Three-Chile Salsa (Salsa de Tres Chiles)

  • Serves

    makes 2 cups

Smoky and spicy, this salsa is the embodiment of authentic Mexican cuisine.


  • 6 dried guajillo chiles
  • 6 dried mora chiles
  • 6 dried arbol chiles
  • 1 small tomato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 12 small white onion
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Step 1

Slit chiles from top to bottom. Remove and discard stems and most of the seeds. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; cook each chile, pressing it down firmly and flipping once, until lightly toasted, 3–5 seconds on each side. Transfer chiles to a plate. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add chiles, whole tomato, garlic, and onion, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, removing each ingredient as it becomes tender, 3–4 minutes for tomato, 5–6 minutes for onion, 10–12 minutes for chiles and garlic. Purée the vegetables and chiles with 1⁄4 cup water in a food processor into a coarse salsa. Season with salt to taste. Serve with the Squash Blossom Quesadilla, if you like.

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