Food

This Is How To Make All The Salsas On The Chipotle Menu

And the guacamole, too! AND YES OF COURSE THE RICE.

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Either way, I totally understand. And that's why I decided to re-create the recipes from Chipotle's entire menu, starting with the salsas, guac, and rice, below. This way, you feast on all of it — whenever (and wherever) you want.

But first, a few things to know about these recipes:

• They are not, I repeat, NOT certified Chipotle recipes. These recipes are very, very close approximations, inspired by Chipotle — that I came to after testing, re-testing, and testing again.

• They are designed to be easy for you to make at home so you never have to leave your house ever again. (Except, you know, to get the ingredients.)

• They are extremely delicious and you'll want to make them again and again.

Let's just dive right in here, people. This rice is herby, and citrusy, and just really, really great with just about everything.

The best part about this guacamole is EVERYTHING. Be sure to use ripe avocados because if they're underripe, they will be impossible to smash.

To make it: Combine halved, pitted avocados in a medium bowl.

And using a fork (or a wooden spoon! Or your hands!), mash until it's the texture of your guacamole dreams. That could mean ~kinda chunky~ or *super smooth*.

Season with salt and pepper, then stir to mix everything super well.

You might even want to use a little more lime juice, which is totally acceptable. Guacamole is a totally personal experience.

This salsa is super mild and not at all spicy. Think of poblanos as a better-tasting bell pepper. I also happen to know from personal experience that if you make a huge batch of it, it keeps really well in the fridge for a whole week.

Oh, and you can also use frozen corn. There is no shame in frozen corn.

Start by charring poblano peppers over a flame (or broil them in the oven) until they are blackened all over. Then place them in a bowl and cover with plastic. (This steams them, which helps the skin come off easier.)

Finely chop all the peppers. (You can keep the seeds in if you like.)

This salsa is made with dried chiles called guajillo. You can use New Mexican chiles as well; both are pretty easy to find. On a spicy scale, the chiles are about a medium-hot, so this salsa won't light you on fire or anything.

To make it: Toast the chiles over an open flame (or under a broiler) for a few minutes until they start to get a little smoky and toasted on the outside. Place them in a small pot with tomatillos, garlic, and water.

Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook until chiles are totally softened and the tomatillos start to burst a little, about eight to ten minutes.

Place the tomatillos, chiles, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor with fresh lime juice, Tabasco, ground cumin, and half a cup of the water you simmered the vegetables in.

Blend until smooth, then season with salt. If you like your salsa a little thinner, you can add a bit more water.

This medium-hot salsa gets its heat from the jalapeño. BUT! If you don't dig the heat, it's still really worth making because it's so fresh and delicious. Just remove the seeds from the jalapeño before using for a less-spicy kick.

To make it: Combine tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, tomato, and two cups water in a medium pot.

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Simmer until all the vegetables are tender and the tomatillos have started to burst (but are not yet falling apart), 8–10 minutes. You can tell the tomatillos are ready when they start to turn a kind of army green color.

Place the tomatillos, tomato, and onion in the bowl of a food processor with cilantro, lime juice, dried oregano, and ground cumin.

Blend until smooth, then season with salt.

Since this is the most basic of all salsas, this one will only be as good as your tomatoes. If they aren't in season, try to find the hothouse ones on the vine — they'll be your best bet for the ripest, brightest, and juiciest.

This vinaigrette is a little spicy, a little sweet, and good on pretty much anything. I've even used it as a marinade for chicken with mind-blowingly delicious results.

To make it: Combine lime juice, vegetable oil, water, chipotles, honey, oregano, and garlic in a food processor and blend 'til ~totally smooth~ and creamy.

If you don't own a food processor, finely chop all the ingredients, then whisk together. The end result will be a little chunkier, but still delicious.

CILANTRO RICE

Recipe by Alison Roman

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
1 cup white or brown jasmine rice

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
Combine rice, bay leaves, and 1 ½ cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Let rice cook until nearly all the water is absorbed, 20–25 minutes. Remove lid, fluff rice with a fork, and cover. Let it sit to absorb any steam/excess water at least 10 minutes.

Once rice has ~rested~, add cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice, and season with salt.

GUACAMOLE

Recipe by Alison Roman

Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS
4 avocados, halved and pitted

½ small red onion, finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS
Using a fork or whatever avocado-smashing implement you desire, smash avocados to desired texture. (Some like it chunky, some like it smooth.) Add onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice, and season with salt. Taste it; add more lime juice or salt if you like.

DO AHEAD: Guacamole can be made one day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

PRO TIP: Place plastic wrap directly on surface of guacamole to prevent it from turning brown.

ROASTED CHILE-CORN SALSA

Recipe by Alison Roman

Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 poblano peppers

3 cups corn (from 4 ears or 1 10 oz package, thawed)

½ red onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
Using tongs, char peppers over a gas flame until they're all black and blistered, about 4 minutes per side. (If you don't have a gas flame, you can char them under a broiler, turning them occasionally, until they're blackened and blistered, about 5 minutes per side.)

Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic (or place them in a large Ziploc bag) and let sit for 10 minutes.

Gently peel away the skin of the peppers (resist the urge to run them under cold water), remove the stem and seeds, and finely chop.

Add the peppers to a large bowl along with corn, red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, lime juice, and some salt. Toss everything together and season with more salt and lime juice, if you like.

DO AHEAD: Corn salsa can be made five days ahead, covered and refrigerated.

TOMATILLO RED-CHILE SALSA

Recipe by Alison Roman

Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS
3 guajillo or New Mexican chiles, stems removed

½ pound tomatillos, husks removed

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp. Tabasco hot sauce

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
Using scissors, snip the dried chiles into 1-inch rings over a medium pot (to catch the seeds). Add tomatillos and 2 cups water and simmer 'til totally tender and softened, 8–10 minutes (some of the water will evaporate, this is OK).

Remove chiles and tomatillos with a slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl of a food processor or blender and add garlic, lime juice, Tabasco, and cumin. Puree until smooth, adding a little of the tomatillo cooking liquid as needed to get a smooth salsa, then season with salt.


DO AHEAD:
Salsa can be made 1 week ahead, wrapped and chilled.

GREEN-CHILE TOMATILLO SALSA

Recipe by Alison Roman

Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS
½ pound tomatillos, husks removed

1 medium tomato

1 jalapeño

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
Simmer tomatillos, tomato, jalapeño, and 2 cups water in a medium sauce pot until tomatillos have turned olive green and are almost bursting, 8–10 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor or blender with cilantro, lime juice, oregano, and cumin. Process until smooth, then season with salt.


DO AHEAD:
Salsa can be made 1 week ahead, wrapped and chilled.

FRESH TOMATO SALSA

Recipe by Alison Roman

Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped

½ small red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice, and season with salt.

DO AHEAD: Salsa can be made 3 days ahead.

CHIPOTLE-HONEY VINAIGRETTE

Recipe by Alison Roman

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS
2 canned chipotles en adobo

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup water

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ tsp dried oregano

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Combine chipotles, honey, lime juice, vegetable oil, oregano, garlic, and ¼ cup water in the bowl to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: This vinaigrette can be made one week ahead, wrapped and chilled.

For the full post on how to create ~Chipotle's whole menu~, head here. For just the meat recipes (read: the important things), head here.