Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)

Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken) – A Latin inspired dish with big personality. Healthy, hearty and habit-forming… in a good way.

Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)
Pin it on Pinterest!

I have a certain endearment to chile peppers.

Although I love spicy food, that is not the reason for my appreciation. My love for chiles has more to do with their color, intensity, versatility and universal appeal.

Every country, every culinary endeavor throughout history, has been affected by the chile pepper. Even European cuisine, although generally considered mild and rich, has been deeply influenced by this ancient self-pollinating crop.

In certain regions, chiles have a long legacy as a dietary staple. Yet, once Columbus discovered the American varieties of chile peppers, their influence literally took over the world.

Making Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

More than just heat, chile peppers lend vibrance to otherwise boring dishes. They offer deep smoky flavor, sweetness, and even the acidic note that certain dishes need.

As for versatility, chile peppers are used for all sorts of things around the world including: warding off pests in fields, as dyes, and to keep feet warm in socks. Loaded with Vitamin C and Capsaicin, (a powerful antioxidant) they are thought to cure:

  • Migraines
  • Sinus Issues
  • intestinal disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Cancer
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Toothaches
  • Joint Pain
  • Promote Weight Loss

I love to grow fresh peppers in the summer. But this time of year, I rely heavily on the dried varieties.

How to Make Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

I recently bought a large bag of red “New Mexico” Chiles at the grocery store. It was somewhat of a perplexing experience, because the bag labeled “New Mexico” chiles read “Grown in Mexico” in small print.

Directly next to them on the shelf were bags of identical-looking “California” chiles, “Grown in Peru.” You see the problem here?

Sometimes when you buy chiles in bulk, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting.

What I discovered was that these red chiles are all Anaheims. The heat may vary a tad, due to the climate in which they are grown. Yet they are the same pepper, and are considered the standard chile pepper for Latin-American and Southwest cooking.

Reconstituting dried chiles unleashes a mass of flavor and untold possibilities.

This easy Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken), a simple chicken mole recipe features a bold, deeply smokey, and mildly spicy, red pepper sauce, made out of reconstituted New Mexico chiles.

Healthy Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

I sautéed some thinly sliced chicken cutlets and blanketed them with warm vivid red pepper sauce.

The red pepper sauce offers a rustic quality with a touch of sweetness that makes the chicken ridiculously exciting. It’s a brilliant sauce for the Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken) but is fantastic on beef and pork as well.

This Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken) recipe is a family favorite, full of healthy goodness and spice!

Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

More Latin-Inspired Dishes:

Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken) Recipe

Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)

Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken) - A Latin-inspired dish with big personality! This chicken mole recipe is healthy, hearty and habit-forming.

Servings: 4
Nutrition Facts
Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)
Amount Per Serving (8 ounces)
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 154mg 51%
Sodium 682mg 28%
Potassium 1436mg 41%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 17g
Protein 53g 106%
Vitamin A 33.5%
Vitamin C 278.2%
Calcium 5%
Iron 19.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


For the Red Pepper Mole:
For the Red Pepper Chicken:
  • 2 pounds chicken cutlets (thinly sliced breast meat)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Prepare a bowl of boiling hot water. Place the chiles in the water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes, until soft to the touch.

  2. Remove the stems, seeds, and membranes, rinsing each pepper in the bowl. Then place in a food processor

  3. Add the garlic cloves and half the chicken stock. Puree until smooth. Then add the cumin, honey, vinegar, salt and remaining stock. Puree again until smooth. Taste and salt again if needed. The sauce should have a very intense flavor, but not be overly spicy if the seeds and membranes are properly removed.
  4. Heat a large to medium-high heat. Pat the chicken cutlets dry and salt the pepper on both sides.
  5. Add the oil and butter to the skillet. Once melted, place half the cutlets in the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  6. To serve: Warm the red pepper sauce and pour over the chicken. Garnish with cilantro leaves or queso fresco.

Share This Recipe With Friends!

Other Great Recipes

You May Also Like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

54 comments on “Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)

  1. Melissaposted August 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm Reply

    I followed to recipe to the t, but it looks nothing like the photo. The sauce turned out watery for me. Any suggestions?

