6 Traditional Mexican Sauces

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When most people think of Mexican sauces, they tend to think of something that looks a lot like hot sauce, only maybe a little bit spicier. The truth is that traditional Mexican food is about a lot more than just spice and heat. Some of the most common Mexican sauces are some that you may not have tried before.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde is almost a puree, and it's made up of mostly green foods. Tomatillos, green chilies, and a little bit of onion and garlic work together to make the flavorful green sauce. Salsa Verde is terrific with tortilla chips, but it's even better with enchiladas and tamales.

Salsa Fresca

When most Americans think of salsa, they're usually picturing something along the lines of salsa fresca. This is a tomato-based salsa that's chunky and full of flavor. It almost always features onion, a little bit of garlic, jalapenos or other peppers, and chopped cilantro. It's all fresh and vibrant, waking up your tastebuds. It's also called pico de gallo, but it's usually chopped much finer when called by that name.


Adobo sauce is used as both a sauce and a marinade. It's a blend of paprika, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano, cooked until the flavors marry together. Chipotle peppers are stored in adobo to keep that smoky flavor alive. Adobo makes a great accompaniment for pork loin or brisket, especially when cooked all day.


Classic mole sauces start with the peppers. Usually at least two varieties of pepper go into a traditional mole, along with cloves, anise, and cumin to get a huge depth of flavor. Individual mole sauces can have up to 30 different ingredients, and every cook has her own secret recipe for the best mole ever. All of the ingredients are roasted and then ground into a paste. Good mole takes hours, if not days, to prepare.


The base of any good guacamole is plenty of ripe avocados. Tomato, onions, garlic, lime juice, and peppers round out the cast. Guacamole is fantastic as a dip, but it's also used in salads or even on its own. Some like their guacamole super chunky, others like it smooth without a hint of crunch. No matter which way you prefer it, it's traditional Mexican fare at its finest.

When you're ready to try some traditional Mexican food, come on down to a place like La Cabana Restaurant and try some authentic dishes. No fake cheese allowed, only the best ingredients and time-tested recipes.