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Chile de Árbol Salsa

Vegetarian

This rich and spicy five-ingredient chile de árbol salsa is so easy to make and takes only 20 minutes. Great for dipping chips or to top your favorite tacos. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Small bowl of chile de arbol salsa with chip and pile of chips on side.

Homemade salsa has got to be the simplest way to up your Mexican food game.

Seriously, it’s so so easy and nearly impossible to mess up.

This particular salsa has just five ingredients and takes only 20 minutes to prepare. Ain’t that grand?!?

It’s spicy (but not super spicy), a little bit tangy, and rich. For reference chile de árbol peppers are slightly lower on the Scoville scale than cayenne peppers.

Like this roasted salsa verdé, it’s perfect for dipping chips or to top off your favorite Mexican dish.

For more delicious salsa recipes make sure you sign up for my email list. You’ll receive a complimentary copy of my mini salsa ecookbook including this salsa and nine more. I know you don’t want to miss out on that!!

So what do you need to make this salsa?

  • Tomatillos: Tomatillos are a husked fruit. They may look like tomatoes, but are not. They do belong to the nightshade family, however. Must be husked and rinsed.
  • Dried chile de árbol peppers: These peppers can be found at some supermarkets in the Mexican section or at specialty Mexican markets. They are a spicy, slender Mexican chile also known as birds beak chile or rat’s tail chile. The chiles will need to be destemmed prior to use.
  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Apple cider vinegar
Four tomatillos, four garlic cloves, and pile of chile de árbol chiles on a distressed wood surface shot from above.

How do you make chile de árbol salsa? (+tips)

Bring eight cups of water to a boil in a medium pot.

Add the tomatillos, chile de árbol peppers, and garlic and boil for 15 minutes. The ingredients will have softened significantly at this point.

Next transfer the tomatillos, chiles, and garlic to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, the salt, and the apple cider vinegar. You may strain the ingredients or simply transfer them using a slotted spoon.

Pulse until smooth.

Salsa in blender shot from above.

If desired add additional salt to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one month or freeze for up to six months.

Close up of chip dipped in bowl of salsa.
Hand holding chip dipped in salsa above bowl of salsa with chips in background.

Use this salsa to spice up dishes like these:

  • Beef Birria Taco w/ Consomé: These birria tacos are EVERYTHING!! They start with two corn tortillas dipped in consomé, then stuffed with cheese, and fried (Quesadilla!!). Next comes succulent, flavorful beef topped with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. Served with a side of consomé for dipping.
  • Huevos Rancheros Casserole: This quick and easy huevos rancheros breakfast casserole is packed full of flavor and gluten-free. It’s layered with corn tortillas, chorizo, poblano, goat cheese, salsa verde, more goat cheese, and of course – eggs!! Crown it with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
  • Green Goddess Enchiladas: Get your daily dose of greens from these green goddess enchiladas. Spinach, cheese, and onion enchiladas smothered in verdé sauce made from scratch, and heaped with sautéed broccoli and zucchini. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.

If you make this chile de árbol salsa I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instragram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Small bowl of chile de arbol salsa with chip and pile of chips on side.

Chile de Árbol Salsa

Yield: ~1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This rich and spicy five-ingredient chile de árbol salsa is so easy to make and takes only 20 minutes. Great for dipping chips or to top your favorite tacos. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked 
  • 40 dried chile de árbol peppers, destemmed 
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, bring eight cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add the tomatillos, chile de arbol peppers, and garlic; boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tomatillos, chile de arbol peppers, and garlic to a food processor along with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, salt, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Pulse until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one month. or freeze for up to six months.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Deann

Saturday 28th of August 2021

This is delicious! It's my third time making it and I made extra to use as flavoring for a chuck roast. It smells awesome and hope the roast taste just as good!

Jessica Halverstadt

Sunday 29th of August 2021

What a fabulous idea!!! I can't imagine it wouldn't turn out amazing - let me know. Thanks for the positive feedback. I'm glad you're a fan of the recipe.

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