Adobo Sauce With Garlic and Orange Juice

Braised pork shank in adobo sauce

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  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Rest Time: 12 hrs
  • Yield: 2 cups (8 servings)

Canned chipotle chilis often come packed in adobo, but you can use this earthy, rich sauce in many ways. This homemade adobo sauce makes a flavorful marinade or simmer sauce for chicken, pork, beef, or fish. You can add interest to soups and stews with a couple of tablespoons of adobo sauce. You can drizzle it over vegetables, potatoes, or rice for a side dish with character, or mix it with ranch dressing or mayonnaise for a salad topper or sandwich condiment. Adobo sauce in an airtight container will keep in the fridge for up to a month.


  • 12 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (divided)
  • 8 guajillo chiles (dried)
  • 8​ ​ancho chiles (dried)
  • 1/4 cup oil (plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or beef or vegetable broth, divided)
  • 6 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and diced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: 1 jalapeño (seeded and minced for added heat)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the water and half of the vinegar to a large pot.

  3. Cut the tops off of the chiles and use a spoon to dislodge and shake out the seeds.

  4. Fry the chiles in hot oil for about 10 seconds on each side.

  5. Add the chiles to the water and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot, turn off the heat and let the chiles soak overnight.

  6. Discard the soaking liquid. Puree the chiles in the blender with the tomato paste, remaining vinegar, and a splash of the broth until smooth.

  7. In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic and onions in remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

  8. Add the remaining broth, chile paste, seasonings, jalapeño (if desired), and juices. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your liking.

  9. Use as a condiment for your sandwich or alongside your protein of choice.

  10. Enjoy!