Chipotle Sauce Recipe

April 24, 2012 34 Comments

Chipotle Sauce Recipe

What the Heck Is A Chipotle?

I just recently learned this but a chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeño pepper. It comes from the word chilpoctli which means smoked chili pepper. A very popular pepper in Mexico, jalapeños that have been left on their plants at the end of the growing season turn bright red and lose a lot of their moisture. These are then picked to be used for making chipotle.

Placed into a smoker, the ripe jalapeños are smoked for several days until they lose their moisture and get prune like. I read that it takes 10 pounds of jalapeños to make 1 pound of chipotle. The heat of the chipotle has a lot to do with the heat of the jalapeño it comes from.

Sauce or Salsa

I call this recipe a chipotle sauce but it can also be called a chipotle salsa because salsa means sauce in Spanish. I think of salsa in the more traditional American way and that is as a salsa cruda  or pico de gallo, you know, the stuff we serve with corn chips while watching sports. See my version of salsa cruda here.

I learned how to make this simple sauce(salsa) from my friend Paula who is from Mexico. She is a wonderful cook and has been teaching me the basics of Mexican cuisine and I’m not talking about anything fancy, just simple, traditional and very tasty.

What’s really great about this sauce is you combine heat with a smoky flavor and you can use it with just about anything. I’ve tried this on pan fried chicken, fish, tacos, beef, leftover rice and pasta or as a snack with corn chips. It’s easy to make at home and a lot cheaper than some of the commercial varieties.


roasted tomato

Chipotle Peppers

puree chipotle peppers

chopping cilantro

taco with chipotle sauce


Chipotle Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Chipotle Sauce Recipe


2 tomatoes

2 chipotles from a can - more if you want it hotter

1/2 cup of water

1 or 2 sprigs of fresh cilantro - chopped

How To Prepare At Home

Start by roasting the tomatoes. You can roast them in the oven or right on top of the stove. In the photo above you see Paula roasting one over the flame of my gas burner. Being careful not to burn yourself, you hold the tomato with a fork over the flame until the skin turns black and then peel it off over the sink. Transfer the tomatoes into a blender.

Add the chipotles to the blender and then the water. Puree this together in the blender and pour into a bowl. Stir in the chopped cilantro and you are ready to go. If the sauce is too thin for you liking, you can cook it down some in a pan but realize the sauce will get hotter the more you cook it down, so be careful.

Last modified on Mon 14 July 2014 10:02 am

Comments (34)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jenni says:

    Yum! Chipotle hot sauce is one of my favorite things–we just had some w/our dinner last night, as a matter of fact. Now, I can make my own. Thanks, RG, and thank you Paula!

  2. Amber @ The Cook's Sister says:

    Love this chipotle sauce! I made this and used it as a meatloaf topping. Delicious!

  3. Suzanne Roberts says:

    It’s too bad the person showing how to make this sauce has terrible finger nail polish. It looks awful, rather unprofessional-either where polish or don’t. I don’t even want to try this recipe because her nails turned me off.

    Hi Suzanne, I can assure you the sauce was delightful even though it was prepared by someone with working hands. – RG

    • SSalas says:

      No need to be tacky & rude; no need to post your personal opinion that has nothing to do with the recipe!!

    • Esther says:

      My how you major in minors. So sad for you. You are perfect, right?

    • Cooker says:

      So rude!

    • Liz Swan says:

      I decided to try this recipe BECAUSE of the nail polish! It told me the cook is a real person who cares about preparing good food for the people she cares about, not someone who cares only about appearances. Thanks for being real!

    • Ruby Rodriguez says:

      She is just showing you how to prepare the sauce yourself, not asking you to eat the one she made.. #SoIgnorant

  4. Sid says:

    WOW. RG you really need to learn online etiquette. When you present material online and that too about food – HYGIENE and PRESENTATION are essential. You being cheeky means you have no respect for your readership.

    There are a million sites out there about sauces, not many with smart aleck editors.

    Sid, not even going there. – RG

  5. L.S. says:

    Tasted delicious with shrimp!

    Thanks for the guide.

  6. John Graham says:

    Very professional.The word “loose” means “free”, or “not tight”. The word you wanted is “lose”. Later, Suzanne Roberts used “where” instead of “wear”. Let’s brush up, folks…John Graham

  7. fatima says:

    Is there anyother substitute for the jalapenos if they were unavailable? Can we use paprika instead of jalapenos?

  8. Grateful reader says:

    Please don’t listen to these snobby chumps, RG! I for one am very grateful for this recipe. Thanks 🙂

  9. mike says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Will definitely
    Try it when peppers come in. I find this helpful even though others are negative about”working hands”!

  10. arlene says:

    Who cares bout the nail polish. Do u want recipe 4 hotsauce or hot fingernails? Tee hee

    • Romero Espindola says:

      Hahahahaah…WRITE!!! It’s ALL spicy chapolte sauce for ME. My husband is Mexican and LOVES Chapolte. I make “sincronizadas” for him how he is used to eating it growing up and have been looking for a Chapolte Sauce that will help me make a great quantity I can have on hand and not just when I need it for my “sincronizadas” which I use other ingredients for, ON TOP OF the Chapoltes. I’m so ecstatic to find this. !!!Yes!!! It’s ALL CHAPOLTE BABY…ALLL CHAPOLTE. 🙂

  11. Jaime says:

    Wow, people are idiots. I’m very greatful for the recipe, that I found while at the grocery store after finding the prepared sauce that was in my recipe contained gluten. So thank you!

  12. Dimitra says:

    some people are very rude, i agree with Jaime and Arlene. Thank you for the recipe! And i am sure that traditional mexican families don’t do manicure before to cook

  13. amanda says:

    I like the recipe but I love the cheeky comments! I have no idea why people need to be ugly.

  14. Lucy says:

    Awesome recipe I tried it with grilled fish tacos

  15. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for teaching me something new! I always thought chipotle was its own type of pepper. This is like learning that green and black tea are the same leaf. Thanks to you and Paula for the authentic recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  16. Frank says:

    I just found your recipe and will try it later. 2 tomatoes just went into the oven
    Greetings from Spain – Frank

  17. J D says:

    This is very tasty made as described. Simple, quick, delicious what more can one ask??

  18. CM says:

    Thank you for posting!
    You can also use Poblano peppers just like the jalapeño peppers to create a similar sauce that is very tasty over enchiladas! I’m going to make some chipotle sauce and enjoy with family! Look forward to more recipes!


  19. Mark says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Can you freeze the sauce?

  20. Tammy says:

    Thank you!! I learned from some amazing cooks from Mexico also, and wanted something similar to chalula chipotle. I found it! Thanks again!

  21. Esther says:

    While I agree that presentation is everything when it deals with food, etc., I never noticed the nails because I was too busy trying to memorize the Recipe. LOl Things folks concentrate on cracks me up. Either way, None of us are in her kitchen to eat with her so don’t worry about her because you aren’t invited to the Feast. Make it, eat it, enjoy it and share your Recipe with others you love.

  22. Ross says:

    I absolutely agree with you Esther, I have an Mexican girlfriend and she was surprised when I cooked for her and used this sauce. Thank you!!

  23. Glen says:

    I think you have done a fantastic job! Thank you for showing how many of our mothers and grandmothers cooked. They not only loved to cook but loved those for whom they cooked.
    I have tried this with the dried chilpolte and it works well.

Leave a Reply