Condiments Food + Drink

Spicy poblano and cayenne salsa

When it comes to salsa, I always prefer the spicy variety. Jalapenos, cayennes, poblanos, habaneros…bring them on!

Spicy Poblano and Cayenne Salsa

Our garden has been overflowing with peppers lately, so I thought it necessary to begin incorporating them into various dishes. My poblano and cayenne peppers were practically begging me to include them in a recipe, and whipping up a batch of salsa was quick, easy, and produced plenty of servings.

Spicy Poblano and Cayenne Salsa

Over the years I’ve tested out various salsa recipes, but The Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa has been my hands down favorite. Because I already loved the flavor and consistency of the salsa, I thought I’d make some tweaks for a new spin on the dip.

And boy, was it a spicy twist. I typically see jalapenos as the featured pepper in salsa, but the poblanos and cayenne pepper add new depth of flavor in this version. The spice seems a little bit more smoky, and the zip of the salsa definitely leaves your mouth tingling. If you happen to be making salsa for a group that needs different levels of spice, you could alter the recipe a bit: create the base of the salsa with only one poblano. Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl, split the batch in half, then add one cayenne and two more poblanos to only one half of the batch. You’ll be left with one half “medium” salsa and one half spicy. Everyone’s happy, right?

What level of spice do you like in your salsa?

Spicy Poblano and Cayenne Salsa

Spicy Poblano and Cayenne Salsa

***adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa***


1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

1 can (10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles (I use Mexican Lime & Cilantro variety)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

5 small poblano peppers (about 3 inches long each, or 2 large poblanos), seeded and sliced thin

2 fresh cayenne peppers, sliced thin

1/8 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup fresh chopped cilantro (approx)

Juice from 1/4 of a lime


1. Combine all ingredients into a large food processor. Pulse the processor until the mixture reaches the desired consistency (on my food processor, it took about 10 pulses). Alternately, if you want a few larger chunks of poblano in the salsa, wait to add one of the sliced poblanos until after half of the pules are complete.

2. Taste test the salsa, then place in a container and refrigerate at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry. Enjoy!


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