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Many people think that Latin American salsas and dips are necessarily hot, as in spicy hot, but this could not be further from the truth. Yes, some salsas can (and should, in my opinion) be spicy. But others have no hot peppers at all. Instead, the flavors are coaxed by roasting the ingredients, adding cream or milk to certain sauces and dips, or cooking the sauces "low and slow" like my chef instructor at culinary school in NYC would say. Granted, many salsas in Latin America have ingredients in common, like tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, yet each country has its own particular way of seasoning that makes them their own.

More from MamásLatinas: 20 Standout recipes featuring common Latin ingredients

To elevate your dishes, we have compiled a gallery of 40 essential and delicious salsas, dips and sauces. From adding chimichurri to your grilled meats, to smothering boiled potatoes with huancaina sauce, we hope you will be inspired to tackle some of the very easy recipes we are sharing with you. We've even thrown in a sweet recipe because, well, let's face it, desserts are an important part of the Latino cuisine, and what could be more delicious than the versatile dulce de leche!

I thought I knew all of the sauces and dips included in the list, but that is not the case. I actually learned a few brand new sauces that I cannot wait to try. For example, I had never heard of llajua, a beloved hot sauce in Bolivia, nor had I heard of chancho en piedra, a traditional Chilean sauce eaten with bread and empanadas, among other things. Ok, are you ready to check out these delicious recipes?

¡Buen provecho!

Cuban sofrito is the basis of many traditional recipes! 1

Cuban sofrito is the basis of many traditional recipes!

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This is a simple, but a mandatory sofrito that is the start of most Cuban dishes. You begin with onions, green peppers and garlic. From there, you can add other spices, depending on what you like.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Peruvian ají amarillo is the star ingredient for a traditional yellow, spicy sauce. 2

Peruvian ají amarillo is the star ingredient for a traditional yellow, spicy sauce.

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Not just because I am Peruvian, but I have to confess I'm addicted to this sauce. Yellow peppers are spicy, but also very flavorful. Next time you roast a chicken, accompany it with salsa de ají amarillo. I promise you will be delighted.

Get the full recipe at Peru Delights.

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Argentinian chimichurri is a must-ingredient to elevate your grilled meats. 3

Argentinian chimichurri is a must-ingredient to elevate your grilled meats.

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Bright and herbacious, this is a perfectly balanced salsa made with parsley and cilantro, although some recipes only use flat leaf parsley. Either way, it is delicious! Try it on your grilled chicken or beef next time.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

The quintessential pico de gallo had to be included in the list. 4

The quintessential pico de gallo had to be included in the list.

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Yes, you can have it with chips, but why not top off your perfectly grilled hamburger with a big spooful of this salsa for an added Latino twist?

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Salsa huancaina is another favorite Peruvian sauce. 5

Salsa huancaina is another favorite Peruvian sauce.

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I know, it has a peculiar name that can be hard to pronounce, but this yellow sauce is a favorite. It's creamy, spicy and tangy. A perfect addition to potatoes, yuca, or other starchy dishes. Try the recipe below!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Chancho en piedra, a Chilean salsa with an interesting name... 6

Chancho en piedra, a Chilean salsa with an interesting name...

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Translated literally, this sauce is called "pig on a stone." Funny name aside, this is the Chilean version of pico de gallo or chimichurri in Argentina. Easy to make, it's the perfect salsa for your grilled meats or empanadas.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Chile pasilla gives this sauce a mild but full flavor. Try this super easy recipe! 7

Chile pasilla gives this sauce a mild but full flavor. Try this super easy recipe!

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Combined with tomatillos, this salsa de pasilla pairs great with beef and chicken. For a vegetarian option, serve it with roasted carrots and cauliflower.

Get the full recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

Venezuelan creamy-style guasacaca is a must with arepas. 8

Venezuelan creamy-style guasacaca is a must with arepas.

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There's a little place in NYC that makes the best Venezuelan arepas. They have this sauce in bottles at every table. I can never get enough of it, so I learned how to make it at home!

Get the full recipe at Que Rica Vida.

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Ocopa is a delicious Peruvian sauce made with peanuts. Try it on fried yuca or boiled potatoes. 9

Ocopa is a delicious Peruvian sauce made with peanuts. Try it on fried yuca or boiled potatoes.

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Similar to huancaina sauce, but it delivers a different and unique flavor with peanuts and black mint, known as huacatay in Perú. This sauce is exotic and distinct.

Get the full recipe at Peru Delights.

Ají de uchuvas is a delicious Colombian hot sauce that you cannot go without. 10

Ají de uchuvas is a delicious Colombian hot sauce that you cannot go without.

