Roasty, Nutty: Salsa Macha

Salsa Macha
Salsa Macha
toasty, nutty, spicy, super simple and complex.

There is a salsa you can do anything with.

Hands down, salsa macha is my favorite salsa. It’s so interesting too because it’s heritage is a perfect explanation to what Mexican food is. Chiles from Mexico, olive oil and peanuts from Spain and sesame seeds from Africa. Salsa macha is so versatile and addicting that you’ll find yourself looking in the pantry and fridge to put it on.

There are many varieties of this recipes all over the web. That’s also why I love this salsa, is because you can completely customize it based on your tastes or how you will be serving it. Want it more hot? Add more chile de arbols. Smokey? Switch guajillos with chipotles. Sweeter? Add more piloncillo or brown sugar. Tangy? You can even add in a little white vinegar as you blend it.

fried salsa? yes please!

You will find my preferred version that goes with almost anything below. Customize it how you will. Just remember when you are serving it to stir first, as the bits will all float to the bottom. Lasts up to 2 months in the fridge, IF you don’t crush it in a week.

I use raw Spanish peanuts, because I like the added toasty flavors from the skins. You can use raw, shelled peanuts if you’d like.
Add more or less chile de arbol from the recipe below. This is your component of heat! If you are not sure, 3 is pretty safe. I like mine fairly spicy so I usually go with 8. Chiles are not all the same. Make sure you smell them first to see how spicy they can be. You should be using fresh chiles – they should be slightly bendy and not brittle.

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Salsa Macha

Roasty, Nutty: Salsa Macha

Salsa macha is so versatile and addicting that you’ll find yourself looking in the pantry and fridge for anything to put it on.

  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x


  • 2 cups Olive Oil
  •  5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  •  1 cup raw peanuts (see notes)
  •  4 Guajillo chiles
  •  4 Ancho chiles
  •  8 Chile de arbol 
  •  2 tsp white sesame seeds
  •  1 tsp salt, more to taste
  •  3 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar or piloncillo (optional)


  1. Pour oil in a medium saucepan on the stove, turn it to medium heat. You want the oil to ripple because we’re going to fry the ingredients. Important to use a medium pan because of the tendency for ingredients to pop while frying.
  2. Start with garlic. Drop the cloves in and flip them if necessary. We’re looking for a golden color all around. This might take up to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove garlic and set aside on a plate. Add in the peanuts next, and cook until golden. These will take about 2 minutes. Stir them as well to make sure they are fried evenly.
  4. Remove peanuts and add to plate. Start with Ancho chiles and fry until they darken and puff, only about 45-60 seconds. Add to plate and repeat with the rest of the chiles.
  5. Turn off heat, set the pot aside, and add in sesame seeds. These don’t need to fry much as they tend to burn fast. Let the oil cool down for a little bit.
  6. Take the plate of ingredients and add to blender or food processor. Pulse to break up the ingredients. We are not going for a completely smooth salsa, don’t over-blend.
  7. Add in the oil to the ingredients along with the salt and white vinegar and blend just to incorporate. Taste. If it’s too bitter, add in the recommended piloncillo or brown sugar. This depends on the quality of the chiles and how long you fried them.


I use raw Spanish peanuts because I like the added toasty flavors from the skins. You can use raw, shelled peanuts if you’d like.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Sauces & Salsas
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Salsa

Keywords: salsa, chiles, peanuts, salsa macha, tacos, burritos, Mexican food

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