Dry indian spices, cumin, chilli, coriander, mustard seeds on a black board©GrosbyGroup
Cocina 101

This is how you make homemade adobo seasoning

Find out how to make this Latinx cooking staple from scratch

Adobo. We know it, we love it, we use it on everything (cue the old lady from the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce commercials). Normally when we think of adobo, we think of the pre-made kind that is easily purchased at the supermarket. This delightful mixture can be used on just about anything—meats, poultry and seafood— giving it a unique taste that leaves us going for seconds.

The word adobo is derived from the Spanish word adobar, which means “marinade.” The practice of using adobo in cooking first originated in the Iberian Peninsula (so Spain and Portugal) and was then brought to the Americas where each of emerging countries (colonies back then) put their own twist on it.

Ingredients for Adobo©GettyImages
Adobo can be used on pork, beef, chicken and fish

Everywhere from Mexico to Peru to Puerto Rico to the Philippines developed their own version of the dry seasoning, each with their own flair and ingredients. Where Mexico has one dry version that uses chipotle and ancho peppers, Puerto Rico has two versions of it (one version uses dry ingredients only, while another introduces citrus juice and vinegar to the mix).

To be honest, there is really no wrong way to make your adobo all that matters is that your end product is some kind of delicious. Below we’ve included a simple adobo recipe that you can easily make at home with only a few ingredients.

Small pork ribs cooked with adobo sauce and served with rice, tortillas, pickled onions and lime©GrosbyGroup
Whether your dish is ‘guisado,’ sautéed or grilled, you can never go wrong with a little adobo

Homemade Adobo Recipe


  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp onion
  • ½ tbsp garlic
  • ½ tbsp Mexican oregano
  • ½ tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder
  • ¼ tsp pasilla powder


  1. Mix all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix until evenly combined.
  2. Take a small mason jar and pour in mixture.
  3. Store somewhere dry.
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