    • Sommerposted August 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm Reply

      Hey Melissa, I’m not sure why that would have happened. But what I would do to thicken the sauce is to place a sieve over a bowl and line in with a paper towel. Pour the sauce into the sieve and drain until the desired consistency is reached.

      Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Nikposted April 28, 2012 at 9:07 am Reply

    Recipe looks fabulous. Found it on Pinterest. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. Pingback: Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes | TidyMom

  4. Jennyposted February 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm Reply

    I just made the sauce and it’s watery. Is there a thickening agent you used? I used 1 cup stock and the other ingredients and it’s not thick like the picture.

  5. RisaGposted February 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I am a card-carrying Chile-Head and adore them all – from the mildest to the hottest – and this looks wonderful to me.

  6. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidenceposted January 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm Reply

    YUM!! I make a similar sauce for chilequiles :)

  7. Aileenposted January 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm Reply

    I could almost smell the spicy goodness of this dish :-)

  8. Monetposted January 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm Reply

    As has already been said, the color of that sauce is amazing! And I’m sure it tastes even better! This looks so tasty…I just wish we lived closer. Thank you for making me smile after a long day at work…sorry I haven’t stopped by sooner. I’ve been adjusting to my crazy-busy schedule. Hugs and love!

  9. Ken Scrivnerposted January 16, 2012 at 11:29 am Reply

    I’m heading out the door right now to buy a batch of those wonderful pepper.

  10. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yumposted January 16, 2012 at 9:30 am Reply

    Yumm! Looks awesome!!!

  11. vianneyposted January 16, 2012 at 12:42 am Reply

    You can never go wrong with chiles.. great round up of latin inspired dishes…

  12. Katrinaposted January 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm Reply

    Yum! I’ve never bought those bags of dried chilis but I’m going to have to try this–looks delicious!

  13. Carrieposted January 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm Reply

    Wow, this is a beautiful dish! I just love the red color of the sauce. Looks fantastic.

  14. Jen at The Three Little Pigletsposted January 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm Reply

    It is pretty amazing what you can do with chilies! I love that they’re so unbelievably packed with flavor and yet so inexpensive. One of the best bargains in the market if you ask me…

  15. Kim Beeposted January 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm Reply

    This is gorgeous, I cannot get over how vibrant this dish is. Your photos are stunning.

  16. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted January 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm Reply

    I saw this photo and then read your description. I was grasping for the words but you said it right. This looks like it has tons of personality. Yum! The colors are terrific. Dinner at your house must be so fun!

  17. Dmarieposted January 14, 2012 at 5:44 am Reply

    oh, that looks delish!

  18. sweetsugarbelleposted January 14, 2012 at 4:01 am Reply

    I use red chiles all the time for enchiladas! This is wonderful!!!

  19. Katieposted January 14, 2012 at 2:54 am Reply

    I can’t get peppers like that here, but I can get jars of roasted pimientos, which will be perfect for this – the hubs can add Tabasco (which is the only hot sauce we can get LOL)

  20. leslieposted January 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm Reply

    Ohhh sweet..so I can live n peppers and not have migraines?? That would be wonderful! What a beautiful and tasty dish!

  21. Suzanneposted January 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm Reply

    Wow, simple and beautiful my kind of cooking, thanks for the inspiration :).

  22. Jersey Girl Cooksposted January 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm Reply

    Great sauce. Bookmarked!

  23. Mariaposted January 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm Reply

    Love that sauce!

  24. Wenderlyposted January 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm Reply

    I could inhale this every. single. day. *love*

  25. Memoriaposted January 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm Reply

    This dish reminds me of Pollo adobado. YUM! The sauce looks amazing.

  26. Amyposted January 13, 2012 at 7:17 am Reply

    Oh Sommer! This is making me drool, even early in the morning. I bought some dried chiles that have been hanging out in my pantry. Looks like I should get them out and get to cooking. YUM!

  27. marlaposted January 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm Reply

    The color of this sauce is amazing I bet the flavor is even better! Nice to know the heat is manageable. Wish you could cook me dinner!

