Guajillo Chile BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce

Guajillo Chile BBQ Sauce: Brush this earthy and too spicy sauce on chicken or fish before grilling to add a depth of flavor and an expected hint of fruit.

The guajillo chile is a staple of Mexican cuisine and is gaining popularity as the world becomes more interested in regional Mexican cuisine. Its sweet and smoky flavor works well with a variety of foods. It’s considered part of the “Holy Trinity” of Mexican chilies used in mole sauce. However, they can still be tricky to source in some areas. Ancho, pasilla, and cascabel make worthy substitutes.

Guajillo Chile BBQ Sauce 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2 cupSource Adapted from Travis LettPublished

The sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

BBQ Sauce


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 dried guajillo chiles (stems and seeds removed)
  • 6 clove garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes (plus more as needed)
  • 3 cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt (to taste)


In a medium saucepan combine the olive oil, dried chiles, garlic, and diced tomato. Cook over medium-high heat until bubbling vigorously and starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and simmer vigorously for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the chiles have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a food processor or blender, process the chile mixture to a coarse paste. Add the honey and vinegar and pulse to combine, then run the machine until the sauce is very smooth. Taste and season with salt. The mixture should pour easily but still cling to the spoon. It should not be as ridiculously thick as many store-bought BBQ sauces. Adjust consistency with more water if needed.