Apps, Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes

Salsa Morita

January 27, 2016
Salsa Morita is a brick red spicy salsa recipe made from dried morita chiles, roasted garlic, and charred tomatoes. Vegan and gluten free!

Of all the dried chiles in the Mexican arsenal morita chiles may be my favorite. I know that’s a bold statement considering there are over 200 varieties of chiles at last count and that was an educated guess. Every village has its local chile and I most certainly haven’t tasted them all.

Salsa Morita Recipe

But the dried morita chile pepper has a complexity and depth of flavor that speaks to my heart and, in my opinion, is irresistible. (If you are interested in this kind of stuff Diana Kennedy wrote a great article about the most popular dried chiles for Food & Wine that is worth checking out.)

Morita chiles are like the Cinderella to chipotle chiles’ step sister. They too are smoked, ripened jalapeños but are usually made from the last of the vine, very ripened runts so therefore, are smoked less to prevent them from disintegrating. The result is a dried chile that keeps a bit more of it’s original jalapeño character and less of a smoke bomb. Chipotles get all the love but moritas are the real beauty.

They also make a killer salsa.

Morita Salsa Recipe

They are pretty tough so need a bit of soaking in boiling water. If you like your salsa smoking hot leave the seeds in, otherwise remove the stem and seeds while they’re still dry.

Salsa Morita Recipe

While the chiles take their bath you can put the garlic and tomatoes under the broiler to get lightly charred. This time of year cherry tomatoes tend to have more flavor, but in the summer use a ripe, juicy garden tomato instead.

Salsa Morita Recipe

Everything goes in the blender. Make sure you save the soaking liquid from the chiles to thin out the salsa if it is too thick.

Salsa Morita Recipe

Then as the Brits would say, “Whizz it up!”

Salsa Morita Recipe

This salsa is an excellent dip but also good on tacos, nachos, eggs, you get the idea. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!


Salsa Morita Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A brick red spicy salsa recipe made from dried morita chiles, roasted garlic, and charred tomatoes. Vegan and gluten free! Salsa will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Serves: 1½ cups
  • 8 dried morita chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place chiles in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over the chiles to cover. Let soak at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat broiler to high. Place tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and broil until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Turn the garlic occasionally so it browns on all sides. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Remove garlic from the skins and place in a blender. Add tomatoes, and salt then lift the chiles from the water (reserving water) and place in the blender.
  4. Blend on high until smooth, adding some of the chile water if it is too thick. Taste and add more salt as needed.

One More Thing

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  • Lola (Lola's Cocina) January 28, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Jajaja — Cinderella! I never knew moritas were the last chiles on the vine.

    I just told someone that chipotles were smoked jalapeños and moritas were smoked chiles serranos. I must have made that up! I agree, moritas are so flavorful and complex. I make a morita chile oil that’s bomb but it’s so hard to make because the chiles are hard to blend since I don’t rehydrate them for this particular salsa.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos January 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      I love this Lola! Do you not rehydrate them for flavor reasons? I bet that oil is incredible!

  • Rhonda carlin February 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I saw u on tv today and appreciate u! I can’t seem to find your mango recipie could u send it to me?? Also I am dairy free gluten free and no tomatoes diet restricted that is why I was so excited for the mango salsa. Any other recipe idea for my diet restrictions would bo so helpful!! Have a super day