Ghost Chili Salsa

Ghost pepper salsa is the perfect accompaniment to freshly made tortilla chips and can also be paired with grilled pork, used as a topping for carnita tacos or added to your favorite chili recipe. Many salsas you see come in levels of heat from mild to hot, or even blazing burn-your-throat-going-down hot! I have to admit, I was a little nervous when trying this chili pepper salsa recipe but the flavor is phenomenal and the heat (although very hot) is not unbearable.

The varieties of chilies are staggering and range from very mild to blazing hot and beyond. Chilies are rated on a scale called the Scoville scale which is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chile peppers as reported in Scoville heat units (SHU). The rating scale was developed by an American pharmacist by the name of Wilbur Scoville, hence the name Scoville units. Each chile is given a rating in units ranging from 0 (green pepper) up to 2,000,000. The infinity, ghost and scorpion chilies all are rated in the top heat producers.

Although these chilies may produce some mind-blowing heat, many of them also have an incredible flavor profile. The ghost chile, when used in small amounts adds a great amount of heat but lends a smoky, rich flavor to the dish. When working with chilies of this level of heat, always be careful and protect your hands and eyes and be sure to wash your hands and utensils thoroughly after coming in contact with the chile. Enjoy!

Ghost Pepper Salsa Recipe

Yields 2 cups


  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • ½ whole red onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove (chopped)
  • ½ dried ghost chile (or less)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro


Place the tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper, garlic clove and ghost chile into a medium sauce pan. On medium high heat, simmer the mixture for 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Add the cilantro to the mixture. Place the mixture into a food processor or blender and pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Due to the high heat levels in the ghost chiles, be careful when handling the chile. The salsa has a good amount of heat when eating!