Chipotle Chiles in Spicy Sauce: Chipotles Adobados

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

These have become a kitchen staple, both north and south of the border. Besides using them to make the currently popular “chipotle mayonnaise,” they can be added to sauces, marinades, salad dressings, soups and stews. I like the homemade chipotles adobados much better than the canned because the taste of fresh tomatoes is missing in the canned versions.


  • ¼ pound chipotle chiles, washed
  • 1 ancho chile, washed
  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes, roasted, seeded and peeled
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • ½ inch piece cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup fruit vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt to taste


Using a needle, prick holes in the chipotle chiles, place them in a bowl with the ancho chile and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over them. Leave them to soak for 15 minutes, drain and set aside.

Stem, seed and devein the ancho and 6 of the chipotles. Place them in a blender with the tomatoes, garlic, onion and spices. Add a little of the chile soaking water if necessary to move the blender blades, and puree until smooth. Put puree through a strainer or food mill.

Heat the vegetable oil, add the puree and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and brown sugar, cover and continue to cook over low heat for another 10 minutes. Add the remaining whole chipotle chiles and enough of their soaking liquid to reach desired consistency. (We like the adobo to be somewhat on the thick side.) Cook for another 5 minutes, add salt to taste, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Ladle into a sterilized jar and refrigerate. Makes 1 pint.

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Published or Updated on: October 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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