  28. betiposted January 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm Reply

    I love your food, all the spices mixed together. The food simply looks amazing un every single post and this chicken is no exception

  29. Pattyposted January 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm Reply

    We would love this for dinner!

  30. Caraposted January 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm Reply

    Such simple ingredients yet tons of flavor… love it!

  31. Baking Serendipityposted January 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm Reply

    I am sometimes a wuss when it comes to spicy foods, but my husband loves them. He would go crazy for this chicken…and I love the bright red color in it! Definitely bookmarking for a surprise dinner :)

  32. torviewtorontoposted January 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm Reply

    delicious looking colourful presentation

  33. LivedinItalyposted January 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm Reply

    One tried and true source for New Mexico chiles is http://www.hatchchilefest.com/index.php.

  34. Deannaposted January 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm Reply

    Yum! We grow chiles year round, and we normally have 8-10 different varieties of dried. I love the sound of this dish!

  35. Bonnie Kposted January 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm Reply

    Heaven! I love chiles. I will definitely want to prepare this dish.

  36. Kristaposted January 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm Reply

    This is beautiful and so simple! My hubby would absolutely love this dish. And I don’t doubt I would probably have seconds!

  37. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted January 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm Reply

    What a beautiful recipe, Sommer! The chicken looks so moist and that sauce on top make ‘the pollo” even more delicious. Have a great day!

    HUGS <3

  38. [email protected]posted January 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm Reply

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love that this REALLY uses the peppers and doesn’t just sprinkle some piddle amount of flakes or something in it. Buzzed!

  39. domesticallyineptposted January 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm Reply

    Fabulous! The color is amazing!

  40. Jeanetteposted January 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm Reply

    I love all peppers – this eye popping Red Pepper Sauce is gorgeous!

  41. Paula- bell'alimentoposted January 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm Reply

    Oh Sommer, Swoon! I adore pollo rojo! Wishing I had that for lunch right about NOW.

  42. My German Kitchen...in the Rockiesposted January 12, 2012 at 11:59 am Reply

    We have a favorite Restaurant in Santa Fe, NM that has the best red chili sauce ever. That is a least what my husband says. He is the expert. We buy it in bulk and bring it home with us whenever we make it down there. Somehow I never thought of trying to make it myself. Don’t ask me why. It looks so easy. I will have to make yours and compare it. Thanks for the inspiration. Kirsten

  43. Curtposted January 12, 2012 at 11:50 am Reply

    Awesome recipe. That’s a lot of cumin. Just the way I like it!

  44. Britneyposted January 12, 2012 at 10:21 am Reply

    This looks like a beautiful recipe, and I love that you served black beans! I grew up eating chilies and love seeing them used this way!

  45. Belinda @zomppaposted January 12, 2012 at 10:12 am Reply

    I agree with you. And all the benefits of chili make it even hotter to have!

  46. Italian Notesposted January 12, 2012 at 10:09 am Reply

    I really have to try this, although my dried peppers are incredibly hot.

    • Sommerposted January 12, 2012 at 11:03 am Reply

      These chiles are hot if you leave the seeds and membranes in. When removed, they are mild and smokey.

  47. Gina @ Running to the Kitchenposted January 12, 2012 at 8:50 am Reply

    Gorgeous. I want to make something with them for that color alone!

  48. Lizposted January 12, 2012 at 8:40 am Reply

    Beautiful, healthy AND yummy!!!

  49. Bev Weidnerposted January 12, 2012 at 8:38 am Reply

    You’ve inspired me. BOOKMARKED. I’m freaking out.

  50. Cassie @ Bake Your Dayposted January 12, 2012 at 8:37 am Reply

    I would kill for this. It looks amazing. The honey sounds like a great touch!

  51. the wicked noodleposted January 12, 2012 at 8:09 am Reply

    I want to eat that entire plate of food RIGHT NOW. I adore all things chile peppers and this dish looks absolutely amazing! Not to mention the gorgeous photos!

  52. Kiri W.posted January 12, 2012 at 8:18 am Reply

    Mmm, looks amazing! I love red peppers, and cumin sounds like a grand way to accentuate them! I imagine this must pack such a flavor punch :) Looks wodnerful, I really need to expand my Latin cooking horizon!