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+ servings
Texas Adobo Sauce Recipe - ceramic bowl filled with adobo sauce

Adobo Sauce Recipe

Steven Pennington
Adobe sauce is rich with smokiness, a touch of spice, full floral aroma, with a touch of sweet fruitiness.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 5 cups
Calories 35 kcal

Suggested Equipment

Food Processor


Dried Chiles

  • 20 chiles Chipotle Peppers
  • 15 chiles Guajillo
  • 15 chiles Puya Chiles  or/ Pasilla
  • 8 chiles Ancho Peppers

Fresh Peppers

  • 3 Jalapenos
  • 3 Serranos
  • 5 Shishitos

Herbs & Spices

  • 1 ½ tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Fennel Seed
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard Seed
  • 2 tablespoon Minced Garlic


  • ¾ cup Canola Oil
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil / optional
  • 1 cup Water / use a much as needed to create a paste-like consistency
  • 2 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 juiced Lime


Controlling The Spice Level

  • For a balanced adobo sauce, you'll want to remove the seeds and stems.
    If you would like the adobo sauce to be spicy hot, start by removing the seeds. Then smash/grind the seeds into a paste. This way the adobo sauce will not be full of seeds and have improved texture.

Preparing the Chiles

  • Roast the dried chiles on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven of 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. You'll know the chiles are almost done once you can smell them in the air.
    You'll want the chiles to be almost crispy once out of the oven. They will crisp up even further once out of the oven as they cool down. This will make blending them easier.

Preparing the Herbs & Spices

  • Next, toast the spices and herbs in a dry pan on the stovetop. Do not add anything to the pan other than the herbs and spices. Take about 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn.
    TIP: - while toasting, you can move the pan on and off the heat to control the toasting process. Best practice...
  • Toasting: Add to dry pan on medium heat,
    - 1 ½ tablespoon of Cumin
    - 1 tablespoon of Mustard Seeds
    - 1 ½ tablespoon of Fennel Seeds
    - 1 ½ tablespoon of Dried Thyme
  • Using a blender or food processor. I like using a blender since it has high walls and the chiles are long/tall.
    Start with the roasted chiles in the blender and get them to blend up first. Add water at this point to help the blender chop the chiles.
    Start with ½ cup of water to moisten the dried chiles and blend again. Then add in ½ cup of canola oil plus ¼ cup of olive oil. Add as much water/oil as needed to create a paste consistency.
    Next, add in one medium onion, 1+ tablespoons of kosher salt, plus 2+ tablespoons of brown sugar, normal white sugar will work. Squeeze or juice one lime and add to the blender.
  • After adding all the ingredients, adjust the consistency with water.
    The end result, you will want the consistency of a paste. If the mixture looks too tight/thick add more water or oil.

Recipe Ideas / Uses

  • - Soups: Depth of flavor
    - Spicy Mayonnaise
    - Marinade on chicken/turkey
    - Chili recipes
    - Spicy Hummus dips



  • Roasting the dried chiles releases their natural oils and improves the flavor
  • Adding fresh peppers gives needed fresh acid, deeper flavor, and capsaicin (spice oil)
  • Brown sugar, the secret ingredient to balancing
  • Adobo sauce will mature in flavor by a small amount of fermentation while in controlled temperature, ie the refrigerator
  • Experimenting with different chiles and peppers is the most fun in my opinion with adobo sauce making. Keep an eye out while shopping during the year. Take note of what is available and in season. Build your foundational recipe here today, and next time make a small adjustment. 


Serving: 2tablespoonCalories: 35kcalCarbohydrates: 1.4gProtein: 0.27gFat: 1.6gSaturated Fat: 0.09gSodium: 107mgPotassium: 24mgFiber: 0.35gSugar: 0.04gVitamin A: 230IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 6.1mgIron: 0.54mg
Keyword Adobo Sauce, Adobo Sauce Recipe, Dried Chiles Sauce, South American Adobo
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