Paleo Chipotle Adobo Sauce

Chipotle Adobo Sauce

Stop buying that bottled nonsense and make a batch of this triple threat awesome sauce. Great on steaks and burgers, or as a chicken marinade. Brush onto whitefish fillets for fish tacos. We even made an amazing adobo turkey chili.

We combine chipotle, ancho and guajillo chili peppers with smoked paprika for a smoky-sweetness with just enough after-burn. Layers of flavor without a salt bomb. What are you waiting for?

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Paleo Chipotle Adobo Sauce

Chipotle Adobo Sauce

A paleo-compliant smoky adobo sauce with layers of flavor and just enough heat.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x


  • 6 dried ancho chili peppers
  • 4 dried guajillo chili peppers
  • 1 small head fresh garlic (about 10 cloves), peeled
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano*
  • 3/4 tsp ground chipotle chile powder (this is ground chipotle peppers, not chili seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch of ground cloves (about 1/16 tsp)


Prepping the Peppers

  1. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the dried peppers off, then remove stems and dump the seeds out.
  2. Cut down one side of each pepper with scissors or a sharp knife to remove any remaining seeds and strands of dried pith. Carefully open and flatten each pepper as much as possible.
  3. Heat a grill pan or large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Quickly place a few of the peppers in a single layer, and warm for 10-15 seconds. Flip and heat for another 10-15 seconds then remove from pan. We’re just looking to release some aroma and flavor so don’t let these go too long. The peppers will burn quickly and become bitter.
  4. Repeat with the remaining peppers then add them to a large, heat safe bowl. Cover with very hot water and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Place a small inverted plate on top of the peppers to keep them submerged if necessary.

Putting it Together

  1. Combine salt and spices in a small bowl and set aside. Drain the peppers and reserve the liquid.
  2. Add the peppers, spice mixture, garlic, and apple cider vinegar to a food processor or blender and pulse until as smooth as possible. The finished adobo will be thick like tomato paste, but if you prefer a thinner consistency, strain the reserved pepper water through a fine mesh sieve then add 1-2 tablespoons at a time to the mixture and pulse to thin out until desired texture is achieved. Discard any remaining water.


*Mexican oregano is worth adding to your spice cabinet. It’s a bit stronger than the Mediterranean variety with a citrus finish that complements the peppers. If you can’t find it, regular oregano is just fine.

Refrigerate adobo sauce in a glass airtight container for up to a week or transfer to an ice cube tray and freeze to portion out individual servings (each well holds about 2 tablespoons). Store frozen cubes in a reusable zip top bag with air removed for up to a year. Total time does not include soaking time.

Nutrition Estimate Per Serving (1 TABLESPOON) – Calories: 21.3, Fat: .5, Saturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 74.8mg, Potassium: 19.5mg Carbohydrates: 3.8g total/2.4g net, Fiber: 1.4g, Sugar: .1g, Protein: .9g, Vitamin A: .8%, Vitamin C: 0% Calcium: 0%, Iron: 3.3% (based on 2,000 calorie diet). 

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Sauces, Marinades
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan



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