This chile gravy is a Tex-Mex staple. Serve atop enchiladas or nachos, blend up a few margaritas, and invite some friends over.

What to buy: Ancho chiles are a smoked and dried poblano (a.k.a. pasilla) chile. The chiles and powder can be found in the Latin section of most grocery stores or in Latin markets. If you can’t find anchos, you can substitute chiles mulatos, though they are often more difficult to find.

This recipe was featured as part of our Super Bowl for a Crowd menu.

  • Yields: 3 cups
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 25 mins 
  • Active: 25 mins

Ingredients (9)

  • 3 whole ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 medium white onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Place chiles in a small saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until chiles have softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour chile mixture (with cooking liquid) and onion in a blender, cover the lid with a kitchen towel, and blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and blend to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft and tender but not browned, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour smells toasted but garlic remains pale in color, about 2 minutes more.
  4. Whisk in ancho chile powder, cumin, and oregano, then slowly pour in chile mixture. Whisk until chile mixture is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season well with salt.