New Mexico Chile vs Guajillo: A Comparison

Chiles are a staple in many cuisines around the world, and in the southwestern United States and Mexico, they play a particularly vital role. Two chiles that often find themselves in the spotlight are the New Mexico Chile and the Guajillo chile.

New Mexico Chile vs Guajillo: A Comparison

While they share similar uses in cooking, they each bring their unique flavors and characteristics to the table.

New Mexico Chile

New Mexico chile peppers are grown in the state of New Mexico and are known for their unique flavor and heat profile. They have a sweet, earthy flavor with a hint of smoke. New Mexico chile peppers can be red or green, depending on when they are harvested.

Red chile peppers are ripe when they are harvested, while green chile peppers are unripe. New Mexico chile peppers are a popular ingredient in New Mexican cuisine and are often used in dishes such as green chile stew, burritos, and enchiladas.

Read – How to Make New Mexico Red Chile Sauce


Guajillo chili peppers are a type of dried Mexican chile pepper. They are made from dried mirasol chili peppers. Guajillo chili peppers have an earthy, fruity flavor with a slightly smoky undertone. Guajillo chili peppers are often used in Mexican cuisine to make sauces, moles, and stews.

CharacteristicNew Mexico ChileGuajillo
Heat levelMediumMedium
FlavorSweet, earthy, smokyEarthy, fruity, slightly smoky
ColorRed or greenDeep red
TextureSmooth, leatherySlightly wrinkled
Common usesGreen chile stew, burritos, enchiladasSalsas, moles, stews
Differences between New Mexico Chile and Guajillo

Which one is right for you?

Both New Mexico chile and guajillo are delicious and versatile chile peppers. If you are looking for a chile pepper with a sweet, earthy flavor and a hint of smoke, then New Mexico chile is a good choice. If you are looking for a chile pepper with an earthy, fruity flavor and a slightly smoky undertone, then guajillo is a good choice.

Here are some tips for using New Mexico chile and guajillo in your cooking:

  • To rehydrate New Mexico chile or guajillo peppers, simply remove the stems and seeds and soak them in hot water for 15-30 minutes, or until they are soft.
  • Once the chile peppers are rehydrated, you can chop them, mince them, or puree them.
  • New Mexico chile and guajillo peppers can be added to a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, sauces, salsas, and ground beef or chicken.
  • If you are looking for a milder flavor, start with a small amount of chile pepper and add more to taste.

Common Uses

The culinary applications of these chiles differ as well. New Mexico chiles are commonly used in dishes like green chile stew, salsas, and enchiladas, where their mild heat and subtle flavor shine. Guajillo chiles, with their moderate heat and rich flavor, are frequently used in Mexican cuisine to create salsas, moles, and adobo sauces.

New Mexico chiles and Guajillo chiles may both be staples in the southwestern and Mexican kitchen, but their differences in flavor, heat, and usage make each chile unique.

Whether you prefer the sweet, earthy notes of New Mexico chiles or the fruity, smoky complexity of Guajillo chiles, there’s a place for both of these flavorful peppers in the world of spicy cuisine. The next time you’re in the kitchen, consider experimenting with these chiles to discover the distinct flavors they can bring to your dishes.