Salsa Escabeche

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Yield: 4 cups

Time: 15 minutes

Need a quick salsa to serve at your party?

This Salsa Escabeche ["ess-ka-bey-chay"] is easy to make and tastes freshly homemade, all with ingredients from your pantry. Using a can of traditional Escabeche Mexican Pickled Vegetables and some diced tomatoes, you'll have fresh salsa in no time!

For my birthday this year, my friend, Isabel, gifted me this incredible cookbookNopalito by Chef Gonzalo Guzman. I sat and read through the whole book immediately! If you didn’t know, Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines to eat and cook for a good reason. Mexican cuisine has incredibly diverse flavors, spices, aromas, textures, acidity and tastes. This cookbook did not let me down with such an array of recipes to offer, including the inspiration for this one – Salsa Escabeche.

Escabeche within Mexican cuisine simply means “pickled.” Instead of cucumbers, we’re using pickled jalapeños with sliced carrot and onion.

I should warn you, the recipe is not for the faint of heart and packs a good punch. But it was so delicious, I couldn't stop torturing myself.

You can use regular chili powder if you can’t find Guajillo Chili Powder. With that said, I recommend trying to get your hands on some… I buy mine at Savory Spice Shop in Greensboro off of Lawndale Drive.

Guajillo Chili Powder adds the perfect touch to this recipe to round out the chili flavors. It’s one of my top 5 favorite spices to use.

In a reverse-psychology manner, but in culturally Mexican tradition, I have learned in my trials and tribulations of cooking authentic Mexican food that the more types of peppers you add to a dish, the fuller and more balanced the chili flavors become. So find yourself some Guajillio chili powder – I just know you’re going to love it!

If heat entices you, as it does me, don't be afraid to use each jalapeño from the can for this recipe. Just be sure to deseed them before pouring everything in!

And if you turns out too spicy, pulse in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to help sweeten things up. Saludos!


  • 16 ounces Jalapeños Curtidos with carrots and onion*

  • 16 ounces diced tomatoes with juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon Guajillo Chili Powder, or regular chili powder

  • Pinch of salt


Drain the vinegar juices from the Jalapeños Curtidos into a blender or food processor. Carefully deseed the jalapeños by cutting of the stems and then slicing them in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and put jalapeños into the blender. (If wary of the spiciness, withhold 4-5 jalapeños.) Pour the remainder of the jar (pickled onion and carrot) into the blender with diced tomatoes and chili powder.

Pulse blender until chunky. Add a pinch of salt to taste as needed.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight jar for up to 5 days.

Recipe inspired by Chef Gonzalo Guzman & his book, Nopalito.

*I used 1 can of La Costena Green Pickled Jalapeno Peppers for this recipe, but you can also use your own pickled jalapeños or find another brand. Keep a jar in your pantry, along with a few cans of diced tomatoes to make this on the fly.

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Chelsea Boccardo Smith

Chelsea is the creator and founder of At Chelsea's. She enjoys sharing home entertaining tips, recipes, and menu ideas. Find time saving checklists & party planning guides on her Etsy shop. When she's not writing about her most recent party, she's out trying a new restaurant or taking her dog, Amber, for a long walk.
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