Restaurant Style Mexican Hot Salsa

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On our wedding night my husband made us go to his favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant. That was proof of how much he loves the nachos at this college hangout spot. While we lived in Chicago we would often get a large cup of their sauce to go and my husband would pour it over everything he ate until it would run out.

Going to the city to pick up hot salsa wasn’t really feasible on the regular so I started experimenting with different flavors and ingredients and literally 2 years later and probably 100 bottles of salsa later this simple recipe was a winner.

We love making nachos at home and slathering them in this delicious sauce that adds spice, tanginess, and a herby punch!

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Restaurant Style Mexican Hot Salsa

Restaurant Style Mexican Hot Salsa

A spicy and tangy sauce that is great with chips or in burritos and enchiladas. The uses are endless and the flavors are compatible with just about anything.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 roma tomatoes pricked with a knife in 3-4 places
  • 1/2 large yellow onion cut into big chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large dry guajillo chillis cut into pieces and seeded
  • 8 dry red chillis cut in half and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of water for boiling
  • Handful of cilantro


  1. In a stainless steel pot place whole tomatoes, chopped onion, peeled garlic, guajillo chilis, dry red chillis, dried oregano along with 2 cups of water.
  2. Boil on medium heat for 45 minutes until almost all the water has evaporated. You might need to add more water if its boiling off too fast.
  3. Let it cool till its warm.
  4. Add the juice of half a lemon, salt, and honey and blend until it's smooth. I use the ninja bullet on the smoothie setting.
  5. Add cilantro and pulse until the cilantro is chopped fine and blended well.
  6. Enjoy!


When boiling your ingredients you want to play with the temperature so that the water doesn't burn off too quickly but there isn't too much left at the end either, while everything has enough time to cook and get tender.

You can omit the honey but I find that it adds balance to the salsa not sweetness.

Mexican Oregano is a key ingredient, and it can amplify so many dishes.

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Anum Shah

Masterchef at A SpiceBox
Anum Shah is a recipe developer and owner of She learns, tries, and obsesses over cooking techniques until nailing the perfect recipe. Recipes range from healthy, tasty, and easy kid recipes to complex, spicy and savory creations for adults.
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