Homemade Tamale Sauce is an essential recipe for your traditional Mexican pork or beef tamales. If you are going to make the commitment to make tamales, be sure to use an outstanding homemade sauce like this one.
Homemade Tamale Sauce with Red Chiles
For homemade tamale sauce, I really do like these California Chiles from El Molcajete. There aren’t any Mexican markets near us so she orders these online. They are wonderfully flavorful but mild. We all know that I’m a lightweight, right?
To add a little bit of chile heat, I’ve used two arbol chiles as well. They are quite hot. Whew! I tasted the sauce and, wow! Yeah, it was plenty spicy. Fortunately, this sauce is spread out to about 45 tamales. Spreading it out with some meat and masa did the trick. I could have probably added a couple more arbol chiles and it would have been fine.
Homemade Tamale Sauce is Easy to Make
You don’t even need to chop the vegetables. Just quarter the tomatoes and loosely chop the peppers after you’ve removed the seeds. Soften them up by simmering them in chicken stock.
Once you’ve mixed everything up in the blender, it will be smooth like tomato juice.
Always use care when you’re using the blender with hot ingredients. Start off slowly. If you go all wild with your tamale sauce and run the blender on high, it will explode from the top and likely burn the hand you have sitting on top of the lid.
When you get finished, you will have a quart of incredibly delicious and fresh tamale sauce. If you’re going to make your tamales right away, set it aside until you’re ready. If you are making it ahead, refrigerate after it’s cool. Use within three to four days.
When we make pork tamales, we only need a quart of this homemade tamale sauce. It will make about 45 tamales or so. If you plan on making more tamales, you can double the recipe. But, don’t put the entire thing in the blender at once. Blend up only about two cups of the mixture at a time.
Making it Vegetarian
If you’re wanting to make homemade vegetarian tamales, use vegetable stock or water instead of chicken stock. It will be just as delicious.
Hosting a Tamale Making Party
If you’re interested in hosting a Tamalada (spanish for tamale making party), learn more about preparing for a Simple Tamale Party from Global Grub.
More Delicious Mexican Food
This is the sauce that we recently used for some really incredible Pork Tamales. Or try these other delicious Mexican recipes.
If you like tamales, be sure to try chicken tamales too! Pair it with this Homemade Verde Tamale Sauce recipe.
Red Tamale Sauce Recipe
- Stand up blender or immersion blender
- 8 Red Anaheim Peppers dried
- 2 Arbol peppers dried
- 2 medium Tomatoes quartered
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 3 cups Chicken Stock divided
- 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- Using a firm bristle brush, wash peppers.
- Carefully split the peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Cut peppers into 1-2 inch pieces. Arbol peppers are small so no need to cut those.
- Place peppers, tomatoes and garlic in pan with 2 cups chicken stock. Heat on medium and bring to boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan.
- Stir in remaining 1 cup chicken stock, cumin, salt and onion powder. Simmer for 30 minutes more.
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