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How To Make This Easy Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe

Want to know how to make this easy chipotle red sauce recipe? We served this spicy, smoky chili sauce over chicken for a quick, delicious dinner!

It isn’t often Manservant chooses to cook, so when he does I pay attention, and this chipotle red sauce recipe definitely deserves attention!

No, this isn’t Chipotle’s red chili salsa recipe.

I hear that recipe contains tomatillos and there aren’t any here!

This is a chipotle red sauce that uses fire-roasted tomatoes and that’s a good thing.

No messing around with dried chipotle chilies; this easy recipe is a perfect recipe for a week night, or in our case, a Sunday night supper.

Is this chipotle red sauce a homemade salsa recipe?

Well, technically if you are looking for a sauce, which is what a salsa is, then it qualifies.

However, this isn’t a fresh salsa recipe that is made to serve with tortilla chips.

This homemade chipotle salsa recipe is meant to be served as a sauce over food. 

Perfect over chicken breasts or pork chops, this blender salsa could also be poured over grilled fish or shrimp.

But Manservant being who he is will always find a reason to dunk in some chips!

And if you do decide to follow Manservant’s logic and use this as a salsa for chips, be sure to add in some chopped green onions, and  lime zest.

Besides the fact that Manservant cooked, which I heartily encourage, he chose a Mexican food recipe that is perfect for beginners and is quickly made.

Yes, this is the first time he made it, which must mean anyone can make this!

But let’s back up a second, shall we?

chipotle red sauce recipe over chicken on white plate with knife

What is a chipotle pepper?

A chipotle pepper is a large dried jalapeno pepper that has been smoked until it is a red, rusty brown color.

Different than a green jalapeno that is picked before it is fully ripe, a jalapeno pepper destined to become a chipotle pepper, is picked when fully ripe, which means it has turned red in color.

Ripe peppers are usually hotter than unripe peppers, which means a chipotle pepper tends to be spicier than a fresh jalapeno.

However to me, it is not the chipotle chiles heat that makes them so good.

To me it is the smoky flavor that adds so much to any recipe.

How do you use dried chipotle peppers?

Dried chipotles or any dried chile can be ground up and used as a spice.

Ground dried chiles are exceptional to use when making your own chile powder or chili!

If you want to use them as is in a sauce it is best to reconstitute them.

Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe over chicken breast on white plate with knife and fork

What are chipotle peppers in adobo sauce?

Canned adobo chiles are made with reconstituted chipotle chiles and then stored in a marinade of vinegar, garlic, spices and tomato.

Each manufacturer of adobo chiles has a different recipe-at least that I’ve found- and even the heat of the chipotles varies from brand to brand.

I prefer La Costena and Embasa and always have a jar in my refrigerator.

It is rare to use an entire can in a recipe and I have found that transferring the remaining can ingredients into a glass jar allows me to keep them almost indefintely.

What do I do with chipotles en adobo?

The sky is the limit!

I chop up a few or just stir the sauce into mayonnaise or sour cream for a spread on just about anything.

I add them to scrambled eggs. I mix them into my meat when making burgers or meatloaf, if I am feeling the need for some Mexican flavor.

Stir some into chili or your favorite soup.Great for salad dressing or dips.

They can also be added to fresh pico de gallo which is great when tomatoes aren’t as fresh as you want them to be.

Add to beans, use for marinades or glazes, honestly, there isn’t much that chipotle can’t improve!

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a workhorse in the kitchen!

Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe ove chicken breast on withe plate with fork

Chipotle peppers take center stage when creating this smoky chipotle red sauce recipe.

With just a few ingredients, a food processor or blender, and a touch of creativity you can craft  a chipotle sauce that will become a staple in your kitchen.

The perfect chipotle red sauce is smoky and full of flavor. It is not bashful!

Dried, smoked jalapenos bring a unique complexity to any dish, making it a must-have for any spice enthusiast. 

How to make this chipotle red sauce recipe:

To start, head to your local grocery store and pick up a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – the secret weapon for an authentic chipotle sauce.

For best results, opt for ripe tomatoes, but since it is winter in Denver I suggested Manservant use a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, which also saved ME a trip to the grocery!

