Learn how to make Chile Colorado Sauce at home for marinating your meats and flavoring your Mexican meals!

How to Make Chile Colorado Sauce

Chile freaking Colorado sauce, guys!

I love it almost as much as I love the show, White Collar, and 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 love 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

How to make Chile Colorado Sauce:

It’s really quite simple. All’s you do is some sautéing, simmering, and blending. WHAMO: amazing Chile Colorado 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

4 from 2 votes
A delicious recipe for Chile Colorado sauce for cooking pork, chicken, beef, or using as enchilada or taco sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 2 .5 cups


  • 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 chilies soaked and seeded
  • 3 dried guajillo chilies soaked and seeded
  • 1 14- ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ounce Mexican chocolate or dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste


  • 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.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium. Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Add the tomatillos and garlic and saute another 5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Taste the sauce for flavor and add sea salt to taste.
  • 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.


Serving: 1/2 cup · Calories: 177kcal · Carbohydrates: 19g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 10g · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 12g
Author: Julia
Course: Salsas, Sauces, Spreads, Dips, & Dressings
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile colorado sauce, homemade chile colorado, Mexican sauce recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 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.

    1. The Russian red spicy sauce sounds awesome! Let me know if you post a recipe on your blog! I’m always up for trying new things.

  2. Oooh, I love sauces and marinades! And I have not heard of Chile Colorado sauce before! Looking forward to see how you use it tomorrow!

  3. 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!

    1. You got it, Cheyanne! I’m so happy you’re going to make the sauce! It’s actually a fun little recipe to make. Hope you enjoy!

  4. 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. 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!

  5. Lady, you seriously read my mind! I was just looking for some good sauce recipes to spruce up my weeknight dinners! This sauce is shamazing! Gotta hunt down some chiles this week!

  6. I love making sauces with dried chiles, they add so much flavor without a ton of effort or lots of seasonings. This Chile Colorado sauce looks right up my alley.

    1. So glad you like the idea of making the sauce at home, Pamela! I’ve had a marvelous time using it on all sorts of foods! xo

  7. 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. 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?!

  8. I love spicy sauces in a major way, definitely a 19395943959 times more than doing taxes – bleh! Tomatillos, two types of chiles, and a pinch of dark chocolate? I’d eat this with a spoon and find excuses to slather over everything. Send me a jar!

  9. 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).

  10. 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!

  11. 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. 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