.great flavor, I just add Cotija.Queso and Onions..and they came out fabulous..Thankyou

      1. So awesome to hear this Veronica! This salsa is perfect for that…not spicy but lots of flavor. Thanks for visiting and the feedback! xo, Ana

  4. 5 stars
    OMG! I couldn’t stop eating this stuff. Probably went through an entire bag of tortilla chips just dipping them in this salsa.