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!

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 falvorful marinade. 

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

Salsa Macha Bowl- with Chicken or Tofu, roasted yams and peppers, avocado and flavorful "Salsa Macha", a delicious Mexican condiment you will fall in love with! |

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.

Salsa macha recipe made with dried chilies in a skillet

What you’ll need:

  1.  olive oil
  2.  raw nuts or seeds- pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts or almonds
  3. garlic cloves
  4.  shallot
  5. Dried Guajillo Peppers -or sub other dried chile – chile de arbol, chile negro, ancho chilies, etc.
  6.  vinegar
  7.  toasted sesame seeds ( optional)

How to make Salsa Macha!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


salsa macha in a small jar

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.

raw chicken, tofu, onions and veggies on a sheet pan

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.

Expert Tip:

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.

baked Salsa Macha chicken on a sheet pan

Here below the bowl is made with Tofu.

Salsa Macha Bowl with Tofu, roasted yams and peppers, avocado and flavorful "Salsa Macha", a delicious Mexican condiment you will fall in love with! |

And here it is with Chicken! Remember to save any leftovers and reheat them for tacos the next day. So good!

Salsa Macha Bowl made with baked chicken, roasted yams and peppers, avocado and flavorful "Salsa Macha", a delicious Mexican condiment you will fall in love with! |

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:

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salsa macha

Salsa Macha Recipe (and Bowls)


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.





  • 1 medium yam-diced into ½ inch thick cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper- sliced into 1 inch thick wedges ( or use poblano peppers)
  • ½ red onion- into ½ 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)

  1. Discard stems and seeds from chilies and break them into smaller one-inch pieces.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour into a jar, and stir in toasted sesame seeds.
  6. 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

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Place prepped yams, onions and peppers on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  3. Place chicken or tofu on the side of the sheet pan.
  4. Drizzle with oil, gently tossing veggies, then chicken and tofu. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin.
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check doneness, and continue cooking if need be.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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


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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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  1. The salsa macha was so much fun to make! The smells that eminated from the sizzling olive oil as the garlic, shallots, and pepitas fried were incredible. It turned out so delicious with deep, earthy flavors and a slow burn heat (I added 1 tsp chipotle powder). I could have eated it by the spoonful! I made bowls with sweet potato, cauliflower, onion, bell pepper, and chicken thighs. I am excited to use the leftover salsa for fish tacos or other dishes. I see so many uses for this delicious salsa. Note: I have friends who lived in San Pancho for several years and had the opportunity to visit a few times. I loved the story of discovering this salsa at the farmers market because I’ve been there! What a wonderful spot.

  2. Why don’t your videos work for me? There is only a photo and sometimes even that space is blank. Thanks for any help!

    1. I wonder if you ad blocker it turned on. Sometimes switching to a different browser can help too?

  3. I was skeptical but always up to try something new – I had never heard of Macha Salsa. I followed the recipe using half Pasilla and half Anjo chilies…it was what I had. I used half pepitas and half slivered almonds. It was so easy. The only problem was that my food processor would not blend the chilies. I transferred the mixture to my blender and it was fine. Since my chilis were mild, next time I will spice it up a bit more. We all loved it. Subtle flavors. Really nice. I look forward to trying this sauce on other things! Thanks again for another stellar recipe.

  4. This looks so good and I want to make this, but wanted a clarification: for the salsa macha, you mention 1 cup of olive oil – do you use all of it in one shot in step 2 of your instructions (your picture seems to indicate otherwise), or do you take a smaller amount to saute the garlic/shallots/nuts and then add the rest later? If adding it later, at what stage do you add it – when blending in the food processor or when putting in the fridge and layering with olive oil?

    Thanks for your lovely recipes!

    1. Hi there! Yes, add it all in one shot- step one. Photos don’t always accurately convey- so always refer to the recipe card. 🙂

  5. This is DELICIOUS! The sauce is incredible with the chicken + veggies. I can’t wait to use more of it this week.

  6. This is a RAVE REVIEW!!!

    The flavors are heavenly, and I have leftovers for tacos today. The salsa is just decadent! Hubby loved every bite, and so did I. I found your blog because I was researching plant-based meals, but your approach to so many recipes (cooking meat and plant proteins side by side to satisfy anyone) is truly exciting. This recipe was perfection, but next time, I’ll try tofu for me and still cook chicken for hubby. I’ve been vegetarian; I’m been an omnivore; I even tried keto, but I think that your flexible approach is one that really resonates with me. Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes.

