Ancho Chile Sauce

Ancho Chile Sauce makes a great chicken marinade or sauce. Quick and easy to make, this sauce is perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekend BBQ.

Ancho Chile Chicken with onions and a bowl of Ancho chile sauce

This is one of our favourite sauces to have on hand to make a quick dinner. We make double and triple batches of this sauce and store it for later use. This sauce is great as a topping for nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and more. Use it as a marinade or cooking sauce for chicken or beef. Or use it in place of BBQ sauce.

What is Ancho Chile?

Ancho Chile is a dried Poblano pepper that is used in many Mexican dishes. It is native to Mexico and has been used in Mexican dishes for centuries.

How Hot Is Ancho Chiles?

On the Scoville scale, Ancho Chiles register between 1000 and 2000 heat units, making them milder a chile pepper. They are milder than a Jalapeno but hotter than an Anaheim pepper.

What Does Ancho Chile Taste Like?

Ancho chiles have a smoky, sweet flavour. They have a hint of chocolate flavour to them as well, making them perfect for a sauce for enchiladas and tamales.

How To Prepare Ancho Chiles

Before using Ancho chiles, they have to be rehydrated. This means first removing the stems and seeds. Then the pepper is soaked in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes before adding to any dishes.

Uses For Ancho Chile Sauce

Ancho Tomato Sauce can be used in a number of ways. The sauce makes a great marinade or topping. It can be served hot or cold.

  • Marinade chicken thighs in this sauce for 1 hour or overnight. Grill or bake the chicken and serve with additional sauce that has been heated.
  • Mix a few tablespoons into a meatloaf, and add more sauce over the top before baking.
  • Drizzle over nachos or on tacos
  • Use as an Enchilada sauce
  • Add this sauce to rice with pepper and onions to make a side dish or to use in burritos
  • Top your burgers with this sauce
  • Dip cheese sticks in this sauce in place of marinara

Can This Sauce Be Canned?

Yes, this sauce can be canned and stored at room temperature for up to one year.

To can this sauce it will need to be cooked on medium for 10 minutes before pouring into sterilized Mason Jars. Then process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove jars from the boiling water and allow them to cool completely at room temperature, listening for the lids to pop to make sure they are tightly sealed.

For step-by-step instructions on canning, check out Bernardin’s website and follow the high-acid food guide for canning.

Ancho Chile Chicken with onions and a bowl of Ancho chile sauce

Ancho Chile Sauce

Use as a marinade or sauce for chicken
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Marinade, Sauces


  • Blender


  • 1 Ancho Chile, large
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 796 ml
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp Red Chili Flakes
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • ½ Tbsp white pepper


  • Remove seeds and stem from the chile
  • Rehydrate the ancho chile in hot water for 15-20 minutes
  • Place all ingredients in blender.
  • Blend on Puree or Smoothie setting for 1 min or until fully blended and smooth
  • Store in mason jars in the fridge.
Keyword Sauce

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I used it as a marinade and a sauce. I had a bag of dried ancho chili in the cupboard wondering what to do with them. This was the perfect sauce to make

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