Adobo Sauce With Garlic and Orange Juice

Adobo sauce recipe

​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Rest Time: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 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.

    Ingredients for adobo sauce
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Add the water and half of the vinegar to a large pot.

    Add the vinegar
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Cut the tops off of the chiles and use a spoon to dislodge and shake out the seeds.

    Cut tops off chiles
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Fry the chiles in hot oil for about 10 seconds on each side.

    Fry chiles
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  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.

    Add chiles
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  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.

    Puree chiles
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic and onions in remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

    Saute garlic and onions
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  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.

    Add remaining broth
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Use as a condiment for your sandwich or alongside your protein of choice.

    Use condiment
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Enjoy!

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga