Red Chile Adobo

Adobo de Chile Seco Estilo Nuevo
Two notes: If you fall in love with this adobo, feel free to double the recipe. It keeps for months if refrigerated in a tightly closed jar. And if you like a sweeter, toastier flavor, roast the garlic cloves (still in their papery skins), in a dry skillet over medium heat, turning them regularly until soft and blotchy black in places, about 15 minutes. Cool, peel and blend with the other ingredients.


  • Scant 1/2cup good-quality ancho chile powder (the amount you’ll get from a typical 2-ounce spice jar)
  • 8 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoondried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 3tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2teaspoons salt


Scoop the powdered ancho chile into a blender or small food processor. Bring 1 ¼ cups water to a boil, pour over the chile, loosely cover the blender or secure the top of the processor and pulse to blend thoroughly. In a small microwave-safe bowl, collect the garlic, cover with water and microwave at 100% for 1 minute. Drain and add to the blender or processor, along with the spices, oregano, vinegar and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Process until smooth.


  1. This stuff is delicious. Used some to make chorizo. Not having a microwave I pan roasted the garlic. The chorizo turned out way better than any commercial brand I’ve tried. Used the left over adobo on some grilled pork chops. They were fantastic.

    Now, when will season 10 of “Mexico One Plate at a Time” be out on DVD? My PBS station (KVIE Sacramento channel 6) has finished showing the episodes. Many of which I missed cause they aired the program on Wednesday afternoons. So I’m eager to watch the whole series.

  2. hello…

    how can i get my adobo to the gloppy-thick state like rick’s ?
    something went wrong here i reckon…thanks!

    linda hartman
    orange, ca

  3. I just loved the recipe for the Red chile adobo. I will make my own chorizo with it and enjoy the delightful sopes!! Thanks for making it available. I have two of your books but this is great.

  4. Dear Rick Bayless, I’ve got salsa all over my recipes from your Mexican Kitchen book. I’m glad I looked here on the website because for next weeks big Labor Party on Sunday 6 Sept. in my garden…I’m doing my usual big pork shoulder roast or two that I got from my Mom. It’s the best easiest ever recipe and now I see it turning up everywhere…preheat oven to 400…season meat w/salt and pepper, sear on one side in dutch oven, turn over and cover. No liquid! Immediately turn oven down to 250 and roast overnite 8 to 10 hrs for the amount of meat I’ll do. I love the Essential Sweet and Spicy Ancho Paste and will use it over the pork…I’m gonna wing it and maybe marinate for a good 8 hours, scrape off the marinade before the sear and then put it back over the top of the seared side of the meat and proceed with the recipe above. It’s amazing how much great, flavorful jus is in the pot when the roast is done. It should be even better with the ancho seasoning paste. I’ll go to La Palma Mexicatessen here in our SF Mission district (promise yourself a trip to La Palma when you’re here, It’s kinda like going to Katz’s for pastrami I think) for hand made tortillas and reduce the juices, make a salsa cruda and we’ll have tacos. Eclectic Bohemian group of poets, artists, and sweet people will come to share. Very, varied menu: my Mexican, Marius and Joyce are bringing pate they just brought back from Paree I may just make a pana cotta with fresh peaches.
    I want to thank you for all the inspiration you’ve given me and the gumption to know what I can tweak from a recipe when I need/want to. Love some feedback if you ever get to read this…
    All the best,
    Mary Matvy
    San Francisco

    1. Wow Mary – sounds amazing! Rick and I were at La Palma last fall – we got an amazing tour of their masa production in the back. So incredible. We hope that your party is a hige success!

  5. Thanks Rick! I’ve enjoyed your shows & your recipes for so many years. Watched “Lannie” grow from a child on TV to a beautiful young lady. I have one of your cook books & I do ALOT of Mexican cooking. Looking forward to making this adobo for both a marinade & to make homemade chorizo………….Thanks again!! Kathi

  6. Rick thank you .you are my favorite chef . Thank you for bringing these complex recipes out of the restaurants and into our homes . I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the future .

  7. This is fabulous…would leftover paste be stored in the fridge or freezer ?

    Thanks for the recipe! I have two if your books and love them

  8. Can’t wait to make chorizo with this adobo sauce. Just saw this show today. Have to go back out to the store anyway and already have most of the stuff I well need except the ground pork. I just love good chorizo and it is hard to find. Making it myself with your great recipe will just be really great!! Thank you so-o-o much! I do watch your show as much as I have time. Thank you again. (Kansas City, MO)

  9. I loved your show! I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to eat store bought chorizo again; that recipe looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it. I can’t wait to try it with my boyfriend.

    1. I wouldn’t recommend tripling this recipe, make each batch separate then add together if needed. Good Luck!

  10. I want to can some chipotles I made out home grown jalapeños. Would this sauce produce a similar product to commercially produced “chipotles in adobo sauce” ?

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