This spicy tomatillo red chili salsa is a perfect homemade version of everyone’s favorite hot Chipotle salsa. Charred tomatillos, spicy red chile powder, lime juice, and a little Tabasco create a delightfully flavorful side perfect for tortilla chips, taco salads, or burrito bowls.
What Makes This Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa So Good
- Tomatillo red chili salsa is a thin, liquidy salsa, as opposed to a thick, chunky one. It’s perfect for chips and salsa, or use it on tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, or even on a Mexican salad. If you really want the Chipotle experience at home, try this salsa with these Chipotle copycat carnitas bowls!
- It’s incredibly easy to make! Aside from roasting the tomatillos in the oven, there’s no cooking involved – just toss the salsa ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth!
- Roasting the tomatillos adds so much depth and complexity to this salsa. If you’ve been making this without roasting the tomatillos first, we’re about to change your life!
- You can easily double or triple the recipe for salsa all week long! Refrigerate any leftover salsa in an airtight container and it’ll keep up to 7 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container up to 3 months.
Key Ingredients for Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa
Tomatillos – These small, green (or yellow, or purple) Mexican husk tomatoes are a little tart naturally, but roasting them like we do in this recipe brings out a little sweetness. They have a little more kick than classic red tomatoes, but they don’t add any heat. They’re a member of the nightshade family, so be aware of that if you or someone in your dining party has a nightshade allergy or intolerance!
New Mexico Red Chile Powder – Made from New Mexico red chiles, this spice has an earthy, deep flavor with notes similar to cherry and tomato. It has a medium heat that won’t necessarily set your mouth on fire but is definitely noticeable. If you’re very sensitive, start out with just 1 tablespoon of chile powder and taste the salsa before adding more.
Tabasco – Classic Tabasco gives your tomatillo red chili salsa another layer of sweet & spicy flavor. How much you use is up to you! The more you use, the hotter your salsa will be. Sriracha or Crystal hot sauce would also work here!
- For a hotter salsa, add a guajillo pepper or two, or add a chile de arbol.
- Make your own New Mexico red chile powder if you want! Just pick up a few New Mexico chili pods, cut the stems off, and remove the seeds. Grind the pods with a mortar and pestle, a spice grinder, or a blender. You could also buy fresh New Mexico chilis and dehydrate them yourself, then grind them into a powder.
- Never crushed garlic before? It’s easy! Place a clove of garlic (peeled or unpeeled) on a cutting board or another flat surface. Lay the blade a large kitchen knife on top of the clove, then quickly & firmly hit or “smash” the flat side of the blade with the heel of your hand. Press down with the heel of your hand and use a rocking motion back-and-forth if needed to crush the garlic more.
What Do We Mean By Healthy?
Our recipes focus on real ingredients and homemade elements. We try to avoid processed flour and sugar, like white flour or white sugar. Our recipes often swap less healthy options (like a commercial, deep-fried tostada) for an easy homemade version.
Our recipes are not necessarily low fat or low calorie, and we aren’t afraid of fat or carbs! Some of our recipes will be “skinny,” low carb, keto, paleo, dairy free, grain free, gluten free, Whole30, or vegan, and they will be labeled when they qualify for any of these diets. All our recipes are easy and family friendly!
Other Dips and Salsas You’ll Love
- Cucumber Salsa
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crockpot Queso Dip
- Smoky Guajillo Salsa Recipe (Whole30, Vegan, Paleo)
- Avocado Salsa
Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa
- Baking sheet
- Food processor or blender
- 2 pounds tomatillos
- 5 cloves garlic peeled, crushed
- 2-3 tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Tabasco to taste
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Place whole tomatillos and crushed garlic on baking sheet. Set in oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until charred.
- Transfer tomatillos and garlic to food processor bowl or blender and add red chile powder, ground cumin, and lime juice. Process until smooth.
- Add Tabasco to taste and process again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.