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?Print
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
- Use a damp paper towel to wipe the dried peppers off, then remove stems and dump the seeds out.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Combine salt and spices in a small bowl and set aside. Drain the peppers and reserve the liquid.
- 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).
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 5
- Category: Sauces, Marinades
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: ADOBO, CHIPOTLE ADOBO SAUCE, GUAJILLO PEPPERS, ANCHO PEPPERS, CHIPOTLE PEPPERS, PALEO, VEGAN, PLANT-BASED
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