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If you're lucky to find these gooseberries where you live, make sure you try this recipe. You can use it to elevate any dish, from empanadas to grilled chicken or arroz con pollo.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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If you like super hot sauce, this one is for you: Salsa habanera Yucatán-style. 11

If you like super hot sauce, this one is for you: Salsa habanera Yucatán-style.

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I, for one, like super spicy sauces. Habaneros also have a fruity taste, so this red sauce has a delicious flavor. Just remember, a little goes a long way!

Get the full recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

An enchilada sauce that I urge you to try for yourself! 12

An enchilada sauce that I urge you to try for yourself!

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Perfect sauce to slather over your enchiladas, and on top of that it is super easy to make.

Get the full recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

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Mango is such a versatile fruit; it is especially good when combined with avocado. 13

Mango is such a versatile fruit; it is especially good when combined with avocado.

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I worked in a Mexican restaurant as a line cook in NYC; one of the guacamoles we offered was a mango guacamole. I had never tried this combination before, and when I finally did, I was hooked!

Get full recipe at MamásLatinas.

Here's an easy and delicious chipotle salsa that you'll love. 14

Here's an easy and delicious chipotle salsa that you'll love.

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Chipotle salsa is a must in many Mexican households. There are slight variations on how to make it. We're sharing a short video showing you how you can make this yummy sauce.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Addicting spicy queso for your next party. Serve it with chips and crunchy veggies. 15

Addicting spicy queso for your next party. Serve it with chips and crunchy veggies.

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Melted spicy cheese with tomatoes and green chilies make for a delicious dip. If you want it less spicy, use a regular pasteurized cheese product instead of the pepperjack cheese.

Get the full recipe at My Recipes.

This avocado salsa is super creamy with the addition of sour cream or Mexican cream. Yum! 16

This avocado salsa is super creamy with the addition of sour cream or Mexican cream. Yum!

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This is another super easy no-cook salsa that you should try. It is especially great for kids, as the cream cuts the spiciness of the serrano chile.

Get the full recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

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Salsa golf originated in Mar del Plata, Argentina. It's a basic sauce, but it's actually a perfect balance of flavors. 17

Salsa golf originated in Mar del Plata, Argentina. It's a basic sauce, but it's actually a perfect balance of flavors.

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Also known as salsa rosada, this sauce pairs perfectly well with shrimp. Traditionally, it starts with homemade mayonnaise. I like to make it a little spicy by adding just a splash of Tabasco.

Get the full recipe at Serious Eats.

This roasted jalapeño salsa has an intense and rich flavor. 18

This roasted jalapeño salsa has an intense and rich flavor.

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The roasted jalapeño is the star of this salsa. It is packed with flavor and heat, and with just a couple of ingredients, it is very easy to make.

Ge the full recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

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Beautiful guajillo chiles are super delicious in this smoky sauce. 19

Beautiful guajillo chiles are super delicious in this smoky sauce.

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This sauce has a gorgeous deep red color due to the guajillo chiles, which impart a certain sweetness and smokiness, which is hard to resist.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

Here's another recipe utilizing mango. This salsa will be a hit at your next party! 20

Here's another recipe utilizing mango. This salsa will be a hit at your next party!

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Mango one of my favorite fruits, and I love combining it with simple ingredients like lime, onions and cilantro to make a refreshing salsa that is good any time of day.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Llajua is a tomato-based salsa that is always present at any Bolivian household. 21

Llajua is a tomato-based salsa that is always present at any Bolivian household.

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Llajua is refreshing and delicious. It is traditionally served with savory dishes like soups, grilled chicken or beef. Try to use fresh tomatoes for a bright-tasting sauce.

Get the full recipe at International Cuisine.

Try chipotle sour cream for a yummy twist on the traditional crema. 22

Try chipotle sour cream for a yummy twist on the traditional crema.

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This could not be easier to make. Basically, you are adding a new earthy flavor to the same old sour cream, and it goes great with tacos, enchiladas or even just plain chips.

Get the recipe at My Recipes.

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Peruvian huacatay is a delicious sauce that goes perfectly with rotisserie chicken. 23

Peruvian huacatay is a delicious sauce that goes perfectly with rotisserie chicken.

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Ají de huacatay is particularly delicious on pollo a la brasa. Although it is difficult to find fresh huacatay (Andean black mint) outside of Perú, you will most likely be able to find it in a can or jar at your local Latino market.

Get the full recipe at The Spruce Eats.

Any Colombian will tell you that creole sauce is a must in their delicious cuisine. 24

Any Colombian will tell you that creole sauce is a must in their delicious cuisine.

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We're sharing a Colombian creole sauce that will pair perfectly with your grilled or stewed meats. I cannot wait to try it!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Salsa "salu." I have never had this traditional Uruguayan sauce, but it sounds delicious! 25

Salsa

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This stove top sauce calls for ingredients like wine, chicken stock and two kinds of olives. I'm intrigued enough that I will have to make it very soon!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

Mexican salsa verde is one of my favorite toppings for enchiladas. 26

Mexican salsa verde is one of my favorite toppings for enchiladas.

