Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are smoke-dried dehydrated jalapeno peppers canned in adobo sauce, a sweet sauce made from tomatoes, onion, vinegar, and spice. Chipotles in adobo are a kitchen staple in Mexican recipes and add flavor and heat to sauces, braises, soups, beans, sandwiches, tacos, marinades, and glazes.
Chipotles in adobo sauce are a must-have for many recipes but can be hard to find. If you don’t have a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce at hand, you’re probably wondering what can you use as a substitute.
So, what is the best chipotle peppers in adobo sauce substitute? Cayenne pepper powder is one of the best substitutes for chipotle in adobo sauce. Cayenne pepper powder adds color and heat to recipes but is considerably hotter than chipotle peppers in adobo. Other substitutes for chipotles in adobo include smoked paprika, ranchero sauce, and chipotle powder.
Keep reading to learn about different chipotle peppers in adobe sauce substitutes. In this article, we’ll explain what are canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and tell you how to replace this spicy ingredient in your favorite recipes.
What Are Canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce?
As the name suggests, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a mix of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These ingredients can come in a can or a glass jar.
Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapenos. They are moderately hot but have sweet and smoky undertones.
Adobo sauce is a dark red sauce, made from vinegar, tomatoes, dried chiles, onions, garlic, and various spice. It has a tangy-sweet, earthy, and smoky flavor and a thick consistency similar to barbecue sauce.
6 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce Substitute
Most people discover chipotle pepper in adobo sauce during a trip to Mexico. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be hard to find at your local grocery store, but luckily there are a number of ingredients you can use instead.
Here are several chipotle peppers in adobo sauce substitutes you can try:
1. Cayenne Pepper Powder
Cayenne pepper powder is an excellent substitute for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This powder has a slightly sweet flavor with a hint of smokiness and a fresh red pepper aroma.
Cayenne pepper powder has medium heat and a powerful piquant bite that adds heat to recipes. The main thing to remember is that cayenne pepper powder is hotter than chipotle in adobo sauce.
Combine cayenne powder with a bit of olive oil to create a spicy marinade.
2. Ranchero Sauce
Readily available at most grocery stores, ranchero sauce is a great chipotle pepper in adobo sauce substitute. This tomato-based sauce blends Mexican seasoning with fresh garlic, onions, chiles, and jalapenos.
Ranchero sauce has a slightly smoky flavor with a hint of spice. For most recipes, use ranchero sauce as a 1:1 substitute for chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.
3. Smoked Paprika
Smoked paprika is a must-have powdered spice that can be mild, mildly hot, or hot. It’s made by slow-drying peppers before grinding them into a powder.
Like chipotle, smoked paprika has a smoky and spicy flavor with a hint of sweetness. Smoked paprika is a great substitute for chipotle in adobo sauce if your recipe already has tomato sauce.
4. Dried Chipotle Powder
Dried chipotle powder is a wonderful chipotle pepper substitute, but it’s harder to find than smoked paprika or cayenne pepper powder. Instead of powder, you can also use dried chipotle peppers.
When using dried chipotle peppers, soak them in the water to soften, and then chop and add to the recipe. Since dried chipotle peppers and chipotle powder have the same earthy smokiness as chipotle peppers in adobo sauce you can substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Chili Powder
Chili powder is a commonly used seasoning blend made from ground-dried chiles and other spices, such as paprika, garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, and salt. It’s used to add flavor and pungency to recipes.
Chili powder can be mild to extremely spicy with a hint of smokiness. Use chili powder instead of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce when making tacos or enchiladas.
6. Ancho Chile Paste
Ancho chile paste is a great replacement for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in marinade recipes. This paste is made from dried ancho chile peppers which are rehydrated and pureed into a smooth paste.
The ancho chile is a variety of poblano pepper that has a mild chili flavor with a hint of sweetness. Use ancho chile paste as a replacement for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for any recipe, or mix it with chili powder, cayenne pepper, or even whole chopped chiles for extra spiciness and kick.
Can I Substitute Chipotle Sauce for Adobo Sauce?
Yes, you can substitute Tabasco chipotle hot sauce for adobo sauce. Tabasco’s chipotle pepper sauce is made from chipotle peppers, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and spices.
These are almost the same ingredients used to make adobo sauce. When it comes to taste, you are unlikely to find a better replacement for adobe sauce than the Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce.
How Do I Substitute Chipotle Powder for Chipotle in Adobo?
To substitute one whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce mix ¾ teaspoon chipotle powder with ¼ teaspoon red wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon tomato paste. Chipotle powder is easier to find in supermarkets than dried chipotles and has the same smoky and spicy flavor as chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce aren’t readily available in most supermarkets, but there are many great substitutes you can use in recipes. Cayenne pepper powder is the best chipotle peppers in adobo sauce substitute as it adds heat and smokiness to recipes.
If you’re short on cayenne pepper powder, use smoked paprika, dried chipotle powder, chili powder, ranchero sauce, ancho chile paste, chili garlic sauce, or Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce instead of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.