Chile Sauce for Tamales
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Basic Chile Sauce (for Tamales, Mexican Rice, etc.)

This is a versatile recipe that was originally used in tamale dough, but can also be used to slowly simmer beef, add into rice to create Mexican rice, or toss with sauteed greens to add a chile flavor.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Sauce, Tamales
Servings: 2 Cups



  • 10 Guajillo Chiles (dried)
  • 3-5 Arbol Chiles (dried)
  • 1 Small Onion, largely diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes, Quartered
  • 3-4 cup Chicken Broth



  • Prepare all ingredients (chop onion and tomatoes). Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rolling simmer(medium heat) for about 15-20 minutes, until chiles begin to get soft. You can even let it simmer a bit longer, which will help to soften the chile skins.
  • Remove large chile stems and place ingredients into a blender or food processor. Be careful of splatters and transferring, because everything is going to be super hot. Blend on medium (Vitamix #7 variable speed) until most chunks are gone. There will likely still be some whole seeds, but as long as it is relatively smooth.