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Enchiladas are probably my favorite dish when I'm in Mexico. I think my cousin makes the best in the whole country, and her salsa verde is to die for. I found a recipe that is very similar to hers, and it sounds delicious!

Get the full recipe at Mexican Food Journal.

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Salsa criolla. This is a basic salsa, but one that is absolutely necessary for certain dishes in Perú. 27

Salsa criolla. This is a basic salsa, but one that is absolutely necessary for certain dishes in Perú.

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If you have eaten Peruvian food, then you know all about salsa criolla. The key is that you must keep the onion crunchy! Check out this simple recipe to elevate any of your dishes.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

A recipe for a yummy adobo sauce from Guatemala; it is especially good with broiled meats. 28

A recipe for a yummy adobo sauce from Guatemala; it is especially good with broiled meats.

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This is a recipe that combines tomatillos, known as miltomates in Guatemala, and tomatoes. It is an adobo, which you use as a marinade for your meats. But it is so delicious, it can also be served tableside as a sauce.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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This sofrito is a staple in Dominican kitchens. 29

This sofrito is a staple in Dominican kitchens.

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This is the base for starting many delicious Dominican dishes, and it is so easy to prepare! Make a big batch and store it in the fridge.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

This is a perfect recipe for traditional guacamole purists. 30

This is a perfect recipe for traditional guacamole purists.

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There are several ways to make guacamole, but this is a simple recipe that is a winner. Serve it with chips or spread some on your American burger for a Mexican flair.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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This is the only salsa taquera recipe you will ever need! 31

This is the only salsa taquera recipe you will ever need!

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The best part of this salsa, aside from its awesome flavor, is that you can make it in 10 minutes. Please give it a try!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatlnas.

Use Colombian ají to elevate your day-to-day dishes. 32

Use Colombian ají to elevate your day-to-day dishes.

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This recipe for Colombian ají is easy, quick and delicious. You can enjoy it with basically any savory dish you make. Keep it in a well-sealed jar in the fridge for a few days.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Chocolate and spicy chiles make this a mouth-watering sauce that you cannot resist. 33

Chocolate and spicy chiles make this a mouth-watering sauce that you cannot resist.

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Mole is a super traditional sauce in Mexico. Each region has its own version. I have tasted quite a few good ones; I think for me it is the chocolate that makes them so irresistible.

Get the full recipe at AllRecipes.

Another Peruvian spicy sauce that is not for the faint of heart! 34

Another Peruvian spicy sauce that is not for the faint of heart!

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Crema de rocoto is a well known sauce that is very, very spicy. Some Peruvians will only have this sauce instead of ají amarillo, but I have to say I like both. Do you dare to try it?

Get the full recipe at The Spruce Eats.

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This homemade Mexican crema will always be better than the store-bought stuff. 35

This homemade Mexican crema will always be better than the store-bought stuff.

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I have to admit that I will not eat my street tacos without crema. Once I learned how to make Mexican crema at home, I always have it on hand.

Get the full recipe at Mexican Please.

Lima bean dip for a twist on traditional hummus. 36

Lima bean dip for a twist on traditional hummus.

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Lima beans originate in South America. They were a staple in my house growing up, but I never had them made into this smooth dip that is perfect to serve with crudites as an appetizer.

Get the full recipe at The Spruce Eats.

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Molho a campanha is a Brazilian salsa that pairs well with fish and grilled meats. 37

Molho a campanha is a Brazilian salsa that pairs well with fish and grilled meats.

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Similar to pico de gallo, this Brazilian salsa differs in that it has added cordiander and white vinegar for a refreshing and different taste.

Get the full recipe at Great British Chefs.

Ají verde is a spicy and tangy green sauce that I promise will elevate any of your dishes. 38

Ají verde is a spicy and tangy green sauce that I promise will elevate any of your dishes.

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Peruvian salsa verde goes so well with everything, honestly. I especially like it with arroz con pollo, fried yuca and always, always with my rotisserie chicken.

Get the full recipe at Daring Gourmet.

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This tomato fire roasted salsa won't last a day in your house! 39

This tomato fire roasted salsa won't last a day in your house!

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By roasting both the tomatoes and the jalapeños for this salsa, you'll extract rich and earthy flavors from these ingredients. This recipe will be a keeper, I promise!
 
Get the full recipe at Taste of Home.

And we end with my favorite sweet sauce: Dulce de leche! 40

And we end with my favorite sweet sauce: Dulce de leche!

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My family knows to keep dulce de leche away from me because I am literally addicted to this yummy sugary sauce. It is very easy to make, and is a versatile addition to any dessert.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.