PbSe semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) have attracted ever-growing interest owing to both their fundamental physics and potential applications in a diverse range of fields such as optoelectronic devices and nonlinear optics. The current fabrication strategy for colloidal PbSe NCs, however, frequently involves acutely toxic reagents and tedious reaction procedures, and is plagued by products with poorly controlled size and morphology. Herein, we report a facile, low-cost, and phosphine-free method for synthesizing PbSe NCs, which provides highly uniform NCs with tunable mid-IR absorption, and they are promising for bio-related applications. These high quality NCs were obtained by the reaction of elemental Se and PbCl2 in oleylamine as both the ligand and reaction medium. The high flexibility and reproducibility of the method reported in this study allows us to synthesize monodispersed PbSe NCs with well-controlled size and morphology. In addition, these products show strong optical limiting effects, and thus hold potential for developing nonlinear optical devices.