Chi-Chi's Diablo Sauce

"I worked at Chi-Chi's for 16+ years. My favorite sauce over all those years was called Diablo Sauce. My favorite food to eat there was the Soft Taco Enchilada style with Diablo Sauce. A little shredded lettuce and pico de gillo on both sides. Yum!"
photo by KingJackQueen photo by KingJackQueen
photo by KingJackQueen
photo by KingJackQueen photo by KingJackQueen
photo by Minkbabyre photo by Minkbabyre
photo by steve in FL photo by steve in FL
Ready In:




  • Brown ground pork, onions.
  • Add diced chilis, La Victoria salsa.
  • Add 3 cups water.
  • Add Ortega taco seasoning.
  • Add 1/2 tsp salt.
  • add 2 tbsp cumin.
  • combine 2 tbsp corn starch and 1/4 cup water and add too sauce.
  • continue to simmer till thickened.

Questions & Replies

  1. I talked to someone once about diablo sauce and he worked at chi chis for many years also...I remember it being brown and spicy..he told me that anchovies chili peppers were a part of the recipe...could this be a different sauce? it was served on flour taquitos along with melted cheese and sour cream
  2. I used to work at the Norfolk Chi Chi's and loved the green diablo salsa that came in a large can. We used to mix it with just a little ranch dressing! Wish I could find out who made it or get the recipe.
  3. I use to go to the Chi Chi’s in North Carolina and use to buy a hot sauce from the manager that wasn’t a Chi Chi’s brand, it came by the gallon can. I want to say it was made in Wisconsin or Minnesota. I loved this sauce, it was hot, chunky, want a red or green sauce it was more along the lines of a hatch sauce but was hotter a little sweetness. Does anyone know if this can still be bought or how it’s made?
  4. Is this the same sauce as the green chili? I worked in the kitchen for 3 years, Clearwater and Tampa. Most ingredients came in unmarked bags as far as ingredients go.


  1. Ahhh Diablo sauce. I also worked for Chi-Chi's, as a kitchen manager, before moving up. When I gave my notice I bought several packages of Diablo Seasoning. It was truly unique, and addicting - much like KFC's chicken seasoning. These came pre-measured in white bags, to be used with the fresh ingredients per corporate recipes. This was a universal favorite, and sadly missed. <br/><br/>KJQ did a great job of recreating this, but there's a couple of things I wanted to add. <br/><br/>The original sauce was made by browning ground pork and adding white AND green shredded onions, and then the green chilies. Then came the pre-measured spice packet, mixed into the water. The original sauce got it's consistency from the flour and butter roux, which was cooked to perfection until it was golden and nutty smelling. This also helped keep it from breaking in the steam table. The roux was the key to this sauce. This also gave the sauce it's signature look, with a slight sheen on the top from the pork fat. <br/><br/>The highlight of the green sauce was an elevated cumin taste, and a cayenne pepper finish. <br/><br/>One of the kitchens staffs favorite's - a plate of french fries topped with Diablo sauce, shredded pepper jack cheese, ripe olives, green onions, jalapeno's, and a little sour cream. <br/><br/>I've got the recipes for their famous Chili Con Queso, and Guacamole, that I will post up when I get time.
  2. I just tried this, it is great! Thanks for posting the recipe. I worked at the Chi-Chi's in Lexington KY from 1988 to 1990 as a food server and runner. It's takes me back to be able to recreate some of the recipes.
  3. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I worked at Chi Chi's for 13 years, starting as a server, to ending as a district admin... I've tried to duplicate the diablo sauce many times.. again THANK YOU!!!!
  4. I've been looking for this for almost 25 years I also worked at chi chi's best soft taco diablo ever thx for the recipe
  5. I have been looking for the Diablo Enchilada sauce recipe for more than 20 years. Made it yesterday and it was great. I do have a couple questions. 1) The recipe does not say what we do with the Jalapeño so I chopped up 2-3 hot ones and threw in to the sauce. 2) I think I remember small chucks of pork in the sauce, not ground pork. 3) Could not find La Victoria green chili salsa and used Ortega Salsa Verde (with tomatillos). It was OK but may have changed the taste a bit. This dish was our all time favorite at Chi-Chi's. Thanks for posting it.


  1. I do not tweak the diablo sauce, its perfect. I just make soft taco enchilada style with my sauce.
  2. A lot of you worked at chi chi's I did in downtown Minneapolis for 7 years i remember spices came in 5lb bag we just add pork and water green chili
  3. Really good, spicy sauce. I'm a little inexperienced, so wasn't really sure how to use this. I put some in flour tortillas along with refried beans, then used the rest to cover over the top, then put in the oven. Think there's a better way to use it...would appreciate other's input. I made this to use up some jalapeno salsa that's not very tasty on its own. I did use ground beef in place of pork and didn't have to add any jalapenos, used homemade taco seasoning to which I did add extra red pepper flakes. Overall, very tasty; DH liked as well.
  4. Oh man...THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! I loved this stuff and have been looking for the recipe ever since I bought a computer. Chi-chi's fans everywhere owe you a huge debt of gratitude. I have used ground turkey instead of pork, and Shotgun Willie's hot green salsa instead of La Victoria (can't find that) and that worked just fine. Can't thank you enough bud...looking forward to trying the shrimp enchiladas too, now that I know where to find lobster base...


I was born,raised and reside in the mid west. I've been in the restaurant business for 30 years. For fun I just love to hang with my best friend who is my new soul mate. My all time favorite cook book is the internet. What a resource. My passion is perfect food. Love to wow them. If I have a pet peeve it would be when people say to tell the truth when starting a conversation. Are they implying that they don't always tell you the truth? That month off thing, Fish, hunt & look for that perfect recipe on the net.
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