Ancho Chili Sauce


Ok, so maybe it’s not a word. But you’ll certainly feel like exclaiming it once you try this ancho chili sauce over enchiladas. It’s smoky and earthy with only the mildest hint of spiciness. The recipe calls for deseeding the ancho peppers which will remove most of the simmer, but feel free to keep some (or all) of the seeds in the chilies to give it the most spiciness possible.

This ancho chili sauce is not only delicious over enchiladas. Try it with grilled meats or drizzled over fried potatoes. Its flavor is earthy enough to stand up to red meats and mild enough to be very family friendly!

Ancho Chili Sauce

4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins



Rehydrating the chilies

  • In a sauce pot, cover the anchos with water, then bring the water to a quick boil.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Allow the ancho chilies to rehydrate for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from water. KEEP one cup of this water to the side.

Prepare the ancho chili sauce

  • De-stem and deseed the ancho chilies (or leave the seeds in for a little more heat to the sauce).
  • Place the peppers, the cup of ancho water from rehydration, and all remaining ingredients, except olive oil, into a blender (or bowl, if using a food processor).
  • Blend or process the mix until you reach a smooth sauce consistency, then add the olive oil and stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately, or for best flavor allow the sauce to sit for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to meld.


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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on August 17, 2019 to include new content. It was originally published on September 1, 2016.