Guajillo Chile

The Guajillo chile is one of the most commonly used Mexican dried chiles, and it is now widely available in the United States. It is long and pointy, with a beautiful maroon color. Its skin is quite smooth and shinny on the outside, but it is hard and tougher and less pliable than others, like the Ancho.

It has a pleasant and deep flavor, with mild heat. It tends to be a crowd pleaser.

In the north of Mexico, it is called Rattle chile or Cascabel because it resembles the tail of a rattlesnake and it makes the sound of a rattle as you shake it. But, there is another chile of an entirely different variety that goes by the name Cascabel. It is used in many ways, such as to prepare table sauces, to season stews, moles and soups, to make adobos and rubs too.

Usually, to use the chile, you need to remove the stem, seeds and veins. Toast the chile in a comal or skillet for about 10 to 15 seconds per side, until it turns brownish and opaque.  Just be careful not to burn it or it will taste bitter. Then in most cases, it is either ground or simmered and pureed or mashed along with other ingredients.


40comments inGuajillo Chile

  1. Angela

    Oct 25

    You have the best show! I have learned so much. I love that you take us a long to Mexico and then bring us into the kitchen to make the dish. I love your book. Thank you! Please don’t stop.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 26

      Thanks to you for following and for so much kindness Angela 😉

  2. Brenda Marinello from NOLA

    Nov 01

    I fell in love with Guajillo chilies when I made your Guajillo sauce for meatballs. I substituted bone in chicken for the meatballs. I brown the chicken pieces then take them out. Then I proceed with sautéing the onions and the rest of the recipe. This is so yummy. My final sauce turned out so well but thin. So I added store bought browned roux. I live in South Louisiana where we use the “trinity” seasoning mix and make oil and flour roux’s for thickening our gumbo.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 03

      Love this! So glad you could use my guajillo sauce and make your own creation Brenda, bravo!

  3. Lisa

    Oct 05

    Pati- I really enjoy your shows and learn so much from you! I have a request, would you consider doing a chili tutorial? There are so many types of chilis that are used, some of them dried, many need to be cooked first…I find myself confused as to how to use them and would love your insight.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 07

      Hey Lisa, thanks for reaching out. I have a blog entry about chiles that might be useful to start you with here And there are other entries, like this one about prepping poblanos that you may like as well 😉

  4. Adrianna Cuellar Rojas

    Jul 19

    Hi Pati! Could I use dried guajillos to make a salsa? I ordered guajillos from the grocery store for delivery and got the dried, not fresh, peppers. Any advice on best use?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 19

      Hi Adrianna! Actually dried guajillos are much more popular and you can make so many things with them. Here a couple of my favorite recipes where you can use them, Albondigas and Salsa, enjoy! and

  5. Keith Hyman

    Jun 15

    Thank you for inspiring me to try this new (to me) chile, Pati. I was surprised to find that it’s not a hot chile. Instead, it adds a flavorful boost to the stew In which i used it. I simmered the dried chiles in water till they softened. Then I split them open, removed the seeds, and scraped out the pulp which is what I added to my stew. The color is deep and beautiful, as you have noted. There’s really no other chile quite like it, is there? I added all the water in which I simmered them; I also added half a 7-oz. can of chipotles in adobo sauce. I love making Mexican-inspired stews; you have inspired me to reach out for new ingredients. i love you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 21

      Thanks so much for your feedback Keith, the Guajillo is an amazing chile indeed. Have you tried cooking with Anchos? There are many recipes here on the website to try, how about to start with this?

  6. Taylor

    May 22

    I have been loving the use of Chile’s and using them in different ways for my own recipes using your methods of preparation! I love your food thank you for sharing your culture and knowledge in Mexican cuisine!!! I just got cable and instead of watching series I stream you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 23

      Thanks so much for tuning in Taylor! Once you find chiles, there is no way back 😉

  7. Meg McAlister

    May 18

    Hola, Pati! We’re so bored with the coronavirus quarantine that we’ve decided to repaint our kitchen. I love the color of guajillo chilis after they are cooked and it would compliment our Mexican tile floor. I think I heard you say one time that you painted your kitchen the color of guajillo – or maybe I dreamed that. So, I’m looking at paint colors, trying to find the perfect shade of guajillo, LOL. Just wanted you to know that you inspire not only my cooking but my decorating, too!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 20

      Yay Meg, thanks so much for this sweet message; you have seen my kitchen in the Show right? Inspired by cooked tomato sauce, seriously! Hope you find the right shade of Guajillo for your walls, would love to see a pic once you guys are done!

