Best Red Chile Sauce from Powder: Simple Recipe

Ah, red chile sauce. It’s like a warm, fiery hug for your taste buds. And friends, let me tell you, it was love at first bite for me. I remember my first time – oh, the excitement, the fear of the unknown, and the sheer joy of savoring that perfect sauce.

But let’s be real. Have you ever tried making it from powder? It’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube blindfolded, right? There’s a bunch of mumbo-jumbo out there that would make even Einstein scratch his head. So many folks think it’s a task only a seasoned chef could handle.

I’m sharing my simple recipe to creating the perfect red chile sauce from powder. Homemade red chile sauce? It’s a game-changer. The taste? Unmatched. The health benefits? Plenty. The satisfaction? Over the moon.

Buckle up, friends. It’s going to be a tasty ride.

Bowl of New Mexico red chile sauce with a distinct, vibrant color
A taste trip to New Mexico, right in your kitchen!

What is Red Chile Sauce?

First things first, what is red chile sauce? Well, it’s like the Michael Jordan of sauces. In the world of culinary traditions, it’s a slam dunk. It’s the spark that turns a simple dish into an explosion of flavor. It’s the secret handshake in the club of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. And the green chile sauce and enchilada sauce? They’re the teammates that make the game even more exciting. While the usual red chile sauce you find in stores is good, homemade sauce brings a whole new level of flavor and freshness.

Overhead shot of a bowl of finished, glossy red chile sauce
The grand finale – a bowl of red, rich, and ridiculously tasty chile sauce!

What is Red Chile Powder?

Now, let’s talk about red chile powder. Think of it as the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of dried, pulverized red chile peppers. It’s a flavor bomb waiting to explode in your dishes. And New Mexico chili powder? It’s a close cousin, but with its own unique personality. But remember, not all chili powders are created equal. It’s like comparing apples to oranges – they might seem similar, but they each bring something unique to the table.

Close up shot of vibrant red chile powder in a glass jar
Red chile powder – the fiery fairy dust of our sauce!


Ah, the cast of characters. Every great performance needs a solid ensemble, and this red chile sauce is no exception. Here’s the lineup:

  • Red Chile Powder: Our star player. It’s the heart and soul of our sauce.
  • Onion and Garlic Powder: The dynamic duo. They bring the punch in the flavor department.
  • New Mexico Chili Powder: The secret weapon. It’s like adding an extra layer of mystery.
  • Vegetable and Olive Oil: The smooth operators. They’ll make sure everything blends together like a sweet symphony.
  • Tomato Paste and Sauce: The backbone. They provide that rich base that carries all the other flavors.
Array of fresh ingredients including red chili powder, fresh garlic cloves, and vegetable broth
The fresh and the flavorful – starring in the sauce saga!
  • Mexican Oregano, Salt, and Lime Juice: The spice girls. They add that zing and zest that’ll make your taste buds dance.
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock/Broth: The negotiator. It’s all about striking that perfect balance between thick and thin. I prefer using a flavorful chicken stock. But hey, if you’re riding the vegetarian wave, swap it out for a quality vegetable broth. Either way, your sauce will have a depth of flavor that’s as deep as the Mariana Trench.
  • Red Chile Pods and Chili Peppers: Optional. The wild cards. Use them if you’re feeling adventurous or need that extra kick.
Red chile powder, garlic cloves, and onion powder in small ceramic bowls
The trinity of taste, ready to rock the saucepan!

This isn’t a strict rulebook, though. Think of it as a guiding light. Don’t have chicken broth? Use vegetable. Can’t find red chile pods? Dried chiles will do just fine. The world is your oyster… or should I say, your chile pepper?

Close-up shot of a bowl of tomato paste and a can of tomato sauce
Tomato duo making the sauce base a saucy spectacle!


Every craftsman needs their tools, and in the kitchen, it’s no different. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sauce Pan: This is your battlefield. It’s where all the action happens.
  • Mesh Strainer: The gatekeeper. It’ll make sure only the smoothest sauce makes the cut.
  • Separate Bowl: The assistant. It’ll hold your strained sauce and keep it warm and cozy.
  • Food Processor: This is optional if you decide to use fresh pods and peppers. It’ll transform our ingredients into a velvety sauce.

