Here’s an easy recipe to make your own Chipotles in Adobo at home. The result is a deep, smoky and satisfying sauce that’s loaded with flavor!
Have you ever wondered what goes into a can of chipotle chiles? Chipotles are one of life’s greatest joys. For me, biting into something that has chipotles makes me happy – I feel a great big joy that makes me want to do a little dance.
Being able to reproduce that feeling regularly is the epitome of kitchen joy.
Of course, I have bought chipotles in the little red can, the most common being La Costeña brand. But making your own at home gives you a much deeper appreciation for these rich, smoky beauties.
(By the way, there’s nothing tastier than making your own!)
How to Make Homemade Chipotle Chiles in Adobo
If you leave a jalapeño on the plant long enough, it’ll turn red. Once red, you dehydrate it, then smoke it, and you have a chipotle on your hands.
They are indeed a brilliant little smoky wonder of a chile that’s dangerous to have around. Grab some chipotle chiles, and a few other simple ingredients and get started on making your own chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.
This is my favorite brand of chipotle chiles (and they are easily picked up on Amazon).
Not all chipotles are the same though.. there are a few varieties out there. You’ve got Chipotle Meco (which is a chipotle that has a brown/tan exterior). If you pick up chipotles at the Mexican market in your area, they are likely Meco chiles.
Meco chiles look like a cigar but (just being real here, they aren’t pretty).
Though they are good chiles as well, they aren’t quite what you want for making sauce.
Morita chiles, on the other hand, are used for canning chipotles, and that is what we are using in this recipe. Chipotle Moritas are a deep red in color with a tan stem at the very top. I keep the stem on when I’m making adobo sauce, but if you prefer you can try to take them off.
(I haven’t noticed a difference in taste between leaving them on and taking them off – if there is, then it’s minimal.)
A blast of heat before soaking
Grab a few handfuls of chiles (about 20, more or less) and give them a blast of heat. You can do this by laying them on a parchment lined baking sheet and popping them in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Once they are lightly roasted, add them to a pot of very hot water. I like to put the tea kettle on full of water then pour that boiling water over my chiles. Set a dinner plate on the surface to help keep the chiles under the water.
Make the puree
While those soak for 30-35 minutes, throw a medium tomato in the oven to roast for about 6-7 minutes. Grab 7 or 8 of your chipotles from the soaking water. Remove the stem and seeds, then add them to the blender with:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 C water or soaking liquid from the chipotles
- roasted tomato
- entire onion
If the soaking liquid is a little too bitter, then feel free to chuck it out and use regular water in its place.
In a large skillet, heat up 1 Tbsp of olive oil and add the minced garlic, diced onion, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.. and saute until the garlic and onion have softened. Then add the puree of chipotles, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, a scant 1/4 C. water and the remaining whole chipotle chiles.
Simmer by Stovetop
Simmer that mixture on the stovetop for a good 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to the consistency of your liking. Give it additional sugar for sweetness or spices/salt depending on your tastebuds. I usually give it a little extra brown sugar.
Then pack it into a pint size mason jar and store them in the fridge. Over time, the chipotles will continue to absorb as the flavor.
The sauce will last for 3-4 weeks (if not longer).
Enjoy this sauce. It is the best.
Chipotles in Adobo
- 20 dried Chipotle Morita chiles
- 1 tomato medium
- 2 onions diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 C water divided
- Rinse off the Morita chiles and pat dry. Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, aand roast in a 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Once done, put them in a bowl and cover with hot (almost boiling) water. Top with a plate to weigh them down, and allow them to sit for 30-35 minutes.
- Place the tomato on the parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 7-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Drain the chiles from the water and set 1/2 C of the water aside. Slice the top (stem) off of the chile, and then down the side. Remove the seeds and discard. Place half of the chiles in the blender with 1 whole onion, tomato, 2 cloves garlic, brown sugar and 1/2 C. water (feel free to use the soaking water if it isn't too bitter). Puree until smooth..
- In a skillet, add your oil, the other diced onion, remaining garlic and spices and saute until soft. Add the chipotle puree from your blender, remaining chipotles, additional 1/4 C. water, and apple cider vinegar. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- Add additional salt, pepper or spices as needed. Store between 2 pint size jars or three 8 oz jars.
- This recipe makes 3 C. of chipotles in adobo or 24 servings (each 1/8 C.)
- Feel free to use the soaking water for the "water" in this recipe - you'll want to make sure it's not too bitter. If it is, discard and use regular water.
- Brown sugar can be swapped out with maple syrup, coconut palm sugar or your choice of sweetener.
So now that you have this sauce in your arsenal, how do you use it?
There are so many wonderful ways to use chipotles in adobo sauce. There are definitely some wonderful ideas from Roasted Squash Tacos with Chipotle Marinade, to this delicious Chipotle Mayo, Refried Beans and Cauliflower Tacos.
I know you probably wouldn’t think of chipotles in soup, but this Chipotle Pumpkin soup is amazing to have once the temps cool down.
Have you ever made Chipotles in Adobo Sauce?
If not, give it a try. I certainly hope you love it as much as we do. Please leave a comment, rate the recipe and be sure to tag me on Instagram!