Mexican Red Chile Sauce

Recipe by mersaydees
READY IN: 2hrs 20mins
YIELD: 3 1/2 cups


  • 6
    ounces whole dried chilies (ancho, pasilla, or California green chiles, about 10 to 12 chiles, in any combination)
  • 3
    cups hot water
  • 14
    cup tomato sauce (or tomato paste)
  • 1
    small garlic clove, minced (or pressed)
  • 14
    cup salad oil
  • 1 12
    teaspoons salt
  • 1
    teaspoon oregano leaves, crumbled
  • 14
    teaspoon ground cumin


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place chiles on a baking sheet. Toast lightly in oven, 3 or 4 minutes, until they give off a mild aroma. Do not burn, otherwise, chiles will be very bitter.
  • Remove chiles from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • Remove and discard stems, seeds, and any pink pithy materials.
  • Rinse chiles in cool water, drain briefly, then cover with hot water and soak for an hour.
  • Process chiles in blender with enough of the soaking water to obtain a nice, blended consistency.
  • Add remaining water, tomato sauce, garlic, oil, salt, oregano, and cumin. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for later use.