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Red sauce in a glass bowl surrounded by dried chiles on the side.

Mexican Red Sauce For Tamales & Pozole

This Mexican Red Sauce is exactly what you need to make red Tamales & Pozole. Make a batch, freeze and have it ready for when needed.
Course Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 9 cups
Calories 22kcal
Author Ana Frias


  • 8 ounces dried New Mexico chiles
  • 4 ounces dried Pasilla chiles
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable). You may need a little more to blend all of the chiles.


  • Remove the top of the chiles and shake out most of the seeds.
  • In a large pot, add the chiles salt, pepper and oregano.
  • Add enough water to cover all of the chiles.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until they're very soft and pliable. Rest chiles in the water for another 10 to 15 minutes to cool off.

The following steps will be done in batches until all of the chiles are blended:

  • Transfer chiles to a blender or food processor and add 1 cup broth. Puree for about 1 minute.
  • Strain the pureed chiles to remove the remaining seeds and skins (tip: push the chile mix with a spoon to get the most out of them).
  • Once all of the chiles are strained, transfer to a big bowl and add more salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Note: The flavor may be strong at this stage but it changes for the better once it's mixed into your recipe for tamales or pozole.
  • Store in jars in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze until ready to use.


Selecting the dry chiles:
  • They should be pliable, flexible and not overly dry or brittle. If they break when you bend them, that means they're very old. 
  • The stems hold still be attached to most of them. 
  • If you have extra chiles, freeze them in ziplock bags for up to 6 months to preserve their freshness. 


Serving: 1cup | Sodium: 112mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 1g | Calories: 22kcal | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 5g