Spicy Pasilla Pepper Sauce

Easy Black Bean Cakes – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Essential Mexican Vegan Recipe

Medium |  Servings: 24  |  Ready In: 20 minutes  |  Yield: 3 cups

This spicy salsa uses dried Pasilla peppers, but you can experiment with any dried chilies for different levels of heat, sweetness, and smokiness.  Make a batch of this healthy, oil-free, vegan recipe for authentic Mexican flavor.  This goes great with Easy Black Bean Cakes, Charred Mushroom Poblano Tacos, or Oaxacan Baked Tostadas.


How It’s Done:

To toast the Pasilla Chilies: Place the pasilla peppers and garlic (in their peel) in a wide pan and toast over medium-high heat.  Cook until the garlic peel is charred and the peppers start smelling and get poofy, 5-7 minutes.
Separate the garlic and let cool.
Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of water. Let soak for about 10 minutes, until soft.

To make the Spicy Pasilla Pepper Sauce: When the garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the peels.  When the peppers have softened, remove the stems and seeds.
Place the peppers and garlic in a blender.  Strain the pepper soaking liquid and add to the blender. Discard any seeds, etc.
Add the oregano, cumin, and salt.  Puree until smooth.  Add water, if needed, to reach a pourable consistency.  Use immediately or  store up to 10 days in the refrigerator.  Freeze for longer.

Chef’s Tip:

Yield: 3 cups

Serve with Easy Black Bean Cakes, Charred Mushroom Poblano Tacos, or Oaxacan Baked Tostadas.

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Bulk Cooking: Double or triple the recipe. Make a big batch and freeze in smaller quantities so you have a good supply on hand.

Other Chili Pepper Varieties: You can use this basic recipe to experiment with a wide variety of dried chili peppers.  Gaujillos have a subtle smokiness, while Chipotles will really amp up the smoke and heat.  To subdue the heat, you can add a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

Mexican Oregano: This dried herb is different the typical Italian or Greek oregano you are probably used to using. Mexican Oregano has more citrus notes, and tastes a bit sweeter.  Italian and Greek oregano tend to be more earthy and woodsy.  If you can’t find Mexican oregano, substitute with Italian or Greek.

Spice to Taste: For more heat, keep the seeds in for one of the peppers. Start “mild” and then add more pepper (or seeds) to fit your taste.  For less heat, start with just one chipotle pepper. If you prefer no spice at all, omit the chipotles. Instead, add 2 teaspoons of ground cumin. You’ll get the smoky flavor without the heat.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe (about 2 tbsp.)

Calories 9.95
Calories From Fat (33%) 3.25
% Daily Value

  • Total Fat 0.39g <1%
  • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 2.94mg <1%
  • Potassium 58.02mg 2%
  • Total Carbohydrates 1.61g <1%
  • Fiber 0.69g 3%
  • Sugar 0.01g
  • Protein 0.37g <1%
  • Calcium 0.47mg <1%
  • Iron 6.57mg 37%
  • Vitamin A 836.64IU 17%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0

Shopping and Gear List

  • Pasilla Chiles 8 oz
  • McCormick Gourmet Organic Ground Cumin, 1.5 oz
  • Classic Provisions Spices Oregano, Mexican Whole, 3 Ounce


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