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Colorado Sauce

Updated: Jan 6

Colorado Sauce (sauce that is the color of red) is a rich, smoky, savory and densely-flavored condiment that you will surely recognize as the essence of real Mexican flavor.

Even if you’ve never made or tasted it, you will perceive its authenticity immediately; Colorado sauce has a soul and a spirit of identity that is so palpable (and palatable!) that it is revelatory and attitude-changing.

Use on huevos rancheros, enchiladas and other Mexican dishes.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes

  • Hands-on Time: 25 minutes

  • Makes: 3 pints



  1. Inspect peppers for blemishes and debris, and wipe clean with a slightly damp towel.

  2. Remove stems and most of the seeds, then tear into large pieces.

  3. Heat a large, dry pan over medium heat. When hot, add peppers and garlic.

  4. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, tossing constantly. Do not allow ingredients to scorch.

  5. Place the toasted peppers in a bowl of warm water to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Remove peppers from soaking water and place in food processor with garlic, vegetable oil, cumin, coriander and 1 cup of the soaking water.

  7. Turn on food processor and slowly add broth or stock in a stream until a smooth sauce forms.

  8. Continue processing until all of the peppers are fully pureed.

  9. Add more soaking water or stock if the sauce becomes too tight.

  10. For an especially silky texture, use a spatula to push the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a pan.

  11. Add Mexican oregano and salt to taste.

  12. Adjust seasonings if necessary and simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency.

RECIPE TIP: For even greater depth of flavor, use whole cumin seed and coriander seed.

Toast lightly before grinding in a mortar and pestle and adding to sauce.

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