• Thick Chile Salsa


Four Chile Salsa

By Andrew Zimmern

You could use this chile salsa on the table at any meal, to braise pork, seafood or chicken, to accompany grilled beef, as a sauce for tamales, enchiladas… you name it. Using four different types of chiles adds deep complexity to this thick salsa that’s hard to beat.

Thick Chile Table Salsa

Servings: makes 5 cups

Total: 30 minutes


  • 5 dried árbol chiles
  • 5 dried ancho chiles
  • 5 dried pasilla negro chiles
  • 5 dried chipotle chiles
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 Roma tomatoes, halved (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt


In a large bowl, cover the chiles with very hot water and let soak for 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain and discard the stems.

Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over moderately high heat for 10 seconds, just until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder and process until finely ground.

Return the skillet to the heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the chiles and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Transfer the chiles and any oil to a blender along with the ground spices and cinnamon.

Preheat the broiler. Add the tomatoes to the same skillet and broil 6 inches from the heat for about 10 minutes, until softened and charred. Transfer to the blender. Let cool slightly.

Roast the peppers under the broiler for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred all over. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let steam for 15 minutes. Peel and seed the peppers, and transfer to the blender along with the garlic and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Season the salsa with salt.

MAKE AHEAD The salsa can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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