Salsa De Arbol Recipe

Published on June 18th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Top View of Salsa De Arbol

Salsa De Arbol is a salsa for those who can't get enough of that spicy heat in their lives. The term Arbol refers to the name of the pepper and translates to "tree chili" in English. They're also known as bird beak peppers. These small, red chili peppers can pack a big punch in any dish. The heat in Arbol peppers is about six times more than the heat brought on by jalapeños. These peppers are more commonly found in their dried form & require soaking in hot water for 20-30 minutes to soften them to blend smoothly into the sauce. Some versions of this spicy salsa don't even contain tomatoes. It's only the Arbol peppers mixed with onions, cilantro & lime juice and can make a grown man cry instantly. This Salsa De Arbol combines roasted Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, soaked Arbol peppers, lime juice, cilantro & sea salt, blended and chilled. Salsa De Arbol is a spicy dip for tortilla chips, added to tacos or fajitas and anywhere else you want to add some kick to your meals. 

Are serrano peppers hotter than jalapenos?

Yes, Serrano peppers are about six times hotter than jalapeños. 

Is chile de arbol spicy?

Chile de Arbol is very spicy. However, you can remove the seeds or only add one or two whole peppers to your sauce or salsa, resulting in less heat. 

How do you use dried arbol peppers?

To use dried Arbol peppers or any dried peppers, they can be ground into a powder using a spice grinder or high-powered blender. Dried peppers can also be soaked in hot water to soften for 20-30 minutes, then added to the dish.  

Author: Jennifer Dodd
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Time & Serves

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Serves
500 ml

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Roma Tomatoes

  • 1 large Yellow Onion, diced large 

  • 4 whole Dried Arbol Peppers, covered and soaked in boiling hot water for 20-30 minutes 

  • 4 cloves Garlic, skins left on 

  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped 

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil 

  • 2 Limes, juiced 

  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 

Add the onions, tomatoes & garlic to a medium-sized bowl, toss everything together with the olive oil & sea salt. 

Place the ingredients onto a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Add the tray to the oven, cook and char the ingredients for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking process. 

Remove the tray from the oven and let the ingredients cool for 15 minutes on a heatproof surface of your kitchen countertop. 

Remove the Arbol peppers from the water & tear the stems off of the peppers. 

Peel and discard the skins from the garlic cloves. 

Set up a high-powdered blender, add the tomatoes, Arbol peppers, onions & garlic to the blender jug. Pulse & blend until the salsa is smooth. Add in the lime juice & cilantro to the salsa giving it a quick pulse to blend everything together. 

Place the salsa into a covered container and allow the salsa to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes before consuming. 

Salsa De Arbol will last in the fridge for up to 3 days in a covered container.  

Jennifer Dodd
Author:

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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Jennifer Dodd
Author:

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

More posts by Jennifer Dodd