Homemade Chile Colorado Sauce

Learn how to make Chile Colorado sauce at home for marinating your meats and flavoring your…hangover cures.

How to Make Chile Colorado Sauce

Chile freaking Colorado sauce, guys!

I love it almost as much as I love White Collar.

I love it almost as much as I love this chilling Sia video. <- So chilling.

I love it 56,128,782∞ times more than I love doing my taxes.

How to Make Chile Colorado Sauce

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve done some good old fashioned saucing up in here. You know how I love my sauces, but I’ve been getting carried away with this and that and all the pancakes, so sauces haven’t been at the forefront of my mind.

Except for Chile Colorado Sauce. Which is never not on my mind.

Whenever I go out for Mexican food (which isn’t often these days), I always have a difficult time deciding what to order. Do I want beefy Chile Colorado? Chicken mole? Some sort of 7-meat molcajete? Decisions, decisions, I must eat like it’s my last meal, so I had better make it count.

Because I just luuurve making sauces homemade, Chile Colorado sauce has been a big To Do for quite some time. And looky here, I finally made it!

How to Make Chile Colorado Sauce

It’s really quite simple. All’s you do is some sauteing, simmering, and blending. WHAMO: slurpable sauce for all of your consumables. Swaddle it up with rice and beans in a corn tortilla, and you’re in the money. 

The recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, so you can easily make 2 or 3 big meals with it.

Chile Colorado’s a blast to have around. I mean, do you remember when I was hungover from New Years and I showed you my hangover cure breakfast, which happened to be marinated in Chile Colorado sauce? That was a blast.

Wait, I even took a legit photo of the cure..whilst hungover…because that’s how dedicated I am to capturing moments of culinary bliss that happen to absolve the pain of no longer having the alcohol tolerance of a 17 21 year-old:

How to Make Chile Colorado Sauce

Gorgeous, ain’t she? Makes you feel like you should be hungover every weekend. Kind of. Not really.

You’ll be seeing a pretty choice use of the sauce tomorrow. In the meantime, grab a straw.

How to Make Chile Colorado Sauce

Homemade Chile Colorado Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 3 large white onions sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 large tomatillos peeled, washed, and chopped
  • 3 dried ancho chiles soaked and seeded
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles soaked and seeded
  • 1 14- ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ounces .75 dark chocolate chopped, 3 to 4 squares
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste


  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Add the dried chiles to a large mixing bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow chiles to soak 2 to 3 minutes, until re-hydrated. Strain the water and remove the stems and seeds from the chiles. Set aside. Note: For a spicier sauce, save some of the seeds so that you may add them to the sauce.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium. Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatillos and garlic and saute another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the re-hydrated chiles, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and chocolate. Bring mixture to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the skillet and allow mixture to cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Add the contents from the skillet to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Be sure to keep the lid of the blender slightly cracked to allow steam to escape.
  6. Taste the sauce for flavor and add sea salt to taste.
  7. If you aren’t using the sauce immediately for a recipe, store it in a large seal-able glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. You can also freeze the sauce.

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  1. Katya @ Little Broken

    Reminds me of a Russian “red spicy” sauce that my mom made. Spicy and hot! We always would have it as a side to chicken or beef kabobs. This looks so good. I bet it would taste good too in soups or rice, etc.

  2. Cheyanne

    OHMYGAAAAAAAWD I was JUST saying I wanted to learn how to make Chile Colorado the other day. That does it, I’m making it happen this weekend. I mean, I have everything but the tomatillos. And they’re on sale for 5 lbs for a dollar. So. No excuses!

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Susan

    I am a big fan of real Mexican food, and I know I have other recipes for Chile Colorado somewhere. I don’t remember seeing chocolate in them, but I love the idea. Is there anything chocolate isn’t good in? (Don’t answer that – spaghetti sauce comes to mind.) Mexican and chocolate go together really well. This recipe is definitely going on my must make list, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how you use it.

    1. Julia Post author

      YES! We must be two birds of a feather on account of our mutual love for Mexican and chocolate. I meant to mention this in the post: Chile Colorado sauce doesn’t typically include chocolate, but I like to add it just for a little something special. Hope you enjoy the sauce once you have a chance to make it!

  4. Nora (A Clean Bake)

    Definitely add this to the list of things I have apparently been missing out on in the general Tex-Mex realm of food, but need to seriously make up for lost time with. This would be SO DAMN GOOD on eggs (-slash-anything) and I just kind of want to drink it with a spoon.

    Also: White Collar? My love for that show known no bounds and I have never met anyone else outside of my household who appreciates its brilliance. Have you gotten to the final episode yet?

    1. Julia Post author

      Yes to chile colorado eggs! Just.yes.all.over.that!

      I have one more season of WC to watch, and have been distracting myself with Parenthood so that I can savor every last episode of WC. Ugh! How’s about we eat a chile colorado scramble with some wine and binge watch white collar?!

  5. Kelsey M

    Yummmm- this looks amazinggggggg I do love adding dried chiles to soups, stews and sauces (and I have a fair amount of them lying around from ones I dehydrated this past summer).

  6. Cheyanne

    So I made this and it was BOMB. Seriously amazing. I didn’t even wait for the meat to cook. I refried some black beans, toasted some tortillas and made black bean tostadas with queso fresco and about 5 spoonfuls of the sauce…. NOM NOM NOM. I may have had three in a row. Won’t lie.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Lee Ann

    I just wanted you to know.. I”ve tried making 4 other chili colorado recipes.. to attempt to come close to the one my favorite restaurant serves, with bad results.. and Your recipe- is soooo close. It’s sooo good!! I’m so glad I found it.. it’s amazing !!!

    1. Julia Post author

      Wahooooo! Thanks so much, Lee Ann! Chile Colorado really is a difficult sauce to replicate, so my hats off to you and your quest to find the ultimate perfect sauce. Thanks so much for your feedback! xo


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