Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts


Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

To me, one of the most fascinating kinds of salsas is salsa macha. It defies any preconception that many people have about a salsa. No pureed tomatoes or tomatillos, not even any tomatoes or tomatillos in it! No onion either. Also, rather than the chiles being toasted, simmered or roasted, here they are cooked in oil. And there are nuts. Tons of nuts.

I think one of the most common versions of salsa macha is a take from the state of Veracruz that uses dried chipotle chiles, garlic and peanuts. But there are of course countless versions. In this one, I use some of my favorite nuts —walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts. And I play with the crowd-pleasing taste of guajillos and the feisty bite of chiles de árbol.

I also add something new that I’ve never put in a salsa macha before — amaranth seeds.

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

You can play with your own versions of salsa macha, too: choose dried chiles and nuts that you like, cook in oil until the ingredients transform, then season with some vinegar, and adjust with your favorite sweetener to add a hint of sweet to balance all that savoriness.

However, before you play… try this one. I find it so addicting. It is toasty, nutty, a little bit spicy, and a touch sweet and tangy, with a chunky and consistency and the most satisfying crunch. I use it as a topping for guacamole, soft scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, and my latest favorite is on an avocado toast.

Avocado Toast with Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

You could also try it over French toast for a sweet/savory version, or on plain yogurt sweetened with a touch of honey for quick breakfast or snack.

But the options are endless, and it keeps forever in your refrigerator. 

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

Salsa Macha con Pistaches, Nueces y Piñones
1 cup approximately
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chiles de arbol, guajillo chiles, Macha, pine nuts, pistachios, Salsa, walnuts
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into small squares with
  • 3 chiles de árbol, remove stems but keep seeds, and cut into small
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw unsalted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw unsalted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons raw unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons amaranth seeds
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste

To Prepare

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles, garlic, and nuts and sauté until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the amaranth seeds. Scrape into a bowl and let cool. 
  • When cool, mix in vinegar, brown sugar, and salt. 

26 comments on “Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

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  1. Ooooh I can already taste the incredible salsa! Can’t wait to try!
    Happy Mother’s Day! We love your show and YOU!! Thanks for sharing your culture with all of us!

  2. This is so interesting. I can’t wait to try it. I have all the ingredients! Happy mother’s day to you!

  3. Love the salsa recipe! I can already taste the combination of flavors and feel the spicey crunch.

  4. Somehow I couldn’t get last month’s recipe, which was I think a kind of vegetarian enchiladas. Could you please send it to me? Thanks,Carol Wheeler ( This sounds delicious, by the way. I will try it.

  5. We love you Pati!!! Always an inspiration—YOU are!! Although we have never met–I know it’s cliche to say–however, my husband and I feel like we have known you for years! No matter if it’s on the television or reading your blog: Your warmth, love, kindness (AND humor) your beautiful nature ALWAYS shines through and of course you’re awesome cooking and recipes WELL YUM!!!XXOO Linda &Billy Scull

  6. Looks super good must try! Having my mom over Sunday for our Mothers Day celebration. Happy Mother’s Day Pati!
    Love your show and your fine recipes

  7. Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!
    And while you love being a mother to your boys I love watching you interact with them.