Salsa de Cuatro Chiles (Four-Pepper Salsa), photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Salsa de Cuatro Chiles (Four-Pepper Salsa)

Cuisine: Mexican


  • 2 chiles ancho
  • 2 chile guajillo
  • 2 chile chipotle (dried peppers), use the canned ones if you cannot find the dried version
  • 10 chiles de árbol or more if you like it spicy!
  • 10 tomatillos
  • 3 cloves of garlic sliced
  • salt to taste
  • Grapeseed or light olive oil

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  1. Remove the stems and seeds from all the dried peppers and rip into smaller pieces. Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil to medium heat in a pan, add the dried peppers and the garlic. The peppers and garlic will toast pretty quickly, so you want to turn them often. As soon as the peppers become aromatic and soften a bit, remove from heat (about 1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to the blender.
  2. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse well. Transfer the tomatillos to a glass bowl, cover with paper towel and cook in microwave for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Remove from microwave, transfer them to the blender with the chiles, garlic. Add about 2 teaspoons of salt and blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt.

Chef Notes

The tomatillos can be cooked under the broiler for a few minutes or poached in water on the stove top also. It is important that you don’t let the dried peppers burn in the oil, because they may become bitter tasting. This salsa is excellent for carne asada tacos, tamales or simply serve with chips!

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