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Introducing Salsa Macha! Salsa Macha is a flavorful Mexican salsa, that hails from Veracruz, made with dried chilies, pumpkin seeds , sesame seeds, garlic, shallots and olive oil. Smoky, deep and flavorful, use it as you would a salsa or use it as a flavorful marinade. With a video!
The quieting of the mind is a political act. ~Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart – page 358
I’m so excited about this recipe for Salsa Macha! Last week while visiting the little town of San Pancho (in Mexico) I stumbled upon it at the local farmers market- and it was something I’ve never seen before… Salsa Macha!
It literally blew my mind, it was that good! After asking a million questions to the sweet woman who made it, I took a few notes, bought a few jars, and couldn’t wait to replicate it and share it with you.
Today I’ll show you how to make Salsa Macha and then, with this we can create this delicious Salsa Macha Bowl! The bowl can be made with chicken or tofu.
Salsa Macha Video
What is Salsa Macha?
Salsa Macha is a Mexican salsa, made with dried chilies, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Flavorful, yet not overly spicy – it can be used in so many different ways – as a marinade for meats and tofu, a flavorful sauce, a flavor booster for soups, eggs or roasted veggies or a condiment for tacos and grilled meats.
Best of all it’s very quick and easy to make and the mild dried chilies, called Guajillo Chili Peppers, can be found in mainstream grocery stores. Yay!
What does Salsa Macha taste like?
Salsa Macha tastes earthy, nutty and full-flavored with a subtle smoky heat that does not overpower.
What you’ll need:
- olive oil
- raw nuts or seeds- pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts or almonds
- garlic cloves
- Dried Guajillo Peppers -or sub other dried chile – chile de arbol, chile negro, ancho chilies, etc.
- toasted sesame seeds ( optional)
How to make Salsa Macha!
- Heat oil in a skillet or large saucepan, and add garlic, shallot and nuts, and stir until golden brown, then add dried crushed chilies, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat off and cool 5-10 minutes. Add salt and vinegar and coriander.
- Place all in food processor and pulse until all is finely chopped, but not overly smooth. Taste for spice and feel free to add chipotle powder to taste. I added about 1 teaspoon, start conservatively. You can also add canned chipotle peppers to taste or the adobo sauce they come in, for a nice smokiness.
- Pour into a jar, and stir in toasted sesame seeds.
Should I refrigerate Salsa Macha?
Yes! Cover it with a layer of olive oil before storing the jar in the fridge. This will keep for 3-4 weeks.
How to use Salsa Macha:
- Make bowls ( see below)
- use in tacos, over quesadillas, or burritos as a condiment
- swirl into soups
- use in Buddha Bowls
- drizzle over eggs
- spoon over roasted veggies
- use as you would hot sauce or salsa!
- use as a marinade!!!
Here, I’ll show you how to use Salsa Macha in Mexican-Style Bowls that can be made on a sheet-pan with chicken or tofu. Today I’ve used both, for Brian and I.
In this simple sheet-pan recipe, chicken or tofu (or both) are baked alongside yams, bell peppers and onions. Make enough to feed your whole family or make one serving, up to you! While it’s baking, whip up the flavorful Salsa Macha.
Serve on its own, or for heartier appetites, over brown rice, cauliflower rice, seasoned black beans, or greens with avocado, lime, and cilantro. Spoon a little Salsa Macha over top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
A delicious, adaptable, healthy bowl that even your kids will like. (Remember this is not overly spicy!)
The BEST THING – leftovers can be heated up and repurposed into delicious tacos the next day. Store the Salsa Macha in an airtight jar in the fridge, with a ¼ inch layer of olive oil over the top and it will keep for several months.
You can also bake the tofu or chicken right in the Salsa Macho, using it as a marinade- but to save time here, I am having you make the salsa while the chicken is baking (instead of before). Feel free to make it ahead, or make it during the baking time… spooning it on during the last few minutes of baking or just spoon it over the bowl. It’s great either way.
Here below the bowl is made with Tofu.
And here it is with Chicken! Remember to save any leftovers and reheat them for tacos the next day. So good!
On the Homefront: While in Mexico, I got a year older. It was on the same day as the women’s march that happened around the country. Even in this tiny town, women gathered together and walked through the streets, smiling, proud, together, arm in arm. I was moved. I felt the powerful loving energy that flows when women unite.
Throughout history, women’s powerful loving energy has often been squashed by religion or culture. How threatening this must feel. But, it is my belief (and honestly, these days, I have few) that this loving heart energy is what is needed to unite and heal the whole world.
Look at cultures where women have very little power (like the Middle East) look at the chaos, the unbalance, the discord, the suffering. I often wonder, what would happen if women had a more balanced measure of power. I can’t help but feel that forgiveness, reconciliation and peace would inevitably follow.
I do know this- it is a fearful mind that drives us to build walls, keep ourselves safe, and separate us from others. It is the loving open heart that shows us how similar we are, and connects us. I see this daily in my own marriage.
My thoughts often talk me out of loving, but my heart facilitates it. Shifting from my head to my heart has become my daily practice. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
Hope you are having a great week. Hope you give this Salsa Macha recipe a try….it is AWESOME!!!
Other Salsa Recipes you may like:
- Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
- Fresh Peach Salsa
- Persimmon Salsa!
- Guacamole (three ways!)
- Poblano Pumpkin Seed Sauce
- Avocado Sauce (Vegan!)
