Chile Pasado Recipe: How to Make this Delicious Mexican Dish at Home

Chile Pasado Recipe is a traditional Mexican recipe that embodies the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine. This article will guide you through the process of preparing chile pasado at home, offering a step-by-step approach to ensure you capture the authentic taste and aroma of this beloved dish.

What is Chile Pasado?

Chile pasado refers to dried chiles, typically Anaheim or New Mexico chiles, that are rehydrated and cooked in a flavorful sauce. The name “pasado” in Spanish means “passed” or “aged,” indicating that the chiles used are dried and matured, enhancing their depth of flavor.

Ingredients You Will Need

To prepare chile pasado, gather the following ingredients:

  • Dried Anaheim or New Mexico chiles
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: cilantro, cumin, and Mexican oregano for added flavor

Choosing the Right Chiles

Select dried Anaheim or New Mexico chiles that are pliable and free of any mold or discoloration. The quality of your chiles will greatly influence the final taste of your dish.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

1. Rehydrating the Chiles

Start by removing the stems and seeds from the dried chiles. Toast them lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant. Then, place the chiles in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow them to soak for about 20-30 minutes until they are soft and pliable.

2. Preparing the Sauce Base

While the chiles are soaking, prepare the sauce base. In a separate skillet or pan, heat a small amount of cooking oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, sautéing until they become translucent and aromatic.

3. Blending the Sauce

Once the chiles are rehydrated, drain them and transfer them to a blender along with the sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, and a small amount of broth. Blend until smooth, adding more broth as needed to achieve a thick, pourable consistency.

4. Cooking the Chile Pasado

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some cooking oil over medium-high heat. Carefully pour the blended sauce into the pot, stirring continuously to prevent sticking. Season with salt, pepper, and any additional spices like cumin or Mexican oregano for extra flavor.

5. Simmering to Perfection

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 20-30 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally to ensure the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

6. Serving and Enjoying

Once the chile pasado has simmered to perfection, remove it from the heat. Serve it warm with freshly cooked rice, warm tortillas, or alongside your favorite Mexican dishes. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.


Making chile pasado at home is a rewarding culinary experience that allows you to explore the vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine. By following these simple steps and using quality ingredients, you can create a delicious dish that will impress your family and friends. Enjoy the process of cooking and savoring this authentic Mexican treat!

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FAQs about Chile Pasado Recipe

How spicy is chile pasado?

Chile pasado can vary in spiciness depending on the type of chiles used and whether the seeds are included in the sauce. Generally, Anaheim or New Mexico chiles are mild to medium in heat.

Can I use fresh chiles instead of dried ones?

While dried chiles are traditional for chile pasado, you can experiment with fresh chiles if you adjust the cooking method. Dried chiles add a unique depth of flavor that enhances the dish.

How long can I store leftover chile pasado?

Leftover chile pasado can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

What are some variations of chile pasado?

You can customize chile pasado by adding ingredients such as roasted bell peppers, tomatillos, or even a hint of chocolate for a mole-like richness. Each variation adds a unique twist to this classic dish.

Is chile pasado gluten-free?

Yes, chile pasado is naturally gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free broth and check all other ingredients for any hidden sources of gluten.

By exploring the art of making chile pasado, you’ll discover a dish that celebrates the essence of Mexican culinary tradition. Enjoy creating and sharing this flavorful journey with others!