Salsa Casera

Use this simmered, fresh tomato sauce from Sandra A. Gutierrez for chilaquiles or huevos rancheros, or sauté a few spoonfuls to start your next pot of rice, beans, or braised beef. Make extra and keep it in your refrigerator to drizzle over meals and snacks this week.

Salsa Casera
Photo: Victor Protasio
Total Time:
20 mins
2 cups


  • 2 dried guajillo chiles

  • 1 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

  • 1/2 cup sliced white onion

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook guajillo chiles in a medium skillet over medium-high, turning occasionally, until just soft, about 1 minute. Using scissors, cut a slit along one side of each chile, and open it like a book. Remove and discard stem, seeds, and veins. Use scissors to cut chiles into small pieces.

  2. Place chiles, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, 1/3 cup water, garlic, and oregano in a blender. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Pour mixture through a medium-size wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard solids.

  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until hot. When oil is hot, add the strained tomato sauce. (Sauce will splatter.) Using a wooden spoon with a long handle, stir sauce. Simmer, stirring often, until sauce thickens slightly and reduces to 2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in salt and pepper.

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