Easy Chipotle Salsa (or an easy way to store leftover chipotles)

Chipotle salsa

Chipotle salsa is as easy as opening a can, dumping the ingredients into a blender and giving it a good spin. Use the salsa on everything from veggie burgers to rice to hot dogs. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for weeks! Every time a recipe calls for one chipotle pepper, add a tablespoon of your puree!

Pureed chipotles are so delicious as a salsa, people simply don’t believe that it’s not a complicated recipe. One day for work, we threw a taco potlock. I was responsible for bringing ground turkey. Usually, I would add something spicy to the meat. But, given that this was in Philadelphia and there was not a single Latino on staff, I wanted to be careful with the spiciness. I didn’t want to be responsible for this:

So, as a compromise, I cooked the meat without chilis and pureed up some chipotles on the side. Well, the chipotle salsa was a hit! Everyone wanted to know the “recipe”.

“Lidi, this is so good, what’s in this?”

“Nothing, it’s just a can of chipotles.”

“No, but what else do you add?”

“No, you open up the can and blend it.”

“No, LIDI, but what do you blend it WITH?”

Finally, I gave up.

“Actually, I can’t tell you because it’s a secret recipe. It was passed down from my abuelita who got it from her abuelita, who was an Aztec princess. So it’s sacred.”

To start, you just need to get your hands on a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It’s in the Hispanic/Latino section of your grocery store. Looks something like this:

Chipotle peppers are actually dried jalapeños. Whereas fresh jalapeños are green, crunchy and spicy, canned chipotles are red, smoky and spicy. Canned chipotles usually come in a sauce called adobo sauce. The sauce is also delicious with smoky, savory, slightly sweet notes.

I would love it if I could find cans of pureed chipotles. Unfortunately, all I can ever find are whole chipotles. Also, unfortunately, most recipes call for 1-2 chipotles at a time. What to do with the rest? Well, puree them yourself and enjoy them with everything else you eat.



  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, about 7 ounces


1.          Add the contents of the can (the chipotle peppers and all the adobo sauce) to a blender or food processor. Puree until it has a smooth consistency.

2.          If you don’t want to use a blender, you can also chop everything up finely with a chef’s knife.

3.          Transfer the contents to a glass jar and store it in the refrigerator. The salsa will keep for several weeks. Some people say it will keep for months. My grandmother (the real one, not the fictional one in my story) swears that anything with chilis will keep forever. To be on the safe side, don’t listen to her. If you want to keep it for a very long time, you can also freeze the salsa.  Some people use an ice cube tray to freeze it into small amounts, like in this example.

Weight Watchers Points+: 0

Calories: negligible

Want ideas? Here are some recipes that use chipotles!

Easy Spicy Salmon WrapsSpicy Salmon Wrap Hotspicyandskinny.com

Spicy Beet and Chipotle Salad with Tofu Beet Salad

Taco Dip Mini Tamale Piesmini tamale pie 250x250


Carne Adobada

Sweet Chipotle Albondigas


{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon March 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Are these your favorite brands? I am never sure if I am buying an off-brand or not. I saw Pioneer Woman put a whole can in a recipe. She is cooking for a large family, but I did gasp when I saw her do that.

    Reply edit
    • Hot, Spicy and Skinny March 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      I use La Morena brand a lot, but honestly, I’ll buy whatever is cheapest :)
      A whole can does surprise me, honestly. I think I could handle it but I don’t think many people could! I always suggest starting off with a small amount and adding more. That’s one reason I like using pureed chipotles. It’s really easy to add a tablespoon at a time (or even a teaspoon at a time). You can always add more, but if it gets too spicy you just have to throw it away. (Which I learned the first time I tried to make curry!)

      Reply edit

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