  8. Jimmy Hendrix

    Feb 03

    Dear Pati I was watching your show this morning 02-03-19 on create you made a jar of gujillo sauce you keep in the refrigerator I missed the end could I get the recipe thank you your hungry fan

    1. Pati

      Feb 06

      Oh here’s my Guajillo Chile Salsa recipe, Jimmy: Enjoy.

  9. And have a very beautiful personality

    Feb 03

    Your show to day you made a jar of Guajillo sauce that you keep in your refrigerator what is that recipe please your A amazing cook Patty And have a very beautiful personality

    1. Pati

      Feb 06

      Thank you so much! Here’s the recipe:

  10. Marilyn

    Nov 18

    Dear Pati, I love your show and I am about to try my first ever Mexican dish. Your “carmalized pasilla brisket”. My problem is trying to find the pasilla chilies. A friend of mine gave me some Chilaca chilies, can I use them instead?

    1. Pati

      Nov 28

      Thank you for tuning in, Marilyn! For the brisket, the Pasilla chiles really do give a distinct flavor. You can find pasilla chiles online, if you can’t find them in a store. Have fun in the kitchen!

  11. Joe Fiamingo

    Oct 22

    Love the show (how can you not). I saved one of your chili recipes that you used a guajillo chili sauce that was so complex with organic unsweetened cacao powder and cinnamon. The recipe was part of an interview you did with a blog in DC. I saved it as a favorite, as it clearly was the best chili recipe I have ever had. now the link is dead and so is my heart, as my attempts to replicate from memory have failed miserably. Please help!

  12. Elizabeth

    May 05

    I made your nopalitos with corn, guajillos, etc. The nopalitos are kind of papery (like onion skin). The recipe does not say to rehydrate. Suggestions? Mil gracias!

    1. Pati

      May 08

      Hmmm…the quality or age of the nopales could be the problem. Were they fresh and tender? You shouldn’t have to rehydrate them or the guajillos, as they should all rehydrate in the pan with the lime juice and oil as you cook.

  13. Veronica Romero

    Dec 23

    I am preparing pork tamales, can I use guajillo peppers instead of ancho peppers??

  14. Franklin

    Oct 18

    If I use to much cumin how can I correct the taste. Does cumin taste bitter if I use to much.

  15. Franklin

    Aug 22

    Which is the least mild chile to use when making menudo Ancho or GUAJILLO or California
    Love your show

    1. Pati

      Aug 24

      The ones you mention are similar in levels of heat… I’d say California is the least spicy, followed by Guajillo and then Ancho. But Guajillo and Ancho are barely spicy…

  16. Rita

    May 10

    Hi Pati,

    I just watched your show – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and you make what I thought was an Ancho Chile Relish. You said it is a staple that you keep in your icebox every day … in a ball jar! I have looked all over for the recipe – could you help me?

    Many thanks,


    1. Pati

      May 13

  17. Magdalena

    Apr 30

    Hola Pattie.
    What is a good recipe for enchiladas rojas using chilies gaullio?
    Love your show!

    1. Pati

      May 01

      Hola Magdalena, You can make enchiladas and smother them in this salsa:

  18. Kachine

    Feb 09

    Hi Pati, in the event of accidently making a bitter sauce with the chiles. What is the best technique to try to doctor the sauce or at least lessen the bitterness? I almost always do this. Thanks for showing us these great recipes.

    1. Pati

      Feb 09

      Hi Kachine,
      Try not to burn the chiles when and if you toast them! What you can do is make more sauce without the chiles and mix it with the former batch. But if it turns out too bitter, best bet is to make a new batch…

  19. Molly

    Jan 06

    Pati, do you still toast the guajillo when it is already dried? If not, how do you usually deal with the dried chile?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 08

      Hi Molly, Yes! You toast the dried guajillo chile. Just be very careful not to burn because it will taste bitter.

  20. Rosalidia

    Dec 22

    Can the cascabel taste good in chicken tamales instead of ancho? I plan to use it in the chicken meat.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Hola Rosalidia, Yes! The cascabel would work well in the chicken tamales. Go for it!!

  21. BoomBoom

    May 09

    Would these be a suitable replacement for ancho chile in your chilorio recipe? In terms of flavor and heat?

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 09

      Hi BoomBoom,
      The ancho chile really works best for making chilorios. It has a distinct bittersweet flavor and mild spice that complements that recipe well. And since dried chiles have such different flavors, it can be difficult to substitute them. You can find them in most supermarkets now or online. Here is a link to more information on ancho chiles:

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