Got all that? Great! Now, let’s move onto the real fun part: the cooking.

Stainless-steel saucepan and wooden spoon on a kitchen countertop
Meet our kitchen heroes – the pan and the spoon!

Preparation and Cooking

Alright, folks. It’s game time. Here’s how it goes down:

  1. Heat It Up: Start with medium heat. Too hot, and you might start a kitchen disco with your smoke alarm. Too low, and you’ll be waiting till the cows come home.
  2. Oil In: Add your vegetable or olive oil to the pan. Think of it as the red carpet for your other ingredients.
  3. Spice Time: Toss in your red chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and New Mexico chili powder. Stir them around for 2-3 minutes, just enough to wake up their flavors.
  4. Water Works: After mixing your red chile powder with the right amount of spices, gradually add cold water. It’s like you’re taming a wild horse – slow and steady wins the race. This way, you control the consistency of your sauce, and it can’t get away from you.
  5. Add the Liquids: Pour in your tomato paste and sauce, followed by your choice of broth. Stir it well, ensuring there are no lumps. We want smooth sailing here, folks.
  6. Simmer Down: Lower the heat and let it simmer. Put that saucepan on the stove and aim for medium-low heat. This is not a sprint, my friends. It’s a marathon. Cooking the sauce slowly allows the flavors to marry and intensify. It’s like a slow dance of flavors in your saucepan.
  7. Strain and Serve: Once you’re happy with the consistency, strain your sauce into a separate bowl. And voila! You’ve got yourself a perfect red chile sauce.

And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your first time might not be perfect, but that’s okay. The beauty of cooking is that you can always try again. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to dive into the world of red chile sauce. Trust me, it’s a delicious journey.

Medium-low heat flame under a saucepan
Keeping it cool with the flame low, because good flavors need some slow.
A simmering saucepan of red chile sauce on medium-low heat
Slow and steady wins the taste race, that’s our sauce simmering to perfection.
Spoonful of red chile sauce over a white bowl
A spoonful of sauce helps the enchiladas go down!

Variations: A Twist on the Classic

Variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for our red chile sauce. Feel like shaking things up? Try these options:

  • Fresh Chile Over Powder: Swap out the red chile powder for fresh red chiles or dried chiles. You’ll add a different depth of flavor that’s sure to impress.
  • Fresh Garlic: Now, let’s talk garlic – our aroma superstar. I can’t stress enough the importance of using fresh garlic cloves. Finely chopped or pressed, they’ll infuse your sauce with that deep, savory flavor we all crave. No garlic powder can stand up to the real deal here. So if you have the option, use fresh garlic instead of a garlic powder.
Fresh garlic cloves on a rustic wooden board
Meet the secret weapon of our sauce – the mighty garlic!
  • Hot or Not: Control the heat. Want to fire up your taste buds? Add some hot sauce or extra chili peppers. Want it milder? Limit the chili and add more tomato sauce. You’re the boss!
  • Vegan Delight: Who says red chile sauce can’t be vegan? Use vegetable oil and vegetable stock/broth. You won’t miss the chicken, I promise!
  • New Mexican Twist: Try using New Mexico chiles or Hatch chile for a different flavor profile. It’s a great way to explore new tastes.
  • Regional Twist: For a regional twist, try making New Mexico Red Chile Sauce, which has a distinct flavor profile.

Remember, these are just suggestions. Feel free to go off-script and make it your own!

Variety of red chile pods and chili peppers on a wooden cutting board
Say hello to the spiciest stars of our show – the hot and happening chili variety!

Serving Suggestions: Dress to Impress

Wondering what to pair with your perfect red chile sauce? Let’s dive into some tasty options:

  • Enchilada Sauce: Smother your homemade enchiladas with this sauce. Your taste buds will thank you!
  • Taco Topper: Drizzle it over your favorite tacos. It’s like a flavor sombrero!
  • Dipping Delight: Use it as a dip for chips or veggies. Who needs salsa when you’ve got red chile sauce?
  • Huevos Rancheros: One classic dish that will undoubtedly benefit from your homemade red chile sauce is the breakfast favorite – Huevos Rancheros.
Overhead shot of huevos rancheros smothered in red chile sauce on a white plate
Morning sunshine on a plate, where eggs meet our lip-smacking red chile sauce.

