Costeno Rojo Chiles

Costeno Rojo Chiles
Costeno Rojo Chiles
100933 003
Net Weight:
1 oz
Select Size:

What are Costeno Rojo Chiles

Costeno Chile (pronounced “co-stain-yo”), Capsicum annuum, is also called chile Costeno, chili Costeno, or Costeno Pepper.

There are approximately 20 chiles per ounce.

Costeno Chiles are a very hard to find chile outside of Mexico and are also one of the Mexican chiles that is referred to by one name when dried and another when fresh (i.e. jalapeno in its fresh state and Chipotle when dried). When growing fresh, these chiles are typically referred to as "bandeno" (refers to the bank of a river) or "casero" (translates to "homemade"). This chile may also be spelled costena. Costeno chiles are one of three dried varieties of Mirasol chiles, with the other two being the better known Guajillo Chile and the lesser known Puya Chile.

As with most landrace chiles, there are numerous variations, and the Costeño Rojo is no exception. Landrace chiles are a locally adapted, traditional variety of chile that has developed over time, through adaptation to its natural environment. Landrace chiles may be similar (or closely related) to other chiles from a nearby area. Some farmers grow cultivars of Costeno Rojo that are about 1.5" long by .5" wide, while others are between 2" to 3" long while being a bit slenderer. Our supply typically comes in at 2.75"- 3" long by 1" - 1.5" wide. No matter where they're grown, they all tend to be relatively hot and somewhat fruity. There are also several colors of Costeno Chiles – red, called Costeno Rojo, and yellow, called Costeno Amarillo. We carry the Costeno Rojo Chile.

Chile historians believe that the Costeno Rojo is native to the Jimiltepec District area in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and has long been used to flavor the fiery southern coastal dishes. Costeno Rojo roughly translates to red coastal, referencing its origin near the seacoast of southwestern Mexico and also differentiating it from the yellow (Amarillo) version of this same chile.


What do Costeno Chiles Taste Like

A nutty complexity with fruity notes, grassy, soapy undertones, and intense, lingering heat.


Are Costeno Chiles Hot

These chiles are considered a medium heat chile and come it at 5,000 to 15,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).


What Are Costeno Rojo Chiles Used For

This versatile chile plays a starring role in salsa de chile costeno (chile costeno salsa), a fiery red salsa. The chiles are popular in the Oaxaca and Guerrero regions of Mexico, and in addition to salsa are used to add an authentic piquant "boost" to southern Mexican cooked moles, tamales, sauces and stews.


Costeno Rojo Chile Substitution

A good substitute for the Costeno Rojo Chiles (5,000 – 15,000 SHU) is its close cousin Guajillo Chiles (2,500 to 5,000 SHU) although this is a milder chile. If you are looking for something with a similar flavor profile and heat level then Puya Chiles, which are also closely related to Mirasol chiles, are a good choice.


History of Mirasol Chiles

The name Mirasol means "looking at the sun" in Spanish, which describes the way these peppers grow on the plant1. Mirasol chiles are native to the central and northern Mexico states and today the Costeno chiles are primarily found in the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Guerrero, Mexico2.

By the time that Columbus arrived in the Americas, the Azetcs were cultivating jalapeno, chilaca (known as pasilla when dried), poblano (when dried called ancho), serrano, de arbol and mirasol chiles3. Bernardino de Sahagun, a Franciscan friar, missionary priest, and pioneering ethnographer (one who conducts the systematic study of people and cultures), arrived in New Spain (modern day central and southern Mexico), with the capital city of the Viceroyalty (modern day Mexico City), in 1529. He quickly learned the Nahualt (pronounced "nä-wätl") language and spent the next 60 years studying the Aztecs and their culture. He described the typical Aztec market as having "hot green chiles, smoked chiles, water chiles, tree chiles, flea chiles and sharp-pointed red chiles. To further illustrate the importance that the Aztecs placed on chiles, they classified them into 6 categories based not only on their level of pungency (low to high), but also on type of pungency (broad to sharp)”4.

The ancient Aztec, Mayan and Inca civilizations all held chiles in such high regard that they withheld them from their diets during religious fasting periods5.

According to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, as of 2018 Mexico produced 3.79 million tons of chiles, behind only China in worldwide production6. Of the more than thirty varieties of chiles grown or collected in Mexico, the poblanos (when dried called ancho), jalapenos, mirasols, and serranos account for almost 75 percent of the total crop7.


Costeno Chile Cultivation

Mirasol chiles grow best in arid climates, and this chile plant produces wide hot peppers that grow upright (pointing towards the sun).

This cultivar may reach a height of 5 feet and it has many branches beginning at ground level. Costeno pods taper to a point and measure about 2 to 3 inches long and ½ to ¾ inch across at the shoulders. The pod has thin to medium-fleshed walls. The outer skin is thin and brittle, and when dried becomes transparent. The pods mature from a light green and almost yellowish color to a light red at full maturity8.

