This easy Guajillo Sauce Recipe is the key to making a top-notch, authentic-tasting Mexican sauce from scratch in a fraction of the time! It's a Mexican food staple that is incredibly rich in flavor, yet low on heat, making it suitable for any and all pallets!
Guajillo Sauce is perfect for birria tacos or enchiladas. But really, it's incredibly versatile and works great in tons many dishes. It goes well with beef or chicken and is the perfect dip for quesadillas or topping for your favorite egg breakfast.
All in all, this is just one of those recipes that you will not regret having on hand. It is super quick to make and can be added to anything. Knowing how to make a good Guajillo Sauce makes life both easier and tastier!
Looking for more awesome Mexican recipes to try? Bookmark our cheesy, beefy Tex-Mex Tamale Sauce in your internet browser for next time!
WHAT ARE GAUJILLO CHILES
Guajillo peppers are the dried form of mirasol chiles, a commonly used chile in Mexican recipes for making salsas, moles, and sauces. It is mild in spice with a rich, full-bodied, fruity flavor.
HOW TO WORK WITH GUAJILLO CHILES
The first thing you'll need to do in order to make Guajillo Sauce from scratch is to deseed your guajillo chiles. Remove the stems by placing them on a work surface and cutting off the top with a knife. Once the stem is removed, remove the seeds.
Gently tear the peppers open, and allow any loose seeds to fall into a small bowl off to the side. If you have any seeds sticking to the interior of the chile, Open up the chile, lay it flat, and use a paring knife to scrape the seeds away gently.
DO YOU HAVE TO SOAK THE CHILES FIRST?
There are a couple of different routes to hydrating dried chiles. One is to hydrate them in the cooking liquid (which is what we'll do below), and the other is to soak your chiles before cooking.
The primary purpose of a separate soaking liquid is to avoid a bitter-tasting sauce, however, with guajillo peppers, bitterness does not propose much of an issue.
However, if you're a stickler for tradition, simply place your prepared guajillo chiles in a heat-proof bowl and bring about 2 cups of water to boil.
Then, carefully pour the hot water over the dried guajillo chiles in the bowl and cover for about 20 minutes. Before using the chiles, discard the soaking water, move straight into the recipe, and cook as directed!
HOW TO MAKE GUAJILLO SAUCE
Once your chiles are prepped, add them to a saucepan, along with seeded tomatoes, white onion, garlic cloves, and a bay leaf.
You will pour unsalted or low sodium chicken broth on top of the ingredients until they are covered, about 2 ½ cups. If you do not have any chicken broth on hand, you could also use water, beef broth, or vegetable broth. Just make sure whatever broth you sub in is low in sodium!
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring often. After about 15 minutes, the guajillo chiles should be softened, as well as the onions.
If they have yet to reach a fork-tender texture, allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes more.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and carefully pour the mixture into either a blender or a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Your Guajillo ingredients are about to become a Guajillo Sauce!
Once the ingredients are ready to go in the blender, add in the granulated sugar, vinegar, salt, Mexican oregano, cloves, cumin, and cover. If you are using a blender, remove the small blender cap. If you are using a food processor, remove the inner feed tube.
Allowing some of the hot air to escape keeps steam from building up too much pressure inside your blending vessel, and helps you to avoid any hot, messy kitchen explosions!
Then, cover the opening with a dish towel and blend until smooth.
6 MORE SAUCY MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Knowing a good Guajillo Sauce recipe can take you a long way! This one is quick, easy, incredibly flavorful, and super versatile!
- 8 Guajillo chiles, stem and seeds removed
- 2 ½ cups unsalted chicken broth
- 4 tomatoes, seeded and cut into quarters
- ½ white onion, cut into chunks
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
Add the chiles, broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and bay leaf to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
Stir occasionally and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the onions and chiles are fork-tender.
Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to a blender or a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, and add the sugar, vinegar, salt, oregano, cloves, and cumin.
Cover, remove the small blender cap or feed tube, cover with a dishtowel, and blend until smooth.