Chile Pasilla de Oaxaca


Chile Use and Preparation

This Chile Pasilla de Oaxaca was not very common in the United States but is gaining in availability and popularity.  You can buy chile pasilla de Oaxaca here at  It is hotter than the more common chipotle chile with a unique smoky aroma.

Typical preparation of the chile is to stuff it with cheese and deep fry (chile relleno).  The chile is also used in sauces.

Preparation for Stuffing

If your chiles are very dry and not pliable then heat them on a comal until they become flexible. Use a small paring knife and slit them open carefully.  Remove the seeds and veins.  Cover the chiles in hot water and soak for about 5 minutes.  You can taste a bit of the chile and if it is still to hot to your taste and it if is soak a bit longer (about 10 minutes).  Dry the chiles and prepare using your favorite chile relleno recipe.

Preparation for Sauces

Like most dried chiles they really improve in flavor it toasted before use.  Toast the whole chile on a hot comal or fry pan over low heat, turning to toast evenly on both sides but don't allow them to burn. The toasted chiles can be torn up and added to a blender with other ingredients or cooked in a sauce.

cast iron comal

a cast iron comal used for toasting chiles. 


Pasilla de Oaxaca Recipes

Now that you know how to prepare the chiles you should try a few of our favorite recipes.  If you love smoky chiles you'll get hooked on the complex flavor and aroma.  Here aer some of our best recipes that use pasilla de oaxaca chiles.

Salsa de Chile Pasilla de Oaxaca Recipe : Gourmetsleuth
This sauce is commonly passed at the Oaxacan table to use with meats, for appetizers (antojitos) or with beans and soups.

Pasilla de Oaxaca Cream Sauce : Recipe GourmetSleuth
Use this flavorful sauce over fish or chicken. If you can't find pasilla de Oaxaca you can substitute chipotle chiles. Adapted from a recipe from Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making.
Oaxacan Pumpkin Tamales : Recipe - GourmetSleuth
A savory pumpkin tamale recipe with a filling of black beans flavored with pasilla de oaxaca chiles, anise and garlic.
Enfrijoladas (Tortillas in Bean Sauce) : Recipe - GourmetSleuth
Enfrijoladas are common in Oaxaca and are served for the Mexican equivalent of brunch.  They are corn tortillas dipped in bean sauce and folded into fours. This recipe includes two unique ingredients, the pasilla de oaxaca and avocado leaves.
Garnachas Juchitecas : Recipe - GourmetSleuth
Garnachas are antojitos (appetizers) most typically thick masa cakes topped with a variety of meats, beans, chiles with a sauce and cheese. 

Grow Your Own

pasilla de oaxca chile plant
photo by:

As with most all chiles the pasilla de Oaxaca prefers a hot summer climate. The chiles are easy to grow.

The website offers an amazing selection of chile pepper varieties. If you are interested in growing your own chiles de Oaxaca this is an excellent source.


Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.