Costeno Rojo seeds are typically germinated at the end of the dry season (i.e., May). Once seeds germinate, the young plants are transplanted to the crop fields in during the rainy season in June and July. The local farmers will irrigate the crop if necessary. Harvest usually begins in October, after the rainy season has ended9. The fruits typically mature in 70 - 80 days.

While the closely related Guajillo variety grows best in northern Mexico, Costeno chile production and consumption is concentrated in the South Pacific Region of Guerrero and Oaxaca10.


Where are Our Costeno Chiles From

Costeno peppers are grown commercially in Guerrero, Mexico.


Ingredients Costeno Rojo Chiles
Also Called Chile Costeno, chili Costeno, or Costeno Pepper
Recommended Uses Mexican moles, tamales, salsas, sauces and stews
Flavor Profile A nutty complexity with fruity notes, green, soapy undertones and an intense, lingering heat
Scoville Heat Units 5,000 – 15,000 SHU
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Cuisine Mexican
How To Store Airtight container in a cool, dark place
Shelf Life 1-2 Years
Country of Origin Mexico
Dietary Preferences Gluten Free, Non-GMO



Hungry for More Information

The Different Mexican Moles
The Ultimate Guide to Mexican Spices
Into to Authentic Mexican Cuisine
The Culinary Regions of Mexico




1 Andrews, J. (1999). The Pepper Trail: History and Recipes from Around the World (Revised, Subsequent ed.). University of North Texas Press.

2 DeWitt, D., & Bosland, P. W. (2014). The Complete Chile Pepper Book: A Gardener’s Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking (New ed.). Timber Press.

3, 5 Bosland, P. W. (1999). Chiles: A Gift from a Fiery God. HortScience, 34(5), 809–811.

4 Sahagún, B. D. (2021). Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España I (Spanish Edition). Linkgua Ediciones.
6 Largest producer of chillies. (n.d.). Guinness World Records. Retrieved February 7, 2022.

7 Dewitt, D. (1999). The Chile Pepper Encyclopedia: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Hot Peppers, With More Than 100 Recipes (1st ed.). William Morrow Cookbooks.

8 Bosland, P. W., Votava, E. J. (2012). Peppers. CABI.
9 García-Gaytán, V., Gómez-Merino, F. C., Trejo-Téllez, L. I., Baca-Castillo, G. A., & García-Morales, S. (2017). The Chilhuacle Chili (Capsicum annuumL.) in Mexico: Description of the Variety, Its Cultivation, and Uses. International Journal of Agronomy, 2017, 1–13.

10 Vera-Guzmán, A. M., Aquino-Bolaños, E. N., Heredia-García, E., Carrillo-Rodríguez, J. C., Hernández-Delgado, S., & Chávez-Servia, J. L. (2017). Flavonoid and Capsaicinoid Contents and Consumption of Mexican Chili Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Landraces. Flavonoids - From Biosynthesis to Human Health.




Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 chile, 1.5g

Amount Per Serving


% Daily Value*

Total Fat0g0%

Saturated Fat0g0%

Trans Fat0g

Polyunsaturated Fat0g

Monounsaturated Fat0g



Total Carbohydrate1.0g0%

Dietary Fiber0.4g2%

Total Sugars0.1g

Added Sugars0g0%

Sugar Alcohol0.0g


Vitamin D0mcg0%




*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice. These values were calculated and therefore are approximate. For more accuracy, testing is advised.

4.8 out of 5
8 total ratings.

Charles S. (Verified buyer) 12/25/2021
A Gift for my Son Who Cooks These chiles were a Christmas gift for my son who enjoys making the food he prepares spicy. Upon opening the package on Christmas morning he began plotting how to use these chiles.

Gary B. (Verified buyer) 01/09/2021
Costeno Rojo peppers I needed some Costeno peppers for chili. I couldn't find them anywhere here in Denver. Easy to order, cheap and arrived on time and fresh! I know where to order real chiles from now on.

Robert L. (Verified buyer) 05/26/2020
Fruity and warm These Costeno Rojo chiles are a little fruity with an earthy tones and a medium heat level

DAVID G. (Verified buyer) 11/22/2019
Great Great

Mark S. (Verified buyer) 07/11/2019
Wonderful flavored Chile’s I’ve always liked these Chile’s, been using them in historic chocolate drinks for over 15 years. Very much worth the price as they lend bright and smoky flavors. So glad to be able to find these rare Chile’s again!

Armando (Verified buyer) 10/15/2017
Costeno Rojo Chiles People are ordering a lot because the unique flavor. Thank very much ������

Teresa A. (Verified buyer) 01/05/2021
Dried Costeno Rojo Chiles I have never tried this chiles in the past. I understand it is not widely available in the US. It is very elegant on the palate. However, it is a bit too mild to shine in the food.

Bill G. (Verified buyer) 04/26/2020
Good, but not outstanding A fair amount of heat with a pleasant enough flavor. I collect dried chilies, so this is one I've never seen. Worth getting again at some point in time.