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  • Writer's pictureCampbell Whitman

Guajillo Chili Paste

Guajillo chilis are the most commonly used chilis in Mexican cuisine. They are full of flavor & not too spicy which makes them perfect for giving Mexican food just what it needs to begin its culinary journey. I spoon this "paste" into soups, spread it into a quesadilla before dropping the grated cheese, smother meat in it as a marinade and add to a variety of cream like ingredients for a good sauce. Seriously, give this a try!

Guajillo Chili Paste

yields about 1 c.

30 g dried guajillo chilis (tops & seeds removed)

140 g cooked white beans

1 c water for in the cooking pan

up to 170 ml water to thin out

54 g avocado (1/2)

2 t cumin powder

1 T lime juice

For the chili paste, you will need some dried guajillo chilis. You can technically use any other dried chili you may have on hand, but the heat may vary. Technically, you could also use fresh guajillos as well, BUT then you will need to prepare the fresh ones differently (see below).

For dried chilis, tear off the stems and shake out as many seed as you can. Then in a hot cast iron style pan, on medium-high heat, cook them on both sides for about 5 minutes. If they begin to smoke too much, turn down the fire. You want to "wake them back up a bit." After both sides are done, add 1 c water to the pan, cover with a lid and leave for 10 minutes. Most of the water will get sucked back into the chilis.

In a blender, place the chilis, avocado, beans, water, cumin, lime juice and s & p. Purée the crap out of it until VERY smooth. You may need to repeatedly remove the lid to mix it around with a spatula. Once the right texture is acquired (thick paste), scoop it into a fine strainer and using the spatula, smash it through. Use what comes out of the bottom and discard what stayed in the strainer. Season if necessary. This paste can be used for marinades, sauces, spreads, dips or dollops atop other dishes, such as my Roasted Tomato Soup with Lentils. It adds a punch of flavor in one go!

For fresh chilis...

Set them above a hot burner and cook above the actual flames until the skin turns black. then place in a bowl with a plate atop and leave for 10 minutes. Blend in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and strain once complete. Keep in a sealed jar for a up to a week.

On the right, is the end result from the paste in the jar I keep it in.


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