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, white onion, chipotle chilies, garlic cloves, chiles, cumin and salt and pulse until you achieve a smooth and well-blended consistency.

​If you are using this with boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, heat a 12″ skillet over medium high heat with about a tablespoon of oil.

Manservant sliced vertically through the chicken breasts ad then pounded them to an even thickness.

Place the chicken breasts in the hot skillet in a single layer and sear on both sides.

They do not have to be cooked all the way through.

Remove from skillet and let skillet cool down for a few minutes.

Now add the tomato chipotle puree and the dried oregano to the skillet that is on medium heat and scrape up all the brown bits.

Cook for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened, adjusting the heat until the mixture simmers.

Add back the chicken and any juices that may have accumulated. 

Cook uncovered until the chicken breasts have finished cooking, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve with fresh cilantro or in Manservant’s case he served this with a spoonful of cilantro chimichurri because our refrigerator contained no cilantro!

He also added a spoonful of sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lime juice which really made this chicken dish sing.

Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe over chicken breast on white plate with gray napkin

Some Pro Tips on Making this Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe:

If you want to use fresh tomatoes, use 1 lb of plum tomatoes. Cut them into chunks before adding to the blender.

Chipotles vary in spiciness. You may not want to use all 4!

If you feel the need to make this spicier, more chipotles can be added as can a good dash of Tabasco sauce or Cholula.

A sprinkle of cheese, such as cotija or feta also tastes great on this chicken.

Leftover chipotle red sauce can be transferred to an airtight container. Its flavors will continue to meld, creating an even more robust taste. 

The next day, you’ll find that the sauce has matured, intensifying its smoky and spicy kick which makes it an ideal accompaniment for huevos rancheros, carne asada, tacos, or any dish that craves a bit of heat.

I imagine I could even thin this sauce with water or chicken broth and use it as a great enchilada sauce.

The beauty of this chipotle red sauce lies in its versatility. 

This spicy salsa is better than any hot sauce I know and is a great way to get to know chipotle red chilies in adobo sauce.

If you choose not to use this on chicken I hope you realize all the other ways to use it.

This recipe is so easy that you may even want to make a double batch and set some aside for later in the week.

This homemade chipotle red sauce, is the way to  master the art of combining flavors and also hopefully inspires you to keep a jar of chiles en adobo in the fridge.

I hope you also discovered the joy of creating something special from scratch. 

This smoky chipotle salsa will undoubtedly become a staple in your kitchen, reminding you that the easiest way to elevate your dishes is by knowing your ingredients!

The next time you crave Mexican cuisine reach for this homemade chipotle red sauce recipe!

Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe over chicken breast on white plate

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Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe over chicken breast on white plate with knife and fork

How To Make This Easy Chipotle Red Sauce Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 - 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Mexican/American


Want to know how to make this easy chipotle red sauce recipe? We served this spicy, smoky chili sauce over chicken for a quick, delicious dinner! I promise this will be ready in 30 minutes, or less!


Units Scale

1 14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into chunks

4 peeled medium garlic cloves

4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or to taste

1 t ground cumin

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1.5 lbs or 2 pounded boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been halved vertically seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and oregano

1 T oil

3/4 t dried oregano

1.5 ounces cotija or feta cheese

Fresh cilantro or cilantro chimichurri

Sour cream


Using a blender preferably, puree tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilies, cumin and 1 t salt until smooth, about 1 minute.

Pound chicken breasts and slice through middle to achieve 4 pieces.

In a 12″ skillet over medium high heat, heat oil until barely smoking. Add seasoned chicken breasts and sear on each side until golden brown. These should not be fully cooked. Remove from skillet and let the skllet cool for 2-3 minutes.

Over medium heat, add the tomato puree and oregano to the skiller. Cook while stirring up the browned bits until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and while maintaining a simmer, finish cooking the chicken to 165 degrees.

Manservant served this saucy chicken over Spanish rice with a dollop of cilantro chimichurri sauce and a dollop of sour cream, with tortillas on the side!

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Lea Ann

Thursday 11th of January 2024

I love everything about this recipe, and especially the part about manservant cooking it for you. Will be trying this one soon.


Thursday 11th of January 2024

It really is a good and very easy recipe! Enjoy!