Guajillo Sauce

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An easy and delicious guajillo sauce recipe that can be used as a salsa, enchilada sauce, and more! Naturally gluten-free and vegan.

A small white bowl filled with a bright red sauce.
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Guajillo chiles are a wonderful chile for still getting a delicious chile flavor without a huge amount of heat, making it a more family-friendly option. This tasty guajillo chile sauce is also known as salsa guajillo, and can be used in a myriad of ways! Enjoy.

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • You get a ridiculous amount of flavor for a small amount of effort.
  • Guajillo sauce can be enjoyed straight away or stored in the freezer for when you need a tasty sauce option on hand.
  • This sauce isn’t limited to Mexican dishes and has a wide variety of uses.
  • Guajillo peppers are milder, making them a great option when feeding a crowd with varied tastes.
  • This recipe is naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, onion-free, and no-cook!
A close shot of the contents of a blender cup filled with a bright red sauce.

🌀 What You Will Need To Make This Recipe

Blender or food processor: A blender or food processor is necessary for blending the ingredients into a sauce.

A gold spoon dripping with red sauce rests on a white table.

🌶️ Ingredients and Substitutes

Dried guajillo chili peppers: Guajillo chiles are chiles with their roots in Mexico, and they sit at around 2,500-5,000 Scoville heat units, making them milder chiles in the world of chiles. They also have both smoky and fruity notes, making them a rather flavorful chile. They are a great chile choice when you have people who both love and less than like spicy food sitting at the same table. If you ever do not have dried guajillo peppers on hand for this recipe, you can use dried pasilla chiles with similar results.

Garlic: Garlic and chiles are best buds, so I highly recommend not leaving out this pivotal ingredient.

Lime juice: I really love the flavor that lime juice contributes to this recipe, but if you do not have any on hand, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar will produce similar results.

Sugar: I like to use coconut sugar, but any granulated sugar will work. If you are on a sugar-free or keto diet, sugar-free sweeteners will work as well.

Salt: I find one teaspoon of sea salt to be the perfect amount for this sauce, but feel free to adjust to suit your own personal tastes and leave it as the last step if you prefer.

Cumin: Cumin is in my top two fave spices, and with good reason—it is a great spice for enhancing nearly anything savory and this guajillo sauce is no exception. It enhances the smoky notes and I do not recommend going without it.

Oregano: If you are aiming for more traditional results, Mexican oregano is best. Having said that if you only have conventional oregano on hand, it will get the job done!

Top view of a white bowl filled with a vibrant red sauce.

🥣 How to Make Guajillo Sauce

A white bowl filled with dried dark red peppers and garlic cloves.
Step 1: Place the chiles and garlic in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
A bowl covered with a gray towel.
Step 2: Cover and set aside.
A white bowl filled with chiles, garlic and water.
Step 3: Soak for at least 20 minutes.
A blender canister filled with various sauce ingredients.
Step 4: Add the soaked ingredients and the remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor.
A bright red sauce in a blender cup.
Step 5: Blend until the desired consistency is reached.
A small white bowl filled with red sauce.
Step 6: Enjoy!

🌮 How to Use Guajillo Sauce

  • My top use for this sauce recipe is to make cheese enchiladas with nothing more than corn tortillas, shredded Monterey jack cheese, and this sauce. It is divine and I highly recommend you try it!
  • This sauce is also delicious drizzled over tacos as taco sauce for taco night.
  • Guajillo sauce makes a great dipping sauce served salsa-style alongside quesadillas, tortilla chips, or even french fries.
  • Spice up breakfast and brunch by topping eggs or potatoes with this sauce.
Top view of a white bowl filled with a red sauce.

🥡 Storage

Pour any leftover sauce into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

A white bowl filled with a rich red sauce.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Are guajillo chilis spicy?

No. Guajillos chiles have the slightest hint of spice and are generally considered mild and not spicy to most palates.

What does guajillo taste like?

Guajillos peppers have earthy, smoky, and fruity notes.

Dried chiles rest next to a white bowl filled with red sauce.

🫙 More Delicious Sauce Recipes You Might Like

Salsa Brava

Romesco Sauce

New Mexican Style Enchilada Sauce

Louisiana Style Hot Sauce

Guajillo Sauce

An easy and delicious guajillo sauce recipe that can be used as a salsa, enchilada sauce, and more! Naturally gluten-free and vegan.
4.98 from 138 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments, Sauces
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 5 large dried guajillo chiles stemmed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 ¼ cup boiling water to cover
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar of choice I like to use coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano


  • In a large bowl add the stemmed dried chiles and garlic cloves. Cover with the boiling water, then cover the bowl with a towel and allow the chiles to soak for 20 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the chiles, garlic and soaking water to a blender or food processor along with the lime juice, sugar, salt, cumin and oregano.
  • Blend until you have a smooth, vibrant red sauce.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1175IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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4.98 from 138 votes (111 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    I recently came across the Guajillo Sauce recipe and decided to give it a try. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I used the sauce as a salsa for our recent game night and my boys absolutely loved it.

    The recipe was easy to follow and the end result had the perfect balance of spiciness and acidity. The Guajillo chilies gave the sauce a unique flavor that was unlike any other salsa I’ve ever had.

    We paired the salsa with some tortilla chips and it was a hit among all of our guests. The sauce was so good that even the picky eaters at the party couldn’t resist going back for seconds.

    Overall, I highly recommend giving the Guajillo Sauce recipe a try. It’s an easy way to add some excitement to your next party or gathering, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

  2. 5 stars
    We had this with tacos and it was delicious!
    I wasn’t sure if it was going to be really spicy (even though you wrote that it wasn’t….but I am a weakling when it comes to spice) but it wasn’t, it was just really flavorful.
    We have some left over so I am going to use it for breakfast with my country potatoes and eggs!

  3. 5 stars
    This sauce was incredibly flavorful! Love that it is much healthier than store bought versions.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this as a larger part of a Mexican inspired charcuterie/ taco board and everyone loved it. I liked how easy it was. Will make again.

  5. 5 stars
    We used this guajillo sauce as the base of our quesadillas and it gave them such an amazing flavor! Great Friday night meal.

  6. 5 stars
    This is a must-try sauce recipe! Guajillo sauce is so easy to make, flavorful (not too spicy) and I love that it’s gluten-free and vegan.

  7. 5 stars
    I want this sauce on everything! It’s so bold and robust without being overly spice! Love it!

  8. 5 stars
    This hits such a perfect balance between smoky, sweet, and tangy – I tried it on eggs and now I’m going to put it on everything! Love this recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    I wanted to make enchiladas but didn’t have any jarred sauce so I tried this recipe. It was perfect for the dish and super easy to make!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this for enchiladas and we liked how this sauce wasn’t too spicy! Will make it again!

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve always been intimidated to make my own chile sauces from scratch but this was SO EASY. I am totally converted! Thank you!!!

  12. 5 stars
    This sauce is delicious! Just the right amount of heat. My daughter likes a mild spice and this was perfect. Thank you for the recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    I love making sauces and this was easy to make and loved the flavor and that vibrant color. I used this for tacos.

  14. 5 stars
    Wonderfully spiced and flavored! Used this as an appetizer at a recent get together and everyone loved it!

  15. 5 stars
    Love this rich and flavorful sauce! I used it as a topping for enchiladas instead of regular enchilada sauce and it turned out great!

  16. 5 stars
    This guajillo sauce is a new favorite! It’s got some of those really delicious flavors without a whole lot of heat, which can sometimes be overpowering. Definitely making this again to serve with appetizers!