Fiery Habaneros Toreados

Chiles toreados are what we call peppers that are sauteed with a little oil until they soften and blister, they are a popular topping served at taquerias. Typically the chiles used are either jalapeños or serranos, but as you can see I also like to make them using fiery habanero peppers.

The recipes for chiles toreados varies greatly with some only choosing to saute the peppers with a little oil until they soften. Others like to add lime juice and salt, and many others like to combine the blistered chiles with soy sauce. Yep, that’s right, soy sauce! Someone once told me that the soy sauce started in Chinese restaurants in Mexico, where they would serve the sauted chiles then pour the soy sauce over them. It’s an insanely delicious combination so it’s really no wonder that this became popular all over the country.

I love the addition of soy sauce and will share that recipe version another time.

How to Make Fiery Habaneros Toreados

In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, habanero peppers are the chile of choice for so many dishes. When you sit down at a restaurant you’ll always be offered some sort of habanero salsa — or if you’re lucky whole or chopped habaneros swimming in lime juice will be brought to your table. We’ve been spoiled by this so hubby and I have really grown to love these insanely fiery peppers.

When I have a bit too many habaneros in the fridge I love to prepare them toreados, like you see pictured here. It is so easy to put together and they will add not only heat, but a depth of flavour that will truly transform  whatever it is that you eat them with.

You will see in my recipe that I add several extra ingredients to my chiles toreados. It may not be the traditional recipe but it is a combination of different flavours that come together to create an explosion of heat and tastes.

These little (yet powerful) chilies are so delicious with the sweetness from the red onions and the citrusy of the limes.

Fiery Habaneros Toreados
Habaneros ToreadosHabaneros Toreados

Fiery Sautéd Whole Habaneros

Nancy Lopez &
Enjoy the intense fiery heat of habanero peppers with a touch of sweet and citrus flavours.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course accompaniment, Salsa, Side
Cuisine Mexican


  • 3 large limes juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil of your choice
  • half a teaspoon of coarse sea salt adjust to your taste
  • very large pinch of muscovado sugar light brown sugar
  • 14 Whole fresh habanero peppers* (any colour you like), stems removed
  • One small purple onion sliced into thin slices
  • 5 whole cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil more if needed


  • Start by combining the lime juice, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, the salt and the sugar in a small bowl. Stir until well combined then set aside.
  • Wear gloves to handle and avoid chile burns from the habaneros! For this step do be warned that you need to open a window or be ready for the possible effects of cooking the habaneros — for me it usually involves a lot of coughing and sneezing. (lol) Pour the 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large pan then add the purple onion slices and sauté until they begin to soften. Now add all of the habaneros and sauté until they soften and begin to brown a bit — make sure you keep stirring often to prevent burning. Lastly add the Gallic and sauté just until it softens — about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl large enough to hold them.
  • Pour the lime mixture (from step 1) over the cooked habaneros and stir until well combined. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving, or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy and be ready for some fire in your mouth!


Please be warned that this is a very, very spicy dish! Habaneros are among the spiciest peppers in the World so be careful.
If you’d like to tone down the heat a bit you can remove the seeds and vein from all of the habaneros — but even so this will still be spicy!
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
How to Make Mexican Chiles Toreados
Habaneros Toreados

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  1. OMG! You are so much braver than me! I love the flavor of the habanero, but they are a little too hot for me. Does sauteing them calm the heat a bit or do you eat them with a glass of milk? 🙂 They do look absolutely awesome!

    1. Oh they are very hot for me too, MJ. I’ve found that sautéing them (and all other chilies) actually makes them spicier. I hate milk so so glass of milk for me, I suffer through the burn. But don’t get me wrong I can only eat a little bit then have to take a break — I do love the burn. Lol!

  2. This looks wonderful! I love habaneros — such super flavor. Can’t eat too many of them, though, because they’re HOT! Still, I gotta try this — looks terrific. Thanks!

    1. They are very flavourful and yep so HOT. I can only eat a little bit at a time but my husband will devour half in just one sitting, fire mouth.