Rustic Red Chile Sauce

This rustic sauce is used over enchiladas or tamales. You can also serve it on top of chicken breast, pork chops or grilled steak.

Low fat - low calorie


  • 10 to 12 large dried ancho chiles (20 if small to medium)
  • 2 to 3 cups water (divided use)
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 3 to 6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Wash the dried anchos. Soak overnight or fill a medium pan with hot water (enough to cover the peppers). Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, then add the peppers and soak 30 minutes. Save the water.
  2. In a skillet, sauté onion in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until soft and clear (sauté ing in oil can cause a bitter taste). Do not brown the onion.
  3. Clean stems and seeds from anchos. Sprinkle water in the skillet over a medium heat. Lay the chiles flat. Sauté for 1 minute on each side Do not burn the skin. If you do burn a spot, cut it off or the taste will taint the whole batch.
  4. In a blender add 1 cup of reserved water, ancho peppers, onion, chipotles, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano and salt. (The chipotle peppers are hot, so add to taste.) Slowly add 1 cup of water and puree until the ingredients are smooth. There should be no skin pulp in the sauce. If you want it hotter, add a few fresh jalapenos (not pickled). The sauce should mound slightly when finished, so you may have to add a little more water to thin it.

Makes 4 cups.

The sauce keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, and it freezes well.

Per tablespoon: Cal 33 (21% fat) Fat 1 g (no sat) Fiber 2 g No chol Sodium 96 mg Carb 6 g Calcium 8 mg

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