Quick Guide to Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are key to adding rich, smoky flavor in recipes! Here’s why to stock them in your pantry.

Here’s a little can that packs a huge punch: Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce! If this is a new-to-you ingredient, rest assured that what’s inside that tiny can is absolute magic. There’s nothing that brings richness, depth, and smoky complexity quite like these mighty peppers. Here’s more about this ingredient, why it’s essential to stock in your pantry, and a few of our top recipes for using up a can.

What are chipotle peppers in adobo sauce?

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a small can that includes chipotle chiles: smoked and dried jalapeños that are rehydrated and canned, and adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and other spices. Both ingredients add a rich depth of flavor to dishes, sweet, spicy, dark and smoky all at once.

The can is versatile: you can use just the adobo sauce in recipes to add a mild smoky complexity. Or, add the finely chopped chili peppers themselves for a bolder heat. Chipotle peppers in adobo work well in sauces, soups, stews, beans, aiolis, marinades, glazes, and more.

How hot are they?

Chipotle peppers have a similar heat level to jalapeño peppers. On the Scoville Heat Index, a scientific measure of spiciness, chipotle peppers measure between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU. Here’s how the chipotle stacks up with other peppers:

  • Sweet banana pepper: 0 to 500 SHU (No spice)
  • Jalapeño & chipotle peppers: 2,500 to 8,000 SHU (Medium hot)
  • Serrano peppers: 5,000 to 15,000 SHU (Hot)
  • Cayenne: 90,000 SHU (Very hot)
  • Habanero: 100,000 to 350,000 SHU (Extremely hot)
  • Ghost pepper: 1,041,427 SHU (Outrageously hot)
See also  Quick Guide to Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Where to find chipotles in adobo sauce

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are widely available at most grocery stores in the US. Check the canned vegetable aisle or near the Mexican ingredients. If you can’t find them at your local grocery, try ordering them online.

Storage info

One jar of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce has more quantity than needed for most recipes. Store the opened jar covered with foil for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

For longer term storage, you can freeze individual chipotle peppers in an ice cube tray, placing one pepper or one tablespoon sauce into each hole. Freeze for about 2 hours until solid, then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze up to 3 months.

Ways to use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Chipotle peppers in adobo add a pop of rich, smoky flavor to soups, stews, beans, aiolis, marinades, glazes, and more. Here are some of our favorite chipotle recipes:

More quick guides

Mystified by an ingredient, or want to learn more about flavor secrets? Here are a few more quick guides to peruse:

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Description

Try this Chipotle Aioli sauce anytime you need a smoky, spicy heat! It’s ideal for burgers, fries, veggies, and more.


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ cup high quality mayonnaise
  • ⅛ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Use a large knife to finely mince the chipotle peppers, then use the side of the knife to grind them into a paste as finely as possible. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the mashed chipotle peppers with the grated garlic, mayonnaise, cumin, and kosher salt. (Taste and if desired, you can add more chipotle for an even spicier kick.)
  3. For a perfectly creamy sauce, use a spatula to press the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated. 

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Sauce
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chipotles in adobo sauce