  • Chili Starter: Want a thicker sauce? Mix it with some tomato paste and you’ve got a great base for a chili dish.
  • Chile Colorado: Another dish that you could significantly elevate with your sauce is Chile Colorado, a flavorful stew that sings when paired with our red chili sauce.

And when it comes to garnishing, a sprinkle of Mexican oregano or a squeeze of lime juice can add that perfect finishing touch.

Enchiladas covered in red chile sauce on a white plate
Enchiladas and red chile sauce – a love story tastier than Twilight.

Common Questions: Your Red Chile Lifeline

Got questions? You’re not alone. Here are some common queries I often hear:

My sauce is too thin/thick!

Don’t sweat it! Add some more broth to thin it out or let it simmer longer to thicken it up.

Help, it’s too spicy!

Got a bit carried away with the chile? No problem. Adding a bit more tomato sauce or broth can help balance the heat.

Why does my sauce taste bitter?

It could be the chile powder. Try toasting it on medium-low heat instead of high to avoid that bitter flavor.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze it for longer storage.

A plate of enchiladas generously covered in red chile sauce
Enchiladas taking a delicious dive in our homemade red chile pool!

Red Hot Finale

And just like that, we’ve turned red chile powder into perfect red chile sauce! From understanding ingredients to mastering the cooking process, we’ve covered it all. You’re now equipped to spice up any dish, be it Huevos Rancheros or Chile Colorado, with your own homemade red chili sauce.

Keep in mind, the sauce isn’t a one-trick pony. Want a twist on the usual red chile sauce? Try adding fresh garlic or adjust the heat to medium low. Need a change of base? Swap chicken stock with vegetable broth. The choices are endless.

So, don your apron, Apron Ace, and let your inner Chile Champion shine. The kitchen awaits your spicy magic!

Close-up shot of a spice blend of red chile powder, onion powder, and garlic powder
Our secret spice blend, where flavors hold hands and dance!
Overhead shot of a vibrant red chile sauce in a rustic setting

Best Red Chile Sauce from Powder – Simple Recipe

7737f8c28c2cc5158e14eaf64d376635Apron Ace
Master the perfect red chile sauce with this step-by-step guide! Unlock rich, bold flavors for your dishes. Dive in now!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 162 kcal


  • 1 sauce pan
  • 1 mesh strainer
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 food processor (optional, only if you're using fresh ingredients instead of powder)


  • 2 cups New Mexico red chile powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp mexican oregano
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)


  • Preheat your pan on the stove. Set the heat to medium – we're aiming for the middle ground here.
  • Add your choice of vegetable or olive oil to the heated pan. Think of it as the stage for your spices.
  • Add in red chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder and Mexican oregano. Stir these together, heating for about 2-3 minutes. This brief sauté is the wake-up call for your spices.
  • Add depth to the mix. Pour in your tomato sauce and your choice of broth, be it vegetable or chicken. Stir it well, ensuring there are no lumps. We're aiming for a smooth blend.
  • Now, sprinkle in salt. This will help bring out the flavors of the sauce even more.
  • Dial back the heat and let your sauce simmer on medium-low heat. This is when the magic happens. The flavors get to know each other, intensifying as they slow dance in your saucepan.
  • When you're happy with the consistency of your sauce (thicker sauce, longer simmer), add the juice of 1 lime. This will add a tangy note to your sauce, beautifully complementing the heat of the chiles.
  • Lastly, strain your sauce into a separate bowl to ensure a silky smooth texture. This removes any lingering lumps, giving you a restaurant-quality red chile sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Every batch of chiles can vary in heat, so feel free to experiment until you find your perfect balance!


Remember to taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Every batch of chiles can vary in heat, so your sauce might need a little extra salt one time and less the next. Cooking is an art, not a science, so feel free to experiment until you find your perfect balance!
  • For a thicker sauce, simmer for longer.
  • Cooking on medium-low heat allows the flavors to marry and intensify.
  • If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of cold water to adjust the consistency.
  • The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • You can adjust the spiciness by using less chile powder.
  • Always taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • This sauce is perfect for enchiladas, huevos rancheros, and chile Colorado.


Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 1633mgPotassium: 393mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 793IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Hot Sauce, Red Chile Sauce, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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