how to make red sauce for tamales | Family Cuisine

This is a pretty standard red sauce recipe that can be used for a variety of dishes. It's made with tomatoes, garlic, onion, cumin, chili powder and oregano.

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How to make red sauce for tamales

This Mexican Red Sauce is exactly what you need to make red Tamales & Pozole. Make a batch, freeze and have it ready for when Mexico we call it Chile Colorado.

3 jars with red salsa and a spoon.

If you’re looking for an authentic red sauce for Tamales or Pozole then this recipe is it!

Reading: how to make red sauce for tamales

All you need to do to make the Red Chile Sauce is take the dried chiles, re-hydrate them by cooking in water, puree & lastly, strain them.

In this post you’ll find:

  • How to make Mexican Red Sauce
  • A note on buying chile peppers
  • Print Recipe
  • 💬 Reviews & Comments

Read more: how to make canned cranberry sauce | Family Cuisine

Check out the step by step below to see how easy it is!

Red salsa in a glass bowl surrounded by dried chiles on the side.

How to make Mexican Red Sauce

Okay let’s start with good chiles. I like to combine two different type of chiles as it gives extra depth to the flavors. It’s not about how spicy the sauce is… it’s always about the flavor!

Chile New Mexico and Pasilla are my faves but you can also add a third type of chile such guajillo.

  • Remove the top of the chiles and shake out most of the seeds.
  • In a large pot, add the chiles and all of the spices. Add enough water to cover all of the chiles.
  • You may have to push the chiles down in order to squeeze them all in as they tend to be bulky. Cover and cook on low heat for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until they’re very soft a pliable.
Cooking dried chiles in a white red pot.
  • Once the chiles are soft, transfer to a blender or food processor or blender and add about 1 cup of water to each batch. Puree for about 1 minute until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Add the pureed chiles through a strainer to remove the remaining seeds and skins. Push the chile mix with a spoon to get the most out of them.
  • Once all of the chiles are strained, transfer to a big bowl and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Blending the cooked red chiles in a blending then passing them thru a strainer.

The beauty of this Mexican Red Sauce recipe is that you can make a few cups, freeze it and use later as needed. Besides making tamales rojos & pozole, you can also use this authentic basic red sauce to make enchiladas, carne con chile, pozole, chilaquiles. It is so versatile!

3 jars with Mexican Red Sauce and a spoon.

A note on buying chile peppers

Read more: how to make chipotle sauce for chicken | Family Cuisine

If you live near a Latin grocery store, buy your peppers there as they will have the freshest selection. You can also find the dried peppers in bags in most grocery stores in your Latin isle.

Tips for buying dried chiles:

  1. They should be pliable, flexible and not overly dry or brittle. If they brake when you bend them, that means they’re very old.
  2. The stems should still be attached to most of them
  3. If you have extra chiles, freeze them in ziplock bags for up to 6 months. This will preserve their freshness.

If you make this recipe I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and a rating below ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ as it helps other users (plus it makes me happy!). This is one awesome way to support this blog so that I can keep creating good content for you! Enjoy!

This recipe was originally published in November 2014 and it was updated to revise the content and photographs. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

My sister Brenda is the expert at making this sauce and she’s the one that showed me how to do it. I’m so lucky to come from a family of great cooks!

Read more: how to make spaghetti bolognese with ready made sauce | Family Cuisine

Red sauce in a white glass bowl with a wooden spoon.

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