- Vegan cilantro creme
Salsa Macha Recipe (and Bowls)
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
An authentic recipe for Salsa Macha – a Mexican condiment (oil and vinegar-based, dried chili “salsa”) and how to create flavorful Mexican-style Salsa Macha Bowl, with chicken (or tofu), roasted sweet potato, bell peppers, and optional black beans and rice.
SALSA MACHA RECIPE :
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup raw nuts or seeds- pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts or almonds
- 4–6 cloves garlic- whole
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 4 dry Guajillo Peppers (1 1/4 ounces) or sub other dried mild to medium peppers.
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander ( optional)
- 1/4– 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional, add to taste for heat)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds ( optional)
SALSA MACHA BOWLS:
- 1 medium yam-diced into 1/2 inch thick cubes
- 1 red bell pepper- sliced into 1 inch thick wedges ( or use poblano peppers)
- 1/2 red onion- into 1/2 inch thick half moons
- 2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, or use tofu filets
- drizzle of olive oil, generous sprinkle salt, pepper and cumin
Optional Bowl Bases- Seasoned Black Beans, or Mexican Pinto Beans, Cilantro rice or Cauliflower Rice, Greens
Bowl Toppings- avocado, sprouts, cilantro, lime, sesame seeds
Salsa Macha: (see notes)
- Discard stems and seeds from chilies and break them into smaller one-inch pieces.
- In a large skillet add the oil and heat it over medium high heat. Add garlic, shallot and nuts, and stir until golden, about 4-5 minutes.
- Turn heat to low, add crushed chilies, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat off and cool 5-10 minutes. Add salt and vinegar and coriander.
- Place all in food processor (or blender) and blend until well combined, but not overly smooth. Taste for spice and add chipotle powder to taste. I added about 1 teaspoon, but start conservatively. You can also add canned chipotle peppers to taste or the adobo sauce they come in, for a nice smokiness.
- Pour into a jar, and stir in toasted sesame seeds.
- To store: cover with a layer of olive oil before storing the jar in the fridge. This will last 3-4 weeks in the fridge.
To make the BOWLS
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Place prepped yams, onions and peppers on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
- Place chicken or tofu on the side of the sheet pan.
- Drizzle with oil, gently tossing veggies, then chicken and tofu. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check doneness, and continue cooking if need be.
- Assemble Bowls. If using a Bowl Base like rice or beans, divide it among two bowls. Top it with roasted chicken or tofu, veggies. Add avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Spoon on the Salsa Macha and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Salsa Macha Notes:
- Feel free to use different chilies, or mix of dried chilies, taking care to pay attention to heat levels. Add Chilies de Arbol for heat or dried Chipotles for depth and smokiness.
- You can also make the Salsa Macha first and use it as the marinade – coating the chicken or tofu before baking. To save time, here I have you make this while the chicken/tofu is baking, then spoon it on after. It’s great either way!
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- Calories: 135
Keywords: Salsa Macha, salsa macha recipe, what is salsa macha? Salsa Macha bowl, mexican condiment, chicken with salsa macha
Sylvia, to quote you, this salsa macha “blew my mind”. As with all of the recipes from FAH I have tried, I have never been disappointed. But growing up on a meat and potatoes and side salad dinners, I have yet to acquire the ability to know what something is going to taste like while I am following the recipe. With a cup of olive oil and the other ingredients simmering in my Dutch oven on the stove, I found myself once again like a kid doing a science experiment. I ran out of pumpkin seed so I added whole almonds and wondered how in the world it was going to come together. And oh my goodness, when I eagerly dipped my finger into the finished product in my food processor and tasted it, I sighed a very content sigh. I doubled the bowl recipe, using asparagus in place of another red pepper as I only had one. I also used your perfect quinoa recipe as the base of the bowl and used chicken thighs for the protein. I rubbed some salsa macha under the skin of the chicken before baking with the veggies but then topped the bowl with more. This salsa macha is perfection in a jar and I can’t wait to dollop it on my next meal. Thank you for continuously encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone.
I am so glad you gave this a go Rebecca! Such a good one!
“You can make this again” = a winner in my book! It’s not often my husband raves about a dish I make (he’s not a big food guy), but he’s mentioned this one 2x since I made it last week so I’ll definitely put this one in the mix more frequently. I did not make the salsa macha from scratch though. I couldn’t find any dried peppers in my produce dept but came across a jar of salsa macha in the Mexican section so thought I’d try that first before tracking down the ingredients to make it myself. I did run it through the food processor though as everything was whole and thought the ground up version in the recipe sounded better.
Great to hear!
Woohoohoo! Absolutely loved it! Already planning on making it again next week…(not surprised though as I don’t believe anything I’ve tried of yours has not been anything short of great). Thank you
Thanks so much Lawrence! So happy you enjoyed this!
I developed a taste for salsa macha in Puerto Vallarta, and have since accumulated several recipes, but yours is the best yet. The addition of a shallot adds surprisingly big flavour, but the best part for me is the “bowls,” though it took me a bit to realize that you were talking about the stuff IN the bowl. Anyway, it’s a great combination. I still do my salsa somewhat differently – whatever mild peppers and nuts I happen to have around, Mexican oregano instead of coriander, toasted garlic flakes instead of fresh garlic, etc. – but the bowls are difference-makers. I look forward to putting them into tacos.
Thanks Jack! Love the toasted garlic flakes- great idea. 😉