Roasted Red Guajillo Salsa With Tangy Tomatillos

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“A while back I cooked my way through Mexican cookbooks and my favorites were always Rick Bayless. I discovered salsas using dried chiles through his cookbooks and found the taste and aroma to be much more complex and intense than fresh salsas. Although I love fresh salsas too, if I had the choice, I would choose salsas made from dried chiles. This one uses dried guajillo chiles but you can sub dried New Mexico, chipotle, pasilla, ancho or pulla.”
2 C

Ingredients Nutrition

  • vegetable oil (to 1/4 inch depth)
  • 4 dried guajillo chilies
  • 1 lb tomatillo, husked and rinsed (about 13 medium)
  • 12 white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 34 cup water (about)
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt (to your taste)
  • 12 teaspoon sugar (to your taste) (optional)


  1. In a small skillet heat oil to a 1/4 inch depth over medium heat. Pull the stems off chiles and remove the seeds completely.
  2. Lay chiles in the skillet and turn them over several times as they toast and change color on the inside from dark cranberry red to a red. This should only take 15-20 seconds. Remove and place on paper towels. Chiles will crisp as they cool. You can do this one chile at a time.
  3. Lay the tomatillos on a baking sheet and set the pan 4 inches below the broiler and let broil until they are softened and black in places, about 5 minutes. The skin will split. Flip the tomatillos and roast other side for 4-5 more minutes or so. Set aside to cool. Do not peel off the darkened skins or cut out the cores.
  4. Turn oven to 425 and lay onion rings and garlic on a baking pan and bake until onions are deeply golden and garlic soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes. Stir every couple of minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  5. In a blender or food processor, blend tomatillos including their juice with dry toasted chiles. Process to a smooth puree. Scrape two-third of the puree into a bowl.
  6. Roughly chop onion and garlic and add them to the blender still containing the rest of the chile tomatillo mixture. Pulse repeatedly until moderately finely chopped. Add a little water to loosen everything up and keep pulsing. Stir in enough water to give the salsa a lightly consistency. Combine this with chile tomatillo puree in a bowl.
  7. Taste and season with salt and bit of sugar. Use within 5 days or freeze.

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