Inside: This spicy peanut salsa (salsa de cacahuate) is not for the faint of heart with its spicy, but delicious flavor. Learn how to make it today!
Spicy peanut salsa, or salsa de cachuate in Spanish, is one of the many different types of spicy salsas that Mexico is known for, like this salsa macha. Of course there are mild salsas also, and most can be made more mild depending on how many chilies you add. For example, this salsa verde can be made very spicy or quite mild depending on how many and what type of peppers you add.
This one, however, is going to be pretty spicy no matter what because of the addition of arbol chiles, which are at least 6 times hotter than a jalapeno.
If you are a fan of spicy food and spicy salsas, then this is for you and you will love the smoky flavor and creamy texture.
What is Spicy Peanut Salsa (Salsa de Cacahuate)?
Spicy peanut salsa is a spicy, creamy salsa that goes perfectly with your favorite Mexican “antojitos” or street food. For example, this goes great with tostadas, empanadas, flautas, or just as a spicy dipping sauce with freshly cooked tortilla chips.
This sauce gets its spicy and smoky flavor from the chile de arbol, which is a super spicy pepper that measures between 15,000 and 60,000 on the scoville scale! It has a deep, smoky flavor as well which just takes this recipe to the next level.
This traditional salsa also include roasted peanuts which serve to control the heat a little bit of this spicy salsa.
How do you make Mexican spicy peanut sauce?
Spicy peanut salsa is made with a combination of spicy and smoky ingredients, that are roasted in a skillet before being blended together to form a perfectly creamy and spicy salsa. To make it, you will need to gather the following ingredients:
- Unsalted peanuts
- Chiles de arbol, dried arbol chiles. You can vary how much you use depending on how hot you want it.
- Garlic cloves
- White onion
- Roma tomato
- Vegetable oil, olive oil, or another neutral oil
- Chicken bouillon
- A cup of water
Start by heating a large skillet over medium heat and add a squirt of oil. Add the peanuts to the hot oil and fry them for about 5 minutes, moving them constantly so they don’t burn. Next, add the chiles de árbol until they start to change color. You will notice that they have a very pungent smell. I recommend doing this step with the windows up and if you have a vent hood, make sure it is turned on high. The smell can be difficult for people who are roasting arbol chilies for the first time, but if you follow my advice, you should be fine.
After a few minutes, remove the peanuts and chiles from the heat and set aside.
In the same pan, add the tomato, that you have cut into 4 pieces, and then add the onion and garlic also. Cook until softened and then add to a blender or food processor with the chiles and peanuts, chicken bouillon, salt, and water and blend until it reaches your desired consistency. If you do not have chicken bouillon, you can replace it and the water with a cup of chicken broth.
Add the resuulting salsa to a bowl and serve immediately. You can also store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about a week if you want to cook it in advance.
This is definitely one of my favorite recipes when I am looking for a spicy salsa. If it has too much heat, go ahead and use less arbol chiles. You can also replace them with a milder chile like the guajillo chile, ancho chiles, or chipotle chiles, but this will change the flavor a little bit.
Check out these other Mexican Salsa recipes
- Authentic Avocado Salsa Verde Recipe (Salsa Taquera)
- Authentic Mexican Molcajete Salsa Recipe (Salsa de Molcajete)
- Authentic Salsa Macha Recipe from Veracruz Mexico
- Authentic Mexican Salsa Ranchera Recipe
- Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde
- The Best Creamy Avocado Salsa Recipe
Authentic Spicy Peanut Salsa (Salsa de Cacahuate)
- 1/4 Cup Peanuts Unsalted
- 1 Handful Chile de arbol
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/4 White Onion
- 1 Roma Tomato Large
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tsp Chicken Bouillon
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Water
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
- Add the peanuts and toast for about 5 minutes, moving them around constantly so they don't burn.
- Add the chiles de arbol and continue cooking for a few more minutes until they take on a slightly darker color. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cut the tomato into four pieces and add to the pan where you cooked the peanuts and chiles with the onion and garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until it reaches your desired consistency. If you want a thinner salsa, you can add additional water.
- Serve with your favorite foods or just with tortilla chips.