Chile Colorado

One of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes, ever!

Chile Colorado

Chile Colorado

This classic Chile Colorado is a rich & vibrant red sauce prepared with lightly seasoned soy curls. When prepared with de-seeded New Mexico chiles, it's very mild, too!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course, Plant Meat
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people


Simple Savory Soy Curls

Chile Colorado Red Sauce


Soy Curls

  • Simmer water & celery salt. Add soy curls, cook until dry. Dry sauté with onions and black pepper until lightly browned.
  • Optionally, bake at 225°F or continue sautéing on very low heat to concentrate flavor.
  • Optionally, deglaze the skillet with a bit of water before adding red sauce

Red Sauce

  • Rinse chiles. Simmer in a saucepan with ¼ onion and garlic cloves in 4 cups water until soft.
  • Blend with half the broth and cumin, granulated garlic, pepper, and salt until smooth like tomato sauce. Adjust consistency with remaining broth or water.
  • Optionally, strain through a fine mesh strainer for a smoother sauce.

Chile Colorado

  • Combine red sauce, Mexican oregano, tomato, and tomato paste with soy curls. Cover, simmer very lightly 5-15 mins.
  • Season with salt and Mexican oregano to taste.

To Reheat

  • Add water, stir on medium until creamy.


Tomato note:

  • Consider blending canned diced tomatoes for a simpler version in the future.

Soy curls note:

  • Soya chunks or a hearty, unseasoned bean can substitute for soy curls.


  • 2024/04/19: Fix -> Moved the black pepper from the rehydrate stage to the dry sauté stage.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

An Older Recipe

The first Chile Colorado recipe I made is from 2004 listed on Epicurious by an unnamed cook. Side note, come on Condé Nast/Epicurious… give credit where it’s due. That lack of credit would never fly in the academic or scientific world. I see a notice on their site that the “Kitchen’s Closing” at Epicurious, but you can get my old printed out recipe here, complete with cooking stains:

Epicurious Chile Colorado Recipe

Interestingly, most of the Chile Colorado recipes I’ve seen or tried are very, very similar, which indicates a core simplicity to the dish and not so many people feeling like they need to add a pinch of something odd like cocoa powder or instant coffee just to call it their own.

That said, when making the spicier version with the infamous guajillo pepper, adding a teaspoon of maple syrup and possibly a couple of teaspoons of Sherry vinegar will provide balance to that spicy/savory flavor profile.