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Authentic Red Chile Sauce from Dried Chili Pods

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


The real, authentic recipe for making traditional Red Chile (chili) Sauce from dried chili pods. The flavor is deeper and less bitter in this sauce than red chile made from chili powder. No matter how you spell it, this spicy condiment is the life blood of New Mexico, and in antiquity was made with chile pods plucked from hanging ristras. This sauce provides the base for many traditional dishes such as Huevos Rancheros, Enchiladas, and Carne Adovada. As we always ask- “Red or Green?”

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  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • pinch of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (or one cube)
  • 4 ounces dried Hatch Red Chile pods
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. In a medium saucepan, add 3 cups water, oregano, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and bouillon. Bring to a low boil.
  2. While the water mixture is heating, put on some gloves and rip dried chile pods apart into 1-inch pieces, discarding the stems and dumping out excess seeds. (If you like it spicier, leave the seeds in.) When water mixture comes to a boil, stir in chile pieces and cover. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the chile-broth mixture from heat and carefully pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a 4-cup measuring cup or mixing bowl. Set broth aside; do not discard.
  4. Place all solids into a blender. Add 1 cup of strained broth and the honey. Blend for about 1 minute, or until the sauce is pureed and very thick. Blend in 1 additional cup of broth and taste. Adjust the sauce to taste and desired consistency by adding more broth, salt etc.
  5. If you plan to use the sauce immediately: pour into a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Heat the Red Chile Sauce, stirring often, until it comes to a slow, gloppy boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let it cool until safe enough to handle.
  6. If you plan to use it later: you can skip step 5 and store the sauce in airtight containers placed in the refrigerator. Sauce can be stored for up to 4 days.


Some from NM are what I would call “chile purist” and simply use water and dried Hatch chiles to make this sauce. If you would like to try it this way, simply follow the recipe with water and dried chiles.

Curious about steps 5 and 6? The flavors of this sauce will slowly meld and deepen simply on its own, and the heat level will slightly increase as well over time. (I’m talking in terms of hours.) You can speed up this chemical process by adding heat if you desire to serve the sauce immediately. I personally like to make it ahead and save myself the extra step :0)

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-35 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: blender
  • Cuisine: New Mexican

Keywords: Dried Chili Pods, Dried chile pods, Red chile, Red chile sauce, Hatch chile, Hatch green chile, Hatch green chili, chili sauce, chile sauce