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Jun 24, 2011 08:56 AM

Uses For Dried Ancho Powder? I just bought a pound!

I recently made a SC mustard-based bbq sauce that called for ancho powder, alas, I had none on hand so I used Chili 3000 from Penzey's. While the result was tasty, I know it didn't do the recipe justice. So, I went to Amazon and ordered a 1 pound jar from McCormick's.
I'm thinking to use it in rubs, chili and this particular bbq sauce, but are there any applications where the ground ancho really shines or really makes a difference in comparison to other dried peppers?
Thanks all!

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  1. Sounds tasty, wish I had a chance to try your bbq sauce! Ideas: Anything mexican. Pizza, pasta, vegetables, popcorn? Invent a new dip and add the ancho powder.

    1 Reply
    1. re: S_K

      Popcorn is a great idea. I love making my own- can't eat the microwave stuff any more.

    2. A pound of Ancho chile powder?!?!??? Wow, that'll last almost forever :-). I like ancho chile powder. It's got a nice mild, somewhat nutty, flavor to it and will add enough heat without smacking you over the head with it.

      Since we're now officially in summer and grilling season, try this recipe for Rick Bayless' Roadside Chicken - It uses a reasonable amount of grd. ancho powder. It's an easy recipe and the results are delicious.

      Other ideas:

      * Use in Chili

      * Sprinkle on a buttered ear of corn

      * Slice a mango, squeeze on some lime juice and sprinkle on the chile powder

      * Slice up some jicama, squeeze on the lime juice and sprinkle w/ancho powder

      * Add to grd. meat along with salt, pepper, garlic and tomatoes to make a quick taco filling

      * Sprinkle on a plain cheese quesadilla

      * Sprinkle it on cottage cheese

      * Stir a little into a cup of hot cocoa

      * Add to your favorite brownie mix

      * Add to chocolate ice cream base

      * Make a spritz cookie dough subbing some of the liquid with lemon or lime juice, then stir in up to a teaspoon of grd. ancho powder

      * Spice up french dressing with it

      * Add it to twice baked potatoes

      Ancho chile powder can be subbed in recipes calling for paprika or cayenne. You can also sub it in for smoked paprika, but you'll loose some of the smokiness.

      You'll find it has an affinity for cheese, chocolate and fruit.

      While it works just fine with beef, I think it's a better match with pork and chicken

      It will work with almost any fish but I think better with the firmer fleshed and/or less delicate fish and some shellfish (such as shrimp


      Good luck, I'm sure you can come up with a lot of great ideas.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva

        I think mine lasted less than a year. I used it in Mexican food. or for anything calling for a chili powder blend, I will use some blend and some ancho. I often increase the total amount of chili powder anyway.

        1. re: cocktailhour

          Agree. I make rubs all the time, so it will be used actively.

          1. re: monavano

            I do this one a lot.

            4 oz. ground ancho
            2 oz. Kosher salt
            1 oz. cayenne
            1 oz. cumin
            1/4 oz. garlic powder

            1. re: Jay F

              Mine is similar. I add a bit of brown sugar and dried oregano.

      2. Bobby Flay has a ton of recipes that use Ancho chilis. Generally, I grind my own when I need some, so in some recipes you might need to adjust to taste since I suspect already ground will loose potency. Oh, and Alton Brown also has a chili powder recipe that uses a lot of ancho.

        All those recipes can be found on

        1. I use it for chili and dry rubs. It's not that hot, so I add cayenne or hot fresh chilis, depending. I can go through a pound fairly quickly, as I give people dry rubs as gifts.

          1. Here's a recipe in Spanish (ask for translation) for steak with a piloncillo and ancho glaze. Piloncillo is the Mexican raw sugar that comes in cones. Dark brown sugar and your powder could substitute.


            3 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              I made my husband translate most of it because I wanted to make it too :D Some of the directions are not clear, I'm pretty sure it's an American born Hispanic who wrote it since the spelling and grammar are iffy in a few parts so we did our best.

              PART A

              * salt and pepper to taste
              * 1 - 400g piece of New York steak
              * 100 ml water
              * 100 g piloncillo sugar
              * 2 pieces of ancho chile
              * 20 ml Sherry

              PART B

              * Microgreens to taste
              * 20 g garlic, sauteed until golden brown

              Steak: Salt and pepper the steak, cover it in a pan (did the person mean fry it? I would maybe grill it), then put it away to cool in the fridge.

              Grind together the rest of the ingredients in Part A. Then put it in a pot and reduce it until it is the consistency of honey. Reserve.

              Slice the meat into small pieces and then serve on the microgreens. Garnish with the garlic and sauce.

              1. re: S_K

                I focused on the ingredients of the glaze, and didn't pay much attention to cooking the steak itself. I imagine you could that as you want. I made up an ancho pilloncillo sauce like this (I'm not sure if it was this recipes or not), and used it for various meals.

                This video may feature the same chef,Edgar Nuñez

                1. re: paulj

                  Too true, the sauce would be worth it! I will try it too, thanks for sharing!