Homemade Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This homemade Adobo Sauce with Chipotle Peppers is spicy, smokey, and slightly tangy and sweet. It’s a staple in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, and can add magic flavors to any dish! So much better than the canned version you buy at the grocery store! 

Freshly made chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don’t miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

What are Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce?

They are made from ripe red jalapeño peppers. First, the peppers are dried and smoked. Then they are rehydrated and canned in a rich and flavorful adobo sauce. 

The adobo sauce is a tangy and savory blend of tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and various spices. Together, they create a versatile and mouthwatering condiment.

For a simple recipe, we are using DRIED jalapeño peppers, which you can buy at local Mexican stores or on Amazon (see the photo below)

What Do They Taste Like?

Chipotle peppers are spicy and smokey while the adobo sauce is savory and tangy, with a slightly sweet flavor. Together, they create a mouthwatering condiment with a deep and earthly flavor.

Chipotle Peppers: How Hot Are They?

The Scoville heat scale measures the spiciness of chili peppers. Chipotle peppers fall between 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). 

I found this heat level is noticeable but manageable. That’s why it’s a great choice as you can enjoy some spiciness without overwhelming your palate.

Substitute for Dried Chipotle Peppers

If you cannot find dried chipotle peppers, you can substitute them with a combination of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste.

  • Smoked paprika: It can provide a smoky flavor but lacks the spiciness. 
  • Ground cayenne pepper: It’ll add some heat to the sauce.
  • Tomato paste: Add a nice color similar to dried chipotle peppers, as well as additional sweet and tangy flavor.
Overhead view of key ingredients for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

How to Make Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Once you get dried chipotle peppers, making your own chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is quite easy. All you need are ketchup, vinegar, garlic, and a few simple spices. 

1️⃣ First, you’ll need to break the dried peppers and soak them in hot water.

2️⃣ At the same time make the adobo sauce by simmering all the ingredients.

3️⃣ Remove the soaked peppers from water and drain them thoroughly. You can blend them slightly for a smoothie texture. Then mix the soaked chipotle peppers with adobo sauce. Simmer more until it reaches your desired consistency.

Tips and Tricks

  • Wear gloves when handling dried chipotle peppers, as they can be quite spicy and may irritate your skin.
  • Soak the dried chipotle peppers in hot water to rehydrate them before using them in your adobo sauce.
  • Adjust the spiciness by adding more or fewer chipotle peppers to your adobo sauce recipe.
close up of chipotel peppers in adobo sauce

Ways to Use Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be used in countless ways. It’s the star ingredient for the delicious Burrito Sauce. 

You can also use it to flavor marinades, add depth to soups, create a spicy dip, or brush it onto meats or veggies for a smoky kick.

Storing Suggestions

To store chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, let it cool down first and then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. 

They will remain fresh for several weeks. Alternatively, freeze them for extended shelf life.

Where to Buy?

The store-bought version is not easily accessible in most grocery stores. However, you can order them online from Amazon.

If you tried this Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, let me know how it turns out in the comments below!

    Want to save this recipe?
    Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
    Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
    Delicious homemade Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

    Homemade Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce Recipe

    By: Izzy
    This simple recipe for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce takes less than 30 minutes to make and it’s so much better than the store-bought canned version. Use it in Burrito Sauce, or other Mexican dish for an incredible meal!
    Prep: 10 minutes
    Cook: 20 minutes
    Total: 30 minutes
    Servings: 12


    • 12 dried chipotle peppers*, (to substitute, use a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar **
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 ½ cups boiling water
    • ½ cup chili powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


    • Soak dried chipotle peppers. Crack the chipotle peppers and add them to a medium saucepan. Add water to cover the peppers. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. (Add more water if necessary)
    • Make the adobo sauce. In the meantime, heat oil in a skillet. Once hot, add ketchup, cider vinegar, minced garlic, and boiling water. Mix to combine.
    • Add chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
    • Add chipotle peppers to the adobo sauce. Remove the soaked chipotle peppers and add them to the adobo sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes. (Make sure to drain the peppers properly. For a smooth consistency, you can blend the peppers before mixing it with the adobo sauce).
    • Let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


    • * You can order dried whole chipotle peppers on Amazon if you cannot find them at your local grocery store.
    • ** Any type of vinegar will work for this recipe.


    Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Net Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3085IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition information provided is an estimate only and will vary based on ingredient brands and cooking methods used.

    Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

    About Izzy

    I'm Izzy, a food lover and photographer. Here you’ll find a collection of simple recipes that are perfect for busy people. My blog aims to help you make and enjoy delicious and healthy food at home.

    You May Also Like:

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating