Guajillo and arbol chiles--you can see why getting the seeds out of a guajillo chile is so much easier

Guajillo and arbol chiles–you can see why getting the seeds out of a guajillo chile is so much easier

My tween has been on a pistachio kick lately. And I’ve been encouraging it. She shuns peanuts and peanut butter–a childhood staple for me. So if pistachios are the closest thing I can get her to like besides peanuts, I’ll take it. With all the extra pistachios around, I’ve been putting them in just about everything, spinach pesto last week and salsa now.



Servings: 2- 2 1/2 cups

Prep time: 20 minutes



7 guajillo chiles (dried)

1 small onion, cut into wedges

1/2 serrano pepper

1/2 clove garlic (or throw in the whole thing if you’re a garlic lover)

1/4 cup pistachios (roasted, shelled)

1 26-oz can whole tomatillos, drained (or 6-8 fresh tomatillos)

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice or white vinegar

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Salt to taste



  1. Cut the ends off of the guajillo chiles and remove as many of the seeds as possible. pistachios
  2. Bring a non-stick or cast-iron pan to medium-high heat. Place the chiles and onion wedges on the pan just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. You’ll notice that the chile skin becomes softer as it’s toasted. Watch the chiles carefully; they burn easily.
  3. Fill a large mixing bowl with hot water. Put the chiles and onion into the water while preparing the other ingredients (about 5 minutes).
  4. Cut the top off of the serrano chile and then cut it lengthwise. Carefully remove the seeds and ribs (you might want to wear gloves).
  5. In a blender, process the tomatillos, chiles, onion, cumin, lime juice, serrano, garlic, pistachios, and salt until smooth.


Plenty of uses beyond chip dipping:

  • Saute chicken with the salsa
  • Mix salsa and ranch dressing for salad
  • Make quesadillas with cheese and salsa tucked inside the flour tortillas



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