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Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

16 chipotles with sauce

45 minutes 5 minutes active

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Canned chipotles in adobo sauce are a staple in the Milk Street pantry. The chilies (or even just a spoonful of the sauce) are an easy way to add moderate heat and deep, smoky flavor to sauces, meats and sandwiches. They are made by drying and smoking jalapeno peppers, then packing them in a rich sauce made from tomatoes and even more chilies.

When we tried canned varieties, we favored brands that used more tomato in the sauce, such as Embasa or Goya. When shopping, check the ingredients. Tomatoes should be the second or third ingredient listed.

Though canned chipotles in adobo are great, we loved homemade even more; the texture of the chilies is firmer and the sauce is thicker and more robustly flavored. Be sure to use dried morita chipotles, which are shiny and dark. They are smaller, sweeter and smokier than tan-colored meco chipotles, which tend to be leathery and nutty.


chipotles with sauce

45 minutes

5 minutes active


  • 20

    dried morita chipotle chilies (about 1¼ ounces), stems removed

  • 3

    cups water

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Sherrill B.

Is there a mistake in this recipe? Remove all but 4 of the chilies from the pan and set aside. In a blender, combine the cooking water and remaining 4 chipotles. I'm assuming that I blend the 4 chilis and the water and leave 16 behind to put back in the pan for later. Is that true? thanks so much!

Lynn C.

Hi Sherrill -

I'm so sorry, you are right - this recipe is a little confusing. You want to remove 16 chilies and set aside. Then blend the remaining 4 chilis with the cooking water. Add the onion through thyme on the ingredient list and blend again until smooth, then return to the pan along with the reserved 16 chilis to simmer for 20 minutes. I hope that clears it up!

The Milk Street Team