RECIPE: Make Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Chipotle Salsa

Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Chipotle Salsa
Courtesy of Barbara Brown
Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Chipotle Salsa Courtesy of Barbara Brown

Credit: Barbara Brown

Credit: Barbara Brown

I love the chipotle salsa at Willy’s. I’ve tried to find a similar one in stores but none replicate the taste. I even tried to make my own at home. (Note to self: two whole jalapenos is two too many.) Thanks. — Byron Harrison, Marietta

There are four salsas available at Willy’s Mexicana Grill: pico de gallo, tomatillo, chipotle and habanero. Diana Holley, vice president of marketing for Willy’s Mexicana Grill, tells us chipotle is so popular that the company serves 25,000 gallons of it every year. That’s about 800 gallons a year across the 31 Willy’s locations in Atlanta, Athens, Cartersville, Columbus and Peachtree City.

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This salsa has been on the menu since 2002. If you want to match the restaurant version, the chefs at Willy’s recommend Embasa brand chipotle peppers. This salsa will keep up to five days when stored in the refrigerator.

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Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Chipotle Salsa
Courtesy of Darin Schaffer
Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Chipotle Salsa Courtesy of Darin Schaffer

Credit: Darin Schaffer

Credit: Darin Schaffer

Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Chipotle Salsa
  • 6 small or 4 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle peppers, packed in adobo
  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile de arbol hot sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Core tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Arrange cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until tomatoes have completely softened and skins have charred. If desired, at this point, turn tomatoes over and broil until skins have blackened. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • In the jar of a blender, puree tomato juice and chipotle peppers. Add roasted tomatoes and canned tomatoes and process just enough to break up tomatoes to the texture you prefer. Move the tomato mixture to a large bowl and add hot sauce, vinegar, salt and smoked paprika. Taste for seasoning. May be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Makes 2 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per tablespoon: 8 calories (percent of calories from fat, 1), trace protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 82 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... Willy’s Mexicana Grill, 4250 Roswell Road, Marietta. 770-973-1726,

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