Skip to Content

Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Chipotles in Adobo Sauce are a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine. Chipotles, which are smoked and dried jalapeños, are paired with a thick intensely flavored Adobo sauce. The sauce features flavorful aromatic ingredients such as dried chiles, garlic, cinnamon and Mexican oregano.

The spicy peppers are used to enhance classic dishes such as slow cooked Barbacoa Beef, and Red Enchilada Sauce. It can also be used or to give a little extra spice and flavor to dishes such as this Spicy Hummus with Chipotle in Adobo recipe or to make a tangy smoky spicy Barbecue Sauce. These homemade chipotles in adobo can also add an extra kick to spicy Bloody Marys!

While they can be purchased in small cans sold in grocery stores international foods aisles, they are so much better when made from scratch. You can freeze any leftover chipotles for using later. We recommend freezing in an ice tray so you can easily access a perfect portion.

Don’t forget to pin or bookmark this post for later

Homemade Chipotles in Adobo

Here are some additional condiment and salsa recipes that you might enjoy:

Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

Chipotle in Adobo Recipe

So much better than canned! Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce add a burst of flavor to your favorite Mexican recipes. Also try them in Barbecue Sauce for extra heat and smoky flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 10 Dried Ancho Chiles
  • 5 Dried Guajillo Chiles
  • 30 Dried Smoked Jalapeno Peppers, Chipotles
  • 1/4 White Onion, quartered
  • 5 Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon (1 g) Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon (1 g) Black Pepper
  • 3/4 Teaspoon (1.5 g) Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon (1 g) Mexican Oregano
  • 2 Whole Cloves, or a pinch of ground clove
  • 1/2 Teaspoon (3 g) Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons (85 g) Tomato Paste
  • 4 Tablespoons (55 g) Brown Sugar


  1. Cut the Ancho and Guajillo peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and stems.
  2. Wash them to remove any dust and cut them into quarters. Adobo Sauce Peppers
  3. Cover the peppers with boiling water and allow them to rehydrate for 30 minutes. The peppers may float and can be weighted down with a plate or bowl.
  4. In the mean time wash the chipotle pepper, Cut them length remove their seeds and stems. Soak them similarly in boiling water for 30 minutes. Note: For extra spiciness leave the seeds intact and just remove the stems before soaking.
  5. Instructions follow for using a mortal and pestle, or utilizing a food processor or blender to make the sauce.
  6. To make the Adobo Sauce, using a mortar and pestle (or the Mexican version pictured using a traditional molcajete), begin by grinding the dry spices. Then add the dried chiles, garlic and onion a little at a time and mash until a thick paste is formed. Transfer to a sauce pan and stir in the tomato paste, sugar and vinegar. Adobo Sauce
  7. If using a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the chipotle peppers and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to a sauce pan.
  8. Add the chipotle peppers and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. The mixture should be the a similar consistency to a thick barbecue sauce. Add water in small amounts to achieve and maintain the consistency of the sauce as the mixture cooks.
  9. Allow the mixture to simmer for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. The mixture is meant to have a strong potent flavor and slightly sweet, but should not be bitter. If it is, add a teaspoon of sugar at a time and small amounts of salt until any bitterness is gone.
  10. Allow to cool and then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. For best results, allow the chipotle peppers to combine with the flavors of the adobo sauce for a day.
  11. Homemade Chipotles in Adobo sauce can be used for several months or can be frozen and thawed.
Feel free to head over to our international recipes section to see our full collection of recipes inspired by our ongoing travels around the world.

Kim Wilson

Saturday 30th of December 2023

Do you drain the water from soaking the peppers or use any of it?


Sunday 31st of December 2023

After soaking the peppers, you can discard the water.

Corey Christensen

Friday 19th of July 2019

What can I use in place of sugar that is Whole30 approved?


Friday 26th of July 2019

I am not an expert on the whole30 diet. I assume there are forums that specialize in that particular program that can assist you.

Skip to Recipe