Authentic Albuquerque
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Pineapple SalsaHere's a few recipes for traditional and contemporary New Mexican appetizers. Try serving these dips with blue corn tortilla chips.  

Chile con Queso

(chil-ee kahn KEHso)
Chile and melted cheese mixed together make the ultimate party dip!
  • 8 oz pasteurized processed cheese (cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup green chile sauce
Microwave cheese chunks and milk for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to achieve a creamy consistency. Strain excess liquid from green chile sauce. Add green chile sauce and microwave until desired temperature (approximately 40 seconds) Yields about 2 cups and is excellent as both a party dip and as a delicious topping for eggs, hamburgers and chicken.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe courtesy of El Pinto Restaurant,



This classic dip is a mashed, spiced avocado, usually with chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, lime and chile. For greatest flavor, appearance, and keeping quality, always cut avocados into coarse chunks. Do not mash the avocado or puree it in a food processor.
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice or to taste
  • 1 medium-size tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Spanish onion
  • 1 medium-size jalapeño chile, minced
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Halve and pit the avocados, scoop pulp into a bowl. Coarsely shop with two knives. Add salt and garlic, add lime juice
to taste. Fold in tomato, onion, chile, and cilantro. Let stand a few minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Makes 2 cups.

Recipe courtesy of Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen,

Salsa Fresca

Salsa is generally an uncooked mixture of chiles/peppers, tomatoes, and onions. This refreshing sauce can be as mild or hot as you like, depending on the chiles used.
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or 2 green onions, including tops, chopped
  • 4 green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped, or 1 4oz can chopped green chiles, or 2 to 4 fresh jalapeño chiles, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Marinate at least 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
Variation: Black Bean Salsa: Add 3/4 cup cooked black beans.
Recipe courtesy of Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen,


Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

(pee-koh day di-yoh) 
Pico de gallo pee-koh day di-yoh: Spanish for “rooster’s beak,” pico de gallo is a relish made of finely chopped ingredients like jicama, onions, chiles/peppers, tomatoes and various seasonings. This condiment was so named because it was once purportedly eaten with the thumb and finger, an action that resembles a rooster’s pecking beak.
Recipe provided by Gwyneth Doland, Albuquerque’s Cuisine Expert. She likes to make this salsa in the summer when she can find red, yellow, orange and green tomatoes at one of Albuquerque’s many farmers markets. Try it with chips or sprinkled over fajitas, fish tacos or grilled chicken breasts.

  • 2 cups diced tomatoes of mixed colors
  • 2 jalapeños — stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the jalapeños, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.
Makes 2 1/2  to 3 cups. 

Recipe courtesy of ABQ Cuisine Expert Gwyneth Doland,


Sweet Pear Pineapple Salsa

This sweet salsa combines the mellow flavor of pear with pineapple and the tart craisins or dried cranberries. The chile pulls all of the flavors together. Pork, poultry or seafood are each equally good with this salsa.

  • 1 Anjou or Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or craisins
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pequin quebrado, or more to taste

In a nonreactive bowl, combine the pear, pineapple, cranberries, and chile. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 2 1/2 cups or 4 generous servings.

Recipe courtesy of Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen,