Chipotles in Adobo Sauce are dry smoked red jalepenos (chipotles) that have been stewed in a lightly seasoned liquid. They have become very popular in Southwestern cooking because they provide a distinctive warm heat and delicious smoky flavor. Although you can buy canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, in markets that specialize in Hispanic foods, this homemade alternative is far superior and is very easy to prepare. They cost around $2.25 a can, were as I make my own for free, or the cost of my time. When my time is spent teaching my kids how to pass on these important skills, then it is very worth it.

I will teach you how to make chipotles by dry smoking jalepenos later in the growing season when it comes time.

chipotles in adobo sauce recipe

Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
Recipe Type: appetizer, salsa
  • 7 to 10 medium-sized dried chipotle chilies, stemmed and slit lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup onion, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 5 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a pan with 3 cups of water.
  2. Cover and cook over very low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the chilies are very soft and the liquid has been reduced to 1 cup.
  3. This recipe (unsealed) will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  4. Now you may can this amount into a half pint jar and water bath it for 12 minutes at sea level. (See canning chart for your altitude)
  5. Makes 1 cup


When I make this at home and make 6 times this recipe using as many as 70 small to medium-sized dried chipotle chilies. I also don’t add the onion slices to the crock-pot for simmering, but rather add them to the jars as I am filling them to make sure I have an accurate count. Same goes for inserting a whole clove of garlic per half pint jar.

When I simmer a large batch like this, I add 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin seed, coriander seed, and dry oregano that I have lightly dry roasted in my dry cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes. Then turn off the heat, splash a dash of ground cinnamon to the pan, right before putting the seasonings into the crock-pot.

For chipotle puree, place the cooked chipotles and sauce in a blender, or small grinder and puree until smooth.

We will see recipes that use this over the next couple of months.

Photo of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce by Food Stories on Flickr’s Creative Commons