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What To Do With Pasilla Chile Powder

Slofoodgroup Team September 19, 2022

Pasilla powder—if you’ve never tried this particular ground dried chile pepper, you are going to be pleasantly surprised. This multi-purpose seasoning, though only containing a single ingredient, is capable of contributing a wide range of flavor components to any dish. It is sweet, smokey, peppery, fruity, and earthy.

Pasilla chile powder is simply dried negro chiles, or chilaca peppers, which have been trimmed and ground into a fine powder. These chile peppers are often noted as possessing notes of dried fruits, plums, berries, and even bitter chocolate. As such, it makes perfect sense that it is pasilla powder that is often chosen to supply the mild heat to mole sauces.

Mole, though probably the most renowned of recipes including this ingredient, need not stand alone. There are a multitude of uses for this mild chile powder—from sauces and stews to marinades and rubs, and even beyond to desserts and cocktails. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite uses to share with you, but we also encourage you to get creative with your ground pasilla chiles. 

What To Do With Pasilla Chile Powder

Use ground pasillas to make menudo

Menudo is a Mexican classic comfort food known the world over for curing hangovers. Packed with gelatinous collagen, hominy, and controversial beef parts, this broth-based soup isn’t for everyone. That’s why we made a vegan version of menudo that anyone can enjoy, using mushrooms and pasilla powder. This recipe is very versatile, though, so if you want to swap out the mushroom broth for a collagen-filled beef bone broth and replace the mushrooms with tripe, go for it!

Use pasilla powder in your quesadillas and cheese crisps

Ready for a new favorite snack? A sprinkle of pasilla powder and ground cumin atop a cheddar and mozzarella cheese blend will elevate any quesadilla or cheese crisp.

Make adobo seasoning from scratch 

Adobo is an all-purpose seasoning blend perfect for a multitude of roasted or grilled vegetable and meat dishes. Though, it is primarily employed in Spanish and Filipino dishes. No two adobo seasoning blends are the same, but we like ours with pasilla powder, sea salt, pepper, paprika, Mexican oregano, powdered garlic, and powdered onion. 

Make a simple compound butter

Compound butters are a quick and easy way to add loads of flavor to meats and vegetables. Simply mix a teaspoon of the pasilla powder in with a half cup of soften butter, form, refrigerate, and slice as needed. We especially love this particular compound butter for elotes. Just grill your corn on the cob and finish it with a slice of butter, cotija cheese, and cilantro! It is also really wonderful for finishing steaks or mixed into rice. 


Once you add this to your spice cabinet arsenal, you will never want to be without it. Find top-quality pasilla powder here.