This Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe is made with chile de arbol, white onion, garlic, vinegar, and water and it is so spicy and flavorful.
I put hot sauce on my breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know I have a problem. It's not my fault when I can make the most delicious hot sauce ever. This Salsa de Arbol is so rich and full of flavor – not to mention spicy. Can you handle it?
There are a ton of hot sauces that I love buying like Valentina and Frank’s. As a Mexican, I can vouch for most Mexicans that they probably have some sort of dried pepper in their pantry. I always have chiles anchos and chiles de arbol in my house.
What are chiles de arbol?
Chiles de arbol are dried small peppers about 2-3 inches long. Their heat index is between 15,000 to 30,000 Scoville units. Just like most red peppers, they start out green and end up very red in color. They have a unique nutty flavor. The seeds are the spiciest part of the chilies, so you can adjust your hot sauce spiciness level to how many seeds you add into it.
- What are chiles de arbol?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Chile de Arbol Salsa
- What to serve with Chile de Arbol Salsa
- Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe Variations
- How to store Chile de Arbol Salsa
- Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe Top tips
- Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe
- Food safety
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: The dried arbol chilies, garlic and onion gives the hot sauce so much flavor and you will find yourself topping it off on your proteins.
Great for all weather: I love topping this hot sauce on most of my proteins and I use it in the winter or summer months.
Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Chile de arbol
- White onion
- Garlic cloves
- White vinegar
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Chile de Arbol Salsa
Deseed and destem the arbol chile. Depending on your spice level, you can leave some with the seeds in for a spicier hot sauce. Take out all the seeds for a medium heat.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the chiles de arbol, garlic cloves, and onion and boil for 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, place the chiles, garlic, and onion in a blender.
Add the oregano, vinegar, water, salt and pepper as well. Blend until smooth.
Top this Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe on your eggs, chicken, or vegetables.
Hint: Use less seeds for a milder heat.
What to serve with Chile de Arbol Salsa
- Tacos: Serve the salsa alongside your favorite tacos, such as carne asada tacos, grilled chicken, or vegetarian options like mushroom or potato tacos.
- Enchiladas: Drizzle the salsa over enchiladas, whether they're filled with cheese, chicken, beef, or vegetables.
- Quesadillas: Pair Chile de Arbol salsa with cheese quesadillas for a spicy and savory combination. It works well with both traditional cheese fillings and more adventurous options like spinach or mushroom.
- Sopes: Spoon some Chile de Arbol salsa onto sopes (thick tortillas) and top them with beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, and crema for a delicious and spicy appetizer or main dish.
- Tamales: Serve the salsa alongside tamales, whether they're filled with pork, chicken, or cheese. It provides a spicy contrast to the tamale's flavors.
Chile de Arbol: These dried chile de arbol is essential for making this hot sauce. You could use any variation of dried chilies if you prefer.
Onion: I used a white onion but feel free to use a red or yellow onion.
Garlic: I love using fresh garlic for this recipe. I smash the garlic before adding into the boiling water to release that garlicky taste.
Oregano: I used Mexican oregano for this, but feel free to use regular oregano.
Vinegar: I used white vinegar but you could use apple cider vinegar instead.
Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe Variations
- Garlic-Lime Chile de Arbol Salsa: A simple and zesty variation that highlights the flavors of garlic and lime. It adds a tangy and aromatic element to the salsa.
- Smoky Roasted Chile de Arbol Salsa: By roasting the chile de arbol peppers before blending, you can achieve a deep, smoky flavor that enhances the heat of the salsa. It adds complexity and richness to the dish.
- Creamy Avocado Chile de Arbol Salsa: Combine ripe avocados with chile de arbol peppers for a creamy and spicy salsa. The creaminess of the avocado helps mellow the heat while adding a smooth texture.
- Citrus-Pineapple Chile de Arbol Salsa: Infuse your salsa with a tropical twist by incorporating fresh pineapple and citrus juices. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors complements the spiciness of the chile de arbol peppers.
- Blender or Food Processor: A blender or food processor is essential for blending the ingredients together into a smooth salsa consistency. It helps to break down the chile de arbol peppers and other ingredients. I also used this inexpensive Oster blender to make the hot sauce.