  7. We live 600 miles south of the Mexican border in Baja. This sauce is served in some restaurants here. I always treasure the little container the cooks give me to take home! NOW…I have a recipe that is even better than theirs!💃🚶‍♂️Shhh…I will never tell them!🤗

  8. This Salsa Macha sauce is really good! We didn’t get the chance to see how long it would last in the fridge because it was gone by the next day! We put it on eggs, chili soup, quesadillas, and of course the tofu and veggies from the recipe. I have to say, to me it seemed most flavorful just as a sauce. I marinated the tofu in the fridge for half a day and baked it covered in the sauce, but the best part of the flavor seemed to bake away. We just put more of it on top and it was great :). I don’t know if there is way to preserve the flavor better in marinating or baking.

    I like it a little smoky and my wife doesn’t, so I just added some of the chipotle powder to some of it that I used, and that worked fine, the flavor incorporated well enough. We used pepitas, I am curious what the other seeds (or a mix) would be like for texture and taste. definitely making this one again.

    1. Hi Nick! glad you liked this. You caould experiement with peanuts, almonds or sunflower seeds for other options!

  9. This is my husbands favorite sauce. He even wants to lick the blender so I don’t waste a drop. How many chilies de arbol should I add to increase the heat level a bit? Do I still keep the other chilies? We love the smoky richness the guajillo’s have, just want it to have a little more heat next time. I’m not very experience with dried chilies.

  10. I made this with raw peanuts. Really great stuff! Can’t wait to make some tacos tomorrow night. Thanks for the article!

  11. I have been searching for over a year for a good salsa macha recipe, and yours is amazingly delicious! I first had it at a now defunct taqueria near my home and I fell in love with this sauce! They always served it with fresh tortilla chips, & I would take it home and put it on everything! Your recipe is DEFINITELY spot on! Thank you SO MUCH FOR SHARING!

  12. My family loved this sauce/ condiment! Wow! Even with plain old chili powder instead of the pods, it was amazing. Thanks Sylvia, your blog is really convenient with all the cross references. The pictures are beautiful and inspiring.

  13. This might need more stars than just 5. I’ve been making dinners exclusively from your website, and we are absolutely loving all of them. This one was so compelling (delicious-looking!), but I was worried about the heat level. I added ZERO chipotle, and it was perfect for us (we can’t handle too much heat)! We loved the mild heat and intense flavors, and we will absolutely be making more soon!

  14. Made this Salsa Macha recipe last weekend and have been enjoying it on so many things. Love it in tacos and over beans …so good!

  15. Yup, this is a keeper. I am new to this site and wow, I cannot wait to try more of what’s here. Thank you, Sylvia, for the lovely combinations of good, fresh ingredients and flavorful herbs and spices……without spending half a day in the kitchen!

  16. Loved your directions that stated the salsa macha could last a month in the fridge….ours didn’t last the week. My family loves spicy foods, but we’ve been a bit tired of the same tomato salsas. It is a wonderful blend of flavors.

    Thanks for your tasty inventive recipes!

  17. Wonderful! Even the 15-year-old picky eater scraped her bowl clean and went looking for more. Mixed some plain yogurt with some of the salsa with cilantro and lime for a creamy topping. So good!

  18. Made this a couple of nights ago. OMG – it is simply delicious. Colorful, spicy (I used hot chilis) and my two grown sons loved it! A keeper for sure.

  19. I made this last night. WOW!!!! This is absolutely my new favorite sauce for…. everything ;-)! Made it with tofu and tons of roasted veggies. Put everything on top of some fresh kale and spinach. It was amazing!
    I had 3 friends over (none of them are vegetarian) and they said “wow I could TOTALLY be vegetarian if I could eat like this every night!!!” That’s my favorite compliment! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes and ideas <3

  20. Super yummy and….super yummy. I also used the salsa on top of shrimp fajitas with lime. I’m guessing it’s amazing on anything. Thanks for sharing! This bowl and salsa recipe is a keeper!

  21. This looks absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to try it!! Thank you! As always, your photos are gorgeous and makes me hungry just looking at them!