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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Chipotles en Adobo Sauce


Deliciously complex with spicy, sweet, sour and smoky flavor notes, chiplotles en adobo is a signature sauce for many Mexican and Southwestern dishes, but you’ll find loads of ways to incorporate it into your cooking.

The beauty of making your own chipotles en adobo sauce is that you can ditch the sugar, salt and oils contained in commercially sold brands for a super healthy condiment, and finetune ingredient proportions to suit your personal tastes.



Prep time 20 minutes          Cooking time 40-50 minutes                Makes 3 cups




12-15 dried chipotle chilis


1 small white or yellow onion, finely diced

Dry white wine, dry vermouth or no-sodium veggie broth to deglaze pan

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup strained or puréed tomatoes

7 allspice berries, dry roasted and ground

1 Indian bay leaf (teja patta) if available, otherwise European bay laurel

3/8 cup date purée from full ½ cup dried dates, any variety, pitted

½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, otherwise European oregano

1 teaspoon aka (red) miso •, dissolved in a minimal amount of water

1 cup water

1/3 cup fermented (unpasteurized) apple cider vinegar


•  Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure (,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).




Prep Chipotles and Allspice Berries

Heat a comal, skillet, or griddle for 3 minutes over medium heat. Dry roast dry chipotles for 1 minute on each side to soften and become fragrant.  Be careful not to burn them. Transfer to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Use a plate to push the chilis under water to soften. After ½ hour, slice each chili open and remove stem. Submerging each chili in the soaking water, use your fingers to scrape out the seeds.


While the comal or skillet is still hot, dry roast allspice berries for just a minute or so to become fragrant. Cool. Grind in a coffee or spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle to a fine powder.


Prep Dates

Place dates in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to just cover them.  Allow to soak until softened. Cool and blend with soaking water in a high-speed blending to create a smooth, creamy paste.


Making Chipotles en Adobo Sauce

Heat a skillet for 3 minutes over medium flame.


Dry sauté onion for 5 minutes, stirring as it softens and begins to brown.


Deglaze pan with your liquid of choice, using a wooden spoon to help the onion’s carmelized sugars dissolve.


Add all the remaining ingredients except for the miso and vinegar, stirring well. Lower to a very gentle simmer, uncovered, and cook slowly for 40-50 minutes or until the sauce has thickened into a dense, fragrant sauce.


Add vinegar and miso, dissolved in a small amount of water. Taste and adjust seasonings as you prefer.


Chipotles en adobo sauce will last about a week in the fridge and freezes beautifully.  Freeze in ½ cup containers for handy amounts for future use.


Use chipotles en adobo to add depth and flavor for your chilis, pasta sauces, on your eggless omelettes and wherever you want to add zip to a dish.

Chipotles en Adobo Sauce