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Red Chile Sauce From Powder


Cook up a full-bodied, deeply flavored, and not-bitter sauce that is excellent tasting on any food.


  • 1/4 cup saved bacon drippings* (or vegetable oil) + one additional tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow sweet onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 pinch of chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground New Mexico Hatch red chile powder
  • 2 and 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth* 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (can also use agave nectar)


  1. Place large skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil to heat. Add the onion (it should sizzle when added). Stir the onion around frequently, until it is translucent and lightly browned, between 5-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for two additional minutes.
  2. Stir the additional oil or bacon drippings into the pan, then sprinkle the flour over the contents of the pan. Stir and cook for another two minutes. Now stir in the red chile powder, then slowly whisk in the broth, scraping up any browned bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until the sauce is thick enough to ‘nape’ (or stick) to a spoon. Remove sauce from heat and serve or proceed to optional step 4.
  4. *Optional* To puree the red chile sauce, carefully ladle or pour the sauce into a blender. Remove the stopper from the blender lid (usually in the center of the lid) to allow steam to escape. Place the lid on the blender and cover the opening with a kitchen towel. Blend until sauce is pureed. 


*Bacon drippings, or fat, leftover from cooking bacon is incredibly tasty when used as a base oil for sautéing. Bacon drippings can be combined with vegetable oil to get to the 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon need for this recipe.

*I always use bouillon cubes to make broth because they are easy to store in the cupboard for a very long time, and I can make as much or as little broth as I like. I use bouillon cubes every day and highly recommend them!

*Taking the extra step to puree your red chile sauce is optional, but I know that many folks prefer a smooth red chile sauce, as opposed to chunky green chile sauce. This recipe will not taste as good if you pass over the real onion and garlic and use powders instead to skip having to puree the sauce. The choice of course, is up to you.