Cascabel Sauce

Smoky and nutty, perfect on enchiladas.

The lovely cascabel pepper offers a lot more than just good looks. Its earthy flavors – smoky and nutty – make for one flavorful sauce, especially for tortilla-based Mexican cuisines like enchiladas, quesadillas, and burritos. Try this cascabel sauce, too, with grilled chicken and beef. We likeĀ it without the cilantro to retain the full nuttiness, but someĀ prefer the hint of freshness the cilantro brings to balance some of the earthiness.

Cascabel Sauce

3.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 10 cascabel peppers halved with stems removed, keep seeds
  • 3 roma tomatoes sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro optional
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat a lightly-oiled heavy frying pan to medium high heat. A cast iron skillet works best, but any heavy frying pan will do.
  • Blacken the tomatoes. Place the roma tomato slices into the frying pan and let them fry for approximately 3 minutes without disturbing the slices. Then flip and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove the tomatoes from the pan, and place the cascabel peppers in the skillet, cut side down. Fry the peppers for 2 to 3 seconds, then remove quickly. You don't want them to burn.
  • Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse blend for approximately 10 seconds, until the salsa reaches a coarsely smooth texture. Add salt, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, or for the best flavors, refrigerate the salsa for 4 to 6 hours to allow the flavors to fully combine.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on June 1, 2020 to include new content.
3.67 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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5 stars
Will this work with dried peppers? Not finding fresh… Thanks