- Skillet or Frying Pan (optional): If you want to roast the chile de arbol peppers or any other ingredients before blending, you'll need a skillet or frying pan. This equipment allows you to achieve a charred or roasted flavor, enhancing the taste of the salsa.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to chop or mince the ingredients for the salsa, such as garlic, onion, or any other vegetables you choose to include.
- Mixing Spoon or Spatula: A mixing spoon or spatula is useful for stirring the ingredients in the skillet while roasting or combining the ingredients in the blender or food processor.
- Measuring Spoons: Measuring spoons are handy for accurately measuring the quantities of spices, salt, lime juice, or other ingredients required in the recipe.
- Storage Container: Once the salsa is prepared, you may want to store it for later use. Airtight storage containers or jars will help keep the salsa fresh in the refrigerator.
- Oven or Grill (optional): If you decide to roast additional ingredients like tomatoes or peppers, you may need an oven or grill to achieve the desired charred or roasted effect.
How to store Chile de Arbol Salsa
- Allow the salsa to cool: If you've prepared the salsa by heating or cooking the ingredients, make sure it has cooled down to room temperature before storing it. Hot salsa can create condensation inside the container, leading to spoilage.
- Choose the right container: Opt for an airtight container or jar that is clean and dry. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids or food storage containers with secure seals work well for storing salsa.
- Transfer the salsa: Pour the salsa into the chosen container, leaving a small gap at the top to allow for expansion if freezing. If there are any solid ingredients like chunks of vegetables or herbs, make sure they are submerged in the liquid to prevent spoilage.
- Seal the container: Close the container tightly to create an airtight seal. This helps prevent air from entering and maintains the salsa's freshness.
- Refrigerate or freeze: Place the container in the refrigerator if you plan to consume the salsa within a week. It will generally stay fresh for up to 5-7 days when refrigerated.Alternatively, if you want to store the salsa for a longer period, you can freeze it. Freezing can extend the shelf life for several months. To freeze, make sure the container is freezer-safe, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Thaw the salsa in the refrigerator overnight when you're ready to use it.
- Label and date: It's helpful to label the container with the salsa's name and the date it was made. This allows you to keep track of freshness and use it in a timely manner.
Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe Top tips
- Adjust the spiciness: The heat level of the salsa depends on the number of chile de arbol peppers you use. If you prefer a milder salsa, remove the seeds and veins from the peppers before blending. Conversely, if you want it hotter, leave the seeds in or add more chile de arbol peppers.
- Toast the chile de arbol peppers: For a smokier flavor, you can toast the chile de arbol peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few seconds on each side. Be careful not to burn them. Toasting intensifies the flavors and adds depth to the salsa.
- Soak the chile de arbol peppers: If you prefer a milder heat and a softer texture, you can soak the chile de arbol peppers in hot water for about 10-15 minutes before blending. This helps to soften the peppers and reduce their spiciness.
- Experiment with additional ingredients: While the basic Chile de Arbol salsa recipe calls for chile de arbol peppers, garlic, onion, salt, and lime juice, feel free to add other ingredients to customize the flavor. Some popular additions include tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted tomatillos, cilantro, or cumin. Adjust the proportions and flavors to suit your taste preferences.
- Blend to desired consistency: Blend the ingredients in the blender or food processor until you reach your desired salsa consistency. Some prefer a chunkier salsa, while others prefer a smoother texture. Blend longer for a smoother consistency and shorter for a chunkier texture.
- Adjust seasoning: Taste the salsa and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, lime juice, or even a touch of sugar to balance the flavors. Remember that flavors tend to develop and intensify as the salsa sits, so it's a good idea to taste and adjust again after it has rested for a while.
- Let it rest: After preparing the salsa, let it sit for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop fully.
- Store properly: If you have leftover salsa, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for short-term use or freeze it for longer-term storage. Follow the proper storage guidelines mentioned earlier for optimal freshness.
- Use as a versatile condiment: Chile de Arbol salsa is a versatile condiment that can be used with various dishes. Use it as a dip, sauce, or topping for tacos, quesadillas, grilled meats, eggs, or any other dishes that could use a spicy kick.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove