Jonathan Perno's New Mexican Red Chile

Referred to affectionately as simply "red chile" by locals, this sauce is super-versatile. Try it to flavor turkey and mashed potatoes for a Southwestern-style Thanksgiving (see Associated Recipes). Dried New Mexico red chiles vary in heat, so be sure to check labels at the supermarket for a level of spicy that's right for you.

New Mexican Red Chile
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
2 1/4 cups
Nutrition Profile:


  • 8 ounces dried New Mexican red chiles

  • ½ medium white onion, minced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons dried oregano

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Remove stems and seed from chiles. Rinse the chiles and pat dry. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the chiles until darkened in color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add warm water to cover by 1 inch. Place a plate on top to keep the chiles submerged. Let soak for 20 minutes.

  3. Using tongs, transfer half the chiles and 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid to a blender. Process until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large pot. Process the remaining chiles with another 1/2 cup soaking liquid; transfer to the pot. Combine onion, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt, cocoa and another 1/2 cup soaking liquid in the blender; process until smooth. Add to the chile puree, along with bay leaf.

  4. Bring the puree to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until it forms a thick sauce, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.


Associated Recipes:

Red Chile-Citrus Glazed Roast Turkey & Pan Gravy

Red Chile Mashed Potatoes

To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

23 Calories
4g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 36
Serving Size 1 tablespoon
Calories 23
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 4979IU 100%
Sodium 51mg 2%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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