Salsa Macha

This Salsa Macha recipe is a spicy, oil-based chili that is perfect to add to any authentic Mexican dish. It’s nutty, savory, and super easy to make!

salsa macha in a little bowl with tortilla chips.

Salsa Macha Recipe

Salsa macha is also known as “sesame seed salsa” or “Mexican chili oil”. It originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz that consists of dried chilies, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sometimes peanuts. There are so many different ways to make it and I can tell you right now that every salsa mocha recipe you find will be different! I’ve had salsa mocha made with peanuts before and it was yummy but I prefer sesame seeds and pepitas. 

I learned to make this recipe from my good friend Edgar. He is a Mexican-American plant-based chef and recipe developer. He taught a salsa 101 cooking class where he taught us to make a variety of different authentic salsas. His salsa macha recipe was my absolute favorite. I have tried a lot of different salsa machas in my life but this one takes the cake. Edgar also wrote an incredible cookbook called Provecho with a ton of other delicious Latin-American recipes so make sure to check it out!

Ingredients & Recommendations:

  • Avocado oil: I use avocado oil because it has a very high smoking point and it is also heart-healthy. You can also use canola oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil. Olive oil had a lower smoking point so if using it make sure to not heat it up too much.
  • Chiles de arbol: These chilies are spicy a must for this recipe! If you are sensitive to spicy, make sure to take out as many seeds as you can when deseeding. The recipe as is is about a 6/10 spice level for a typical Mexican girl like me so feel free to adjust chili portions.
  • Chile Pasilla: This chili is much milder so add more of this one to supplement the chili de arbol if you are looking to make a milder salsa. Make sure to deseed this one too!
  • Garlic: You can never have too much garlic am I right? Add as much as you’d like. My sweet spot is about 1/2 cup of garlic.
  • Piloncillo or Brown sugar: Piloncillo is a Mexican-style unrefined cane sugar that typically comes in a solid form usually cone-shaped. This hint of sweetness helps balance out all the flavors in this salsa.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Highly recommend using pumpkin seeds for extra protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and so much more. The flavor and texture they add to this salsa is also INSANE.
  • Sesame seeds: Do not skip these! Avoid black sesame seeds if possible.
salsa macha recipe mexican chili oil in a jar.

Add Salsa Macha to:

Black Bean Flautas

Vegan Huevos Rancheros

Tacos Dorados


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salsa macha in a little bowl with tortilla chips.

Salsa Macha

  • Author: Anna Rios
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Salsa Macha recipe is a spicy, oil-based chili that is perfect to add to any authentic Mexican dish. It’s nutty, savory, and super easy to make!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup Chile de arbol (seeds taken out), chopped
  • 2 chiles pasilla, chopped
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp piloncillo or brown sugar


  1. Use gloves to remove stems and take the seeds out of the dried chilies de arbol and pasilla chilies.
  2. Mince garlic. Use a share knife to chop chillies into small pieces. Alternatively, you can add all ingredients besides the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds to a food processor.
  3. Once the garlic is minced and chilies are processed or chopped, add everything to a bowl.
  4. Heat up the avocado oil on the stove low-medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Place the tip of a chopstick in the oil to see if it bubbles. If it bubbles, it is ready.
  5. Immediately pour hot oil over the salsa mocha ingredients. Mix well and once it has cooled off, try it with a tortilla chip. Store it in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 weeks.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Salsas
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: salsa macha, mexican chili oil, salsa macha recipe,

One thought on “Salsa Macha

  1. Anthony says:

    I cant even put into words how much you need to try this salsa! Its something way different than your typical house-made salsa. It can be a bit hot! Cuidado!

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