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Mexican Adobo in a Jar

Easy Mexican Adobo Sauce

$0.97 recipe | $0.06 serving
Mitch and Justine
Mexican adobo is an all-purpose marinade made of dried chiles, spices, and vinegar. With big, bold flavors, this staple sauce can be used to enhance a wide variety of dishes.
5 from 42 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dip, Dressing, Spread
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican, Vegan
Servings 16 tablespoons
Calories 39 kcal


  • Kitchen shears
  • Skillet
  • Bowl or pot
  • Blender


  • 3 ancho chiles ($0.15)
  • 4 guajillo chiles ($0.16)
  • 2 pasilla chiles ($0.08)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
  • ¼ medium white onion, roughly chopped ($0.06)
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped ($0.16)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin ($0.01)
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.01)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns ($0.01)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, then to taste ($0.01)
  • ½ cup vinegar, white or apple cider ($0.20)
  • ¼-½ cup water ($0.01)


  • First, stem and seed the dried chiles. Toast them for 30 seconds or so in a skillet over medium (this will help release their flavors). Add them to a pot or bowl of just-boiled water, cover, and let rehydrate for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium. Sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Lastly, mix in the spices to open the flavors up.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a blender or food processor with vinegar, ¼ cup water, and rehydrated chiles. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.
  • If you need the final ¼ cup of water, add it in until you achieve a smooth, sauce-like consistency. Transfer to a jar or container for storage. Happy eating!


  • Don't boil the peppers — Rehydrate the dried chiles in just-boiled water. This will help prevent flavor seepage into the water.
  • No dried peppers, no problem — If you don't have dried chiles, replace them with paprika or powdered chiles.
  • Use fresh ingredients — For the best-tasting adobo sauce, ensure your dried chiles, herbs, and spices are as fresh as possible.
  • Adjust the consistency — If you prefer a thinner adobo sauce, add more water. If you prefer it thinner, use less liquid.
  • Double the batch — You'll definitely wish you made more once you taste your first bite. We always double the recipe!
  • A few tablespoons of tomato paste makes a delicious addition to adobo.
  • We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
  • Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 169.8mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 3.1g | Vitamin A: 2286.4IU | Vitamin C: 2.8mg | Calcium: 9.4mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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