Fresh Chile Sauce

by on July 30, 2010
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Fresh Chile Salsa

I’ve been getting ready for a much-needed vacation, cleaning out both the refrigerator and the garden.  Our tomatoes have about run their course, but the jalapeno and New Mexico chile peppers are thriving.  In fact, they’re doing so well that we can’t keep up; by the time we get around to eating them, they’re already turning red.  Today in my garden clean-up, I picked all of the New Mexico peppers that had reached full-size–red, green, and a muddy brown color in between.

Chile Peppers

There were a total of 12 of them, and at first I was going to roast and freeze them, but when it came time to tuck them into freezer bags, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to go ahead and make up a batch of chile sauce to go with the Clean-Out-The-Fridge Fajitas I’m planning for dinner tonight.  (Zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, bell pepper, mushrooms, eggplant, and onions sauteed and wrapped in flour tortillas with leftover rice.)  The multi-colored peppers made an interestingly colored sauce that’s not as spicy as a green chile sauce (the peppers sweeten as they ripen) and lighter and fresher-tasting than sauces made with dried chiles.  I added half of a jalapeno to give it a little more heat, but you can leave it out or add more depending on your spice tolerance.  Whether you spice it up or keep it cool, I think you’ll love this smoky, zesty sauce that contains no tomatoes, sweeteners, or thickeners.

Fresh Chile Salsa

Fresh Chile Sauce

(printer-friendly version)

12 New Mexico (Hatch) chili peppers (may substitute Anaheim or poblano), 3-6 inches in length
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and finely diced (add more or less to taste)
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon lime juice

Wash the chile peppers. Wearing plastic gloves, cut out the stem and cut a slit down the length. Use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works best) to scrape out the seeds and membranes. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and set on top rack of oven. Broil, turning every minute or so, until peppers are blackened and blistered on all sides. Remove from baking sheet and place in a paper bag. Fold top down and allow peppers to steam until cool enough to handle. (Alternately, wrap in a damp kitchen towel to steam.) When peppers are cool, remove the skins and discard. Chop the peppers fine and measure. You should have about a cup but a little more is fine.

Roasted Chiles

Cook the onion in a non-stick skillet until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and chopped peppers (including jalapeno) and cook for another minute. Add all remaining ingredients except salt and lime juice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Place half of the pepper mixture into a blender, and pulse to blend slightly. Pour it back into the pan and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.

Serve over grilled tofu or tempeh or as a sauce for burritos, tacos, fajitas, or enchiladas.

Servings: 6

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 49 calories, 2 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 216.8mg sodium, 344.4mg potassium, 11.5g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 5.5g sugar, 2.4g protein, 0.6 points.

Nutrition analysis is approximate and will vary depending on exact ingredients used. Though MyPoints are calculated using a formula similar to Weight Watchers Points TM, this site has no affiliation with Weight Watchers and does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

More Green(ish) Chiles and Salsas

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Serene July 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Beautiful! I’m going to have a container garden next season, and peppers and tomatoes are the things I’m most excited about.


2 Amber Shea @Almost Vegan July 30, 2010 at 7:05 pm

This looks incredible! And (as a writer’s aside) thanks for spelling “chile” correctly :] I see it wrong all the time!


3 Janice July 30, 2010 at 10:18 pm

The three primary spellings are chili, chile and chilli, all of which are recognized by english language dictionaries.

* Chili is widely used, although in much of South America the plant and its vegetable are better known as ají, locoto, chile, or rocoto. However, this spelling is discouraged by some in the United States of America, since it also commonly refers to a popular Southwestern-American dish (also known as chili con carne (literally chili with meat); the official state dish of Texas[19]), as well as to the mixture of cumin and other spices (chili powder) used to flavor it. Chili, as in the case of Cincinnati chili, can also refer to ground beef stews that do not actually contain any chile peppers. Chili powder and chile powder, on the other hand, can both refer to dried, ground chili peppers.
* Chile is an alternate usage, the most common Spanish spelling in Mexico,[20] as well as some parts of the United States of America and Canada, which refers specifically to this plant and its fruit. In the American Southwest (particularly northern New Mexico), chile also denotes a thick, spicy, un-vinegared sauce, which is available in red and green varieties and which is often served over most New Mexican cuisine.
* Chilli was the original[dubious – discuss] Romanization of the Náhuatl language word for the fruit (chīlli)[21] and is the preferred British spelling according to the Oxford English Dictionary, although it also lists chile and chili as variants. This spelling is discouraged by some, since it would be pronounced differently in Spanish, into which it was first Romanized.


4 Lizabelle July 31, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for that – as a Brit, I stubbornly spell it ‘chilli’, but it’s interesting to see the background. Perhaps grounds for moving toward the ‘chile’ spelling, after all.

And Susan, thanks for the recipe! Will be making this soon.


