Chile Pesto

Chile Pesto

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From: EatingWell Magazine, August/September 2005

A cross between an enchilada sauce and mole, this pesto pairs well with grilled meat or vegetables.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 dried New Mexico chiles, (see Ingredient note), stemmed, seeded and broken into 2-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup pepitas, (pumpkin seeds), toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt


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  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 20 seconds more. Add chiles; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and immediately turn off the heat. When the water stops boiling, pour the chile mixture into a small bowl. Make sure all the pieces are submerged; cover and set aside to soften, 20 minutes.
  2. Pour the chile mixture into a food processor or large blender. Add pepitas, thyme, cumin and salt. Pulse a few times, then process until smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  • Ingredient Note: Dried New Mexico chiles are sweet with a hint of spiciness. They can be found in the specialty-produce section of the supermarket, in gourmet-food markets or online at
  • Tip: To toast pepitas, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Per serving: 26 calories; 2 g fat(0 g sat); 0 g fiber; 1 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 3 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 g sugars; 72 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 5 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 149 mg sodium; 45 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 0
  • Exchanges: ½ fat

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