Adobo or Adobar (Spanish: marinade, sauce, or seasoning) terms exist in all Spanish influences cuisines. Originally, adobo was mostly used to preserve and enhance meat, poultry, seafood flavor.

In Mexican cuisine, adobo is a dark red, flavorful paste made from ground chiles. Some herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients (e.g., citrus juice or vinegar) are added. It can be used as a marinade and as cooking or serving sauce. The word adobado is an adjective to describe dishes where adobe is used as cooking sauce. Adobo heat level depends on chiles used for making it. Ancho Adobo is very mild. A combination of Ancho and Chipotle Meco is my favorite.

1 cup of this adobo is enough to finish 2 pounds of cooked carnitas or to marinate 2 pounds of raw meat.


Basic Ancho Adobo

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican, Southern
Keyword: adobo, chili pepper, citrus, condiment, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, marinated, Mexican, recipe, sauce, spiced, vegetables
Servings: 2 cups


to reconstitute chiles

  • 4 Ancho large, dry, no stem, seeds, and veins
  • 1 1/2 cup water hot, 205F

to blend

  • 2 Fresno chili peppers fresh, no stem, seeds, and veins
  • 1/2 cup orange + key lime juice squeeze 1/2 large orange and 3 key limes
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or agave syrup
  • 1/4 tsp oregano Mexican, dry
  • 1/4 tsp cumin ground


  • Prepare dry ancho chiles. Remove stems, veins, and seeds. Cut to small pieces, place them in a bowl, and pour hot water over. Make them submerge by pressing down. Leave for 2o-25 minutes to reconstitute.
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend into a smooth paste. Keep refrigerated in a closed container for up to 1 week.
Ancho Adobo