This sauce is life.

I am not even KIDDING you.

This is Tacolicious Legendary Orange Sauce and legendary pretty much describes it.

It’s not salsa. It’s just…sauce. A sauce made with spicy dried chiles (but you can control the heat by how many you add). A sauce with a tang of vinegar, and toasted garlic cloves and charred tomatoes and onions.

I make it to go over these amazing Al Pastor Tacos. But people inevitably start dipping tortilla chips in it.

And then whatever salsa I may be serving gets forgotten.

Because …this sauce is life. 

The best life.

Start out by slicing two roma tomatoes in half and one yellow onion as well. Place the two roma tomatoes cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Slice one half only of the onion into 1 inch pieces and lay them on the baking sheet as well. Broil with your top rack of the oven moved up to the highest position for about 10 minutes until the all get a lot of black charring on them.

Remove them along with with any juices to a bowl.

While those are in the oven, take a small skillet and add a drizzle of canola oil. Add in 1/2 cup of Chile de Arbols. Seriously, these things are hot…I make a double recipe and I only add 6 or 7. But if you love crazy hot…add the 1/2 cup.

Toast them in a the hot oil…it happens very quickly. So after a few seconds flip them and then quick remove them to a bowl. Add in your garlic cloves and turn them until they get browned on each side as well. Remove to the bowl.

Add the tomatoes, onions, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of salt (use the full tablespoon, you need it). Turn your blender on and puree all of this to bits. Then turn it down to low, and drizzle the oil in as slowly as you can, using only a tiny thread of oil at a time. The consistency will be like a thin salad dressing but with a little thickness.

I hope you love this sauce as much as we do!

The sauce of life.


The Legendary Orange Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: Sauces

Cuisine: Mexican

Yield: 3 cups

The Legendary Orange Sauce

Recipe Courtesy and permission given by Tacolicious


  • 2 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed dried arbol chiles, stemmed (I use 3-4 chiles)
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water ( I don’t use)
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt


  1. Turn on your oven broiler and make sure that you have a rack about 4 inches from the top. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomatoes, cut side down and the onion slices onto the sheet. Broil for 10 to 12 minutes, until soft and charred in spots. Cool for a bit while you toast the garlic and chiles.
  2. Cook the garlic for 2-3 minutes just until lightly browned. Now add the chiles and heat, turning them when you need to until just browned in spots.
  3. Transfer the chiles and garlic into a blender, scraping in all of that good oil and all of the seeds. Pour in the vinegar, water, and salt and let it soak for about 5 minutes or so to soften up. Add in the roasted onions and tomatoes and any juices from the pan (including the charred bits–they add some beautiful flecks of color). Blend at high speed until smooth.
  4. Turn the blender speed to low and add the remaining oil slowly through the hole in the lid, allowing mixture to gradually thicken. If necessary, blend at high speed to fully smooth out sauce to your satisfaction. This sauce will be just slightly thick and still pourable.
  5. Makes about 3 cups.

For a more mild recipe only use about 3-4 of the chiles.

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