south-of-the-border essentials: diablo sauce

a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I am not a fan of “fast” food joints; however, I do like some of the sauces they create. For example, I like Arby’s horsey sauce, so I made my own, healthier, version. In that same vein, I like two of Taco Bell’s sauces: mild, and diablo sauce. I have recreated the mild sauce, and now I have the diablo version. Use this as an at-the-table-sauce, or to enhance your favorite South-of-the-border recipes. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 10 Min
cook time 15 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For south-of-the-border essentials: diablo sauce

  • 5 - 6 md
    dried chilies
  • 1/3 c
    reserved water, from rehydrating the chilies
  • 1 Tbsp
    paprika, hot variety
  • 2 tsp
    red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tsp
    dehydrated onions
  • 1 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 8 oz
    tomato paste, 1 small can
  • 3 Tbsp
    coconut sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 c
    white vinegar
  • 2
    chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

How To Make south-of-the-border essentials: diablo sauce

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    What will you need? A saucepan to hold all of the ingredients, and a non-reactive storage jar. In addition, you will need a countertop blender, or stick blender.
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    What to serve with it? This sauce got its start from the Taco Bell Diablo sauce, but as with all creations, it changed as it evolved. This makes an excellent spicy sauce to use on things like tacos, burritos; even, Mexican pizzas. However, it is great as a flavor booster in soups, stews, or a nice bowl of chili.
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    How to store it? Stored in a good non-reactive (glass) container, it will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. If properly frozen, it will last 6 – 8 months.
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    Cooking Notes: If you have leftover tomato paste, you can always freeze it for later use. If you have an old ice cube tray, you can measure out 1 tablespoon amounts and freeze them in the tray. Then remove them and toss into a freezer bag. The dehydrated chilies you use will be a factor for the heat of the sauce. I am using ancho chilies, but you could use any type you want. Or maybe a combination of different types Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce usually come in small 8-ounce cans; like tomato paste, the leftovers can be frozen for future use. Two of my favorite brands are La Costena, and San Marcos. Both have excellent flavor and good heat. If the sauce is a bit thick, use more of the reserved chili water to thin it down.
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    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
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    Cut the tops off of the dried chilies and remove the seeds.
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    Put them in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
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    Drain and reserve the water.
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    Chop up the chilies, then place them into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the dry ingredients, and stir until you can smell the spices, about 2 – 3 minutes.
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    Add to a blender along with the water, and blend until smooth.
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    Add the blended chilies and remainder of the ingredients back into the saucepan.
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    Bring up to a slow, slow simmer, and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.
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    Allow to cool down and store in a non-reactive jar until needed.
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  • So Yummy
    Use in soups, stews, on top of tacos… anywhere you want to kick up the flavor of your recipes. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
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