Habanero Salsa

Habanero chiles are incredibly fiery but their naturally fruity flavor is delicious with the orange juice in the salsa here. To make the salsa even sweeter (which helps balance the heat), the chiles and onions are roasted before being blended with the other ingredients.

Habanero Salsa
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
1 3/4 cups


  • 20 red or orange habanero chiles

  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 cup cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the habaneros and onion in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once, until the chiles and onion are soft and barely browned in spots. Let cool completely.

  2. Wearing gloves, carefully remove and discard the stems and seeds from the habaneros and transfer the chiles to a blender. Add the onion, orange and lime zests and juices, vinegar, water and oregano and puree until smooth.

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Carefully add the puree and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt and sugar and let cool completely. Funnel the salsa into glass jars or bottles and chill before serving.

Make Ahead

The habanero salsa can be refrigerated for at least 3 months.

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