Guajillo Chili Barbecue Ketchup

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  48 servings (3 cups total)
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  30 minutes

Guajillo Chili Barbecue Ketchup

Sometimes a burger needs a little kick in the pants. This spunky cross between barbecue sauce and ketchup—with a few different dried peppers thrown in for extra punch—is sure to add a little bounce to anybody’s britches. This sauce is a perfect foil for beef-beef-beef and will transform a burger from everyday to WOW in just over 30 minutes.


5 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, seeds shaken out, roughly broken into pieces

1 cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth

1½ cups Roasted Tomatoes or canned roasted tomatoes

½ cup ketchup

1 (4-ounce) can roasted, chopped green chilies

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 medium to medium-large sweet Vidalia or Walla Walla-style onion, roughly diced (1 to 1¼ cups)

3 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half, any green center discarded

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground dried ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo (see Kitchen Tip)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 dried bay leaves


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the guajillo peppers and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the roasted tomatoes, ketchup, green chilies, Worcestershire, onion, garlic, sugar, ancho chili powder, chipotle, cumin, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and bay leaves.
  3. Increase the heat to high, uncovered, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, making sure that every piece of pepper softens. Purée with an immersion blender until smooth. (If you don’t have a handheld blender, carefully transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.)

Kitchen Tips

  1. This can be served warm (for the most impact) or chilled. It will keep refrigerated in a covered container for 3 days. 
  2. Chipotle chili is the name for the fiery smoked jalapeño. It is sold in a variety of formats, often canned in adobo sauce, a condiment made of chilies and spices. For a milder ketchup, you can just use a tabelspoon of the sauce without the chili. The remaining chipotles in adobo will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for 2 weeks.


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