A bright and flavorful authentic New Mexican red chile is a staple around the southwest. This red sauce is easy to make and can pack a punch. You might know red chile sauce as enchilada sauce, tamale sauce, or Mexican red sauce. But don't be fooled, authentic New Mexican red chile sauce is distinctive.
Prepare the Chiles: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chiles on the baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the chiles from the oven and cool. Once cooled, clean the chiles by breaking off the stems and removing the seeds. Place the cleaned chiles in a pot and cover with 1 -2 inches of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
20 dried red chile pods
Prepare the Onions and Garlic: While the chiles are in the oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the diced onions and saute for 2 minutes. While the onions are cooking, season with cumin, and salt. Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute.
1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ white onion, diced, 5 garlic cloves, minced, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cumin
Blend the Ingredients: Place all the ingredients in a blender (chiles, onions, garlic, broth, and tomato paste.) and blend until smooth. Optional - add a pinch of sugar to offset the bitterness of the tomato.
If using a different chile type, use these substitutions in place of the dried chile pods:
10 fresh fire-roasted red chiles
2 tablespoons of dried chile powder
2 - 3 tablespoons of the chile puree
If you like extra spice, replace the vegetable broth with the water the chiles were cooked in. However, before replacing, taste the water to make sure it is not bitter. The bitterness happens due to the chile and is unpredictable.The heat in chiles can vary greatly. I recommend starting with fewer chiles than in the recipe. You can more chile to add more heat, but you cannot lessen the heat. If using fresh chiles, I recommend wearing latex gloves and removing contacts prior to working with chiles. If you prefer a smooth red chile or enchilada sauce, pour the chile through a sieve.
New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 7Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 47IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.