Learn to make authentic Chipotle Hot Salsa with roasted tomatillos and spicy red chiles. Whip up this classic copycat recipe in 20 minutes or less using fresh, delicious ingredients. Adjust the heat up or down as your heart desires.
In culinary school this fall, I’m enrolled in a production class called Cafe.
The 9 students in the class, including me, prep and cook a 5-course lunch once per week that anyone in the general public (with $25 in his or her pocket), may come and enjoy.
Each week, there are 3 standard options on the menu plus a Student’s Choice for each course. Last week, my partner and I served Carnitas street tacos for our special. We also made a few salsas and sauces for the plate including this copycat Chipotle Hot Salsa.
It’s a really easy recipe, but other folks on the Internet seem to get it wrong a lot.
Per Chipotle’s ingredient statement, their Tomatillo-Red Chili Salsa:
- Contains tomatillos and red chilis.
- Does not contain tomatoes.
Yet for some reason, a lot of the existing copycat recipes start with a can of tomatoes. Shrug.
Anyway, we 86’d on our Carnitas street tacos so the whole day (and this Chipotle Salsa!) was a success!
(“86’d” is slang in the industry for running out of food. This is somewhat contradictory to what you might read in an online slang dictionary, but this is how it it is used at restaurants.)
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• Chipotle Chicken • Chipotle Steak • Chipotle Barbacoa (beef) • Chipotle Carnitas (pork) •
• Chipotle Sofritas (tofu) • Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice • Chipotle Black Beans • Chipotle Pinto Beans •
• Chipotle Fajita Vegetables • Chipotle Guacamole • Homemade Tortilla Chips •
• Chipotle Tomato Salsa (mild) • Chipotle Corn Salsa (medium) • Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa (medium) •
• Chipotle Hot Salsa (hot) • Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette (salad dressing) •
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Chipotle Hot Salsa Recipe (Copycat)
- 16 medium tomatillos husks removed and rinsed
- 6 cloves garlic unpeeled and lightly crushed
- 3 tablespoons ground chiles such as New Mexico (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons lime zest from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Tabasco to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Preheat oven to broil and set oven rack 6 inches from broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place the tomatillos and crushed garlic on the baking sheet and place in oven. Broil until charred, about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Peel garlic.
- In a food processor, combine tomatillos, garlic, ground red chiles, cumin, lime zest and juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Season to taste with Tabasco.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons extra ground chiles if you would like it a bit more spicy. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.
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