This salsa cayena is one of the sauces that are traditionally served with empanadas in Argentina. This version contains tomatoes and red chillies, which gives it its vibrant red colour.

375 ml



Skill level

Average: 3.1 (12 votes)


  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 fresh small red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp aji molido (see Note) (optional)
  • 3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) olive oil
  • salt, black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cut the tomatoes in half and grate the flesh, discarding the skin. Chop the onion and garlic. Mix together, then add the chilli, aji molido, if using, cayenne pepper, oil, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.


• Aji molido is a very common condiment in Argentinian cuisine, made from dried capsicum flakes. It can be found in Argentinian grocery stores.


Recipe and image from Argentinian Street Food, Enrique Zanoni & Gaston Stivelmaher (Murdoch Books, $29.99, hbk)