5 Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary July 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

This looks really tasty!! I’m loving hot salsa’s this summer and will have to give this one a try 🙂


6 Tara July 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm

YUM!! I think I need to start gardening.


7 Magda July 30, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Definitely will have to try, I love all kinds of salsas and peppers. Too bad I don’t have any chili peppers right now cuz I would make some even tonight to snack 🙂


8 moonwatcher July 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Hi Susan,

This looks really good, and beautiful, too. I like the fact that it’s mild and yet smoky, and made with the fresh peppers. At our Farmer’s Market there is grower who brings an amazing variety of organic peppers, and they are just starting to be available. So I will look forward to picking some out in different colors and trying this out. Thanks, and your “clean out the fridge fajitas” sound good, too! Really liked the yummy photos as well. Good to see the “before: and “after “with the peppers (nice angles on those), and I especially liked the contrast of blue dishes and table dressings with the fiery colors of the salsa.




9 Joey Zee July 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I can’t eat really hot things…they set off my hot flushes 🙂 How hot are these, anyone know?


10 Courtney July 31, 2010 at 5:34 pm

this look delicious and simple. i will be sure to try it.


11 Lizzie August 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm

How do you come up with the nutritional facts for you dishes? I am so greatful for them and would love to be able to measure my own and put it on my site too! Thanks again and I learn a lot form you site, it is great!


12 Stacey@ August 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Those whole chiles look so fresh and so good.


13 kathy August 5, 2010 at 10:55 am

Looks beautiful Susan! Amazing photos and recipe as always! I hope you will submit this to ~Kathy


14 Sherry August 10, 2010 at 10:05 am

Hi fellow blogger. My name is Sherry. I write It is a lifestyles blog about compassionate consumption and the journey of becoming vegan. I would like to award you the Versatile Blogger Award for your beautiful, insightful and creative work. Thank you for doing what you.Here is the link to the post where you are named. Thank you for doing what you do in such an inspiring way. I believe we are making a difference.

The Versatile Blogger award comes with a built in plan for sharing the love.
~Thank the person who gave you the award.
~Share seven things about yourself.
~Give this award out to other bloggers that you think are fabulous, interesting and deserving.
~Contact each of the bloggers you chose.



15 Jenny August 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Hi Susan,

I made this! And it is fantastic! I did end up adding a tomato but only because It Had To Be Used and I am not one to let summer tomatoes slide. I swirled it into a casserole of roast potatoes, some hunks of sauteed Gimme Lean soysage, and steamed kale (and possibly some cheese. Not vegan, but easily vegan-ized!) Both my husband and I really enjoyed it and our cat licked the bowls clean. My version did not turn out very spicy, but I will adjust it a bit next time. It was still amazingly flavorful and now a keeper in our house.

Thank you for sharing this!



16 Mexican Food Products August 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Fresh Chilie Sauce looks like beautiful. It’s a authentic and fantastic. Thanks for your sharing information. Mexican Food Products


17 Dimitra August 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I love mexican food so I will give this a try! looks awesome!


18 moonwatcher August 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Hi again Susan,

Okay, I made this today, and it is absolutely to die for! Just like with the chipotle barbecue sauce you have made me a fan of chile sauce. Something about the freshness of the chiles and the beautiful photos really inspired me to try it. Since I’m not growing any peppers myself this season, I picked out some hatch, anaheim, pasilla and one ancho. And I used a red sweet one I had in the freezer from last season. I skipped the jalapeno, since for me, these peppers would be plenty hot. And they were–but so sweet and smoky. It is such a brilliantly simple recipe that really brings out the flavors of whatever peppers and onions you are using. Since mine were mostly different shades of green and a pale one almost cream colored and the one red one, mine was a different color, but oh, it is amazing! I plan to enjoy it all week! I only wish my son and his girlfriend could have stayed past the farmer’s market, because they would love it, too. And I’m glad I made it before it goes back up into the 90s here and it’s too hot to turn on the broiler. It takes a little effort to prepare the pepers, but it’s so worth it.

Thanks, Susan, another winner!



19 susan from food blogga August 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I can envision this on chicken, fish, burgers, tortillas. You name it! Love how it’s so easy and versatile. Thanks for the delicious idea, Susan!


20 Josh - TACFIT Commando August 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Yum, this looks delicious! Great photos as well, this blog makes me hungry!


21 Irina September 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

This lo0ks beautiful. I can’t wait to try making it. And then simultaneously tearing up and shoveling spoonfuls in my mouth until its gone. Then kinda regretting it, then making another batch…


22 Jenny@ The Healthy Teenager, living on green tea and yoga September 26, 2010 at 3:43 am

This looks AMAZING!! I can’t wait to try it out. We’ve just started growing our own Chilli’s in the vegetable garden which I’m really excited about and I’ve been constantly looking out for delicious recipes to use them in. I think this will be top of the list!


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