Ancho Chile Marinade

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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2 oz. dried ancho chiles
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Mexican oregano
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 tsp. salt, or to taste


Put the anchos in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Let the chiles sit in the water for about 20 minutes, then remove them from the water. Pull off the stems and drop the chiles into a blender along with the remaining ingredients.

Add about 1/4 cup of the soaking water and blend into a smooth paste. If it appears too thick, add a little more of the soaking water and blend again.

Apply the marinade liberally to your meats or seafood and let them sit for an hour before grilling.