Achiote Adobo Marinade

Achiote Adobo Marinade

Adobo de Achiote

Recipe Yield

2 cups

Cooking time

20 minutes

Rate this recipe

4 from 7 votes


  • 2 guajillo chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice (or substitute with 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup lime juice and 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground true or ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste

To Prepare

  • Stem and seed the guajillo chiles. Toast them on a pre-heated comal or skillet, set over medium heat, for about 1 to 2 minutes per side until they are toasted, but not burnt. Place the chiles in a saucepan, add enough water to cover them, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the chiles are plumped up and rehydrated.
  • In a blender, place the chiles along with 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid and the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth. Use as a marinade.


26comments inAchiote Adobo Marinade

  1. Tina

    Jun 04

    I caught this episode on PBS and I went to the super mercado last night and found the guiajillo chiles, achiote paste, and bitter orange juice. I have my meat marinating right now, it smells amazing!!! Thanks for the easy recipe, Pati! Love your show.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 13

      Oh yummy! My pleasure Tina, enjoy 🙂

  2. Alva Míreles

    Mar 23

    Hola Patty. I recently saw this episode but I don’t see where you add the guajillo sauce to the achiote marinade. So I’m confused do you add both together then blend?

    Gracias, Alva

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 25

      Hola Alva, here is the full recipe for you, sorry it was not very clear in the show, but this one will give you the step by step, enjoy!

  3. Lisa J

    Jun 29

    How long can you keep the unused marinade in the fridge?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 30

      For about a week up to 10 days Lisa, enjoy!

  4. Julie Kerr

    Dec 17

    Hello Pati,
    I love your recipe’s. Can you please tell me what Achiote paste is. Thank you.

    1. Pati

      Dec 18

      It’s a delicious seasoning made with all sorts of herbs and seeds…here’s some more information

  5. DianaQ

    Oct 12

    Muy buenos! Lo unico que hice diferente, fue que después de rebanar la carne, la dore en un poco de aceite con algo de la marinada reservada.

  6. Terry

    Aug 21

    Pati, You are the best, thank you so much for taking time to answer my message. I can’t wait to get my order/ingredients and try them. I am equally excited to try your chicken recipe, it looks and sounds incredibly yummy. I have your website bookmarked and I should be getting your cookbook any day and have already reordered the one coming out next year 🙂 can’t wait. Keep up the good work and keep the yummy recipes coming.
    A very happy camper,

  7. Jessie

    Aug 16

    My husband and I saw this episode the other day and I decided to give it a try. I made them yesterday for my dad’s birthday and everyone loooooved them ☺ Great recipe, thanks Pati!

    1. Pati

      Aug 21

      Thank you for making them!!

  8. terry

    Aug 04

    Hi Patti,
    We love watching your show, especially the stories and information on ingredients and substitutions and all the wonderful recipes, (there are still so many we want to try).
    We are in a rural area, so I order my Mexican ingredients from Mexgrocer, I was looking for the achiote paste, but there were a lot of choices and I was wondering if you have a favorite brand or brands that you can recommend.

    We are waiting for the cooler weather to make more pozole, yum.
    Now I am off to search your chicken recipes to see if I can find one similar to some we had that was slightly sweet with a hint of lime, cinnamon with tomatoes, sweet onion and green peppers.
    Thank you.

    1. Pati

      Aug 21

      Hola Terry, Thank you so much for your message and for watching my show. Any of the achiote pastes on MexGrocer will be good! Also maybe you’ll want to try this chicken recipe:

  9. Saeli Rivera

    Aug 01

    Hola pati no soy mexicana pero me encanta toda la comida mexicana sobre todo todas tus recetas. Hoy me he visto todos los platos de comida que has hecho en especial los tacos al pastor, los tamales y los churros se ven delicioso mañana tratare de hacer la carne para los tacos al pastor igual como esta en la receta espero que me queden bien ricos. No me pierdo tu programa y tienes unos hermosos hijos dios los bendiga y a ti también.

    1. Pati

      Aug 02

      Saeli, mil gracias por mandarme este mensaje tan lindo. Que bueno que te guste mi programa y las recetas que presento, ojalá que cocines muchas!

  10. Janice

    Jul 29

    Hi Pati. We made the tacos al pastor and the carnitas last weekend. They were a big hit! I have been making your pickled jalapenos too. Next project is to try the chipotles in adobo with some of the jalapenos from our garden. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes! I have always been intimidated to cook Mexican dishes at home but you make it so accessible. So far everything has been delicious and I can’t wait to make more. Janice

    1. Pati

      Jul 30

      So happy you are liking what you are trying: I hope you try many more, Janice!

  11. DianaQ

    Jul 11

    Ooooooo! Voy a tener que hacer estos! En Tamaulipas les llamamos tacos de trompo, son mis favoritos.
    Muchas gracias por la receta!

  12. Lacey

    Jun 23

    Hola Pati!! Thank you so much for this delicious al pastor recipe! Everyone in our house loved it!!

    1. Pati

      Jun 24

      YAY!!! Hope you try more recipes and hope you all like them!

      1. Lacey

        Jun 25

        I tried the bricklayer tacos yesterday… Wow! So so yummy! I can’t wait to try more! I’m thrilled I can cook authentic foods for my husband and family with your help! Keep up the fantastic work!

  13. Dale

    May 08

    Hi Pati
    I want to make your Al Pastor tacos. I have found everything I need but I can only find the achiote in a powder form and a package of what looks like little seeds not the paste. Can I use either one of those if so how can I substitute.

    My wife and I love watching your show. Will you be making floutis any time soon? I think I miss spelled that but I think you know what I mean

    1. Pati

      May 10

      Hi Dale!
      I really recommend you get the Achiote Paste, it comes in a bar shaped form and you can find it online, if it comes from the Yucatan, even better. It looks like this
      Yes! Flautas, will do!

  14. Cole B.

    May 06

    Hi, Pati!
    I made your Al Pastor recipe for our Cinco de Mayo celebration and they were delicious. I made my own achiote paste and need to adjust accordingly next time, but they were so flavorful and amazing. My question is in reference to an achiote quandary. In searching our local Mexican market for the achiote paste cubes, I could not find one brand that did not contain Red 40. Do you know of a good brand? I am not averse to making my own, I was just thinking that the flavor would be different than my homemade paste and I want to compare the two. Thanks in advance, Pati! I absolutely love your show. 🙂

    1. Pati

      May 06

      Hola Cole, Thank you for making my tacos al pastor! I’ve seen some achiote pastes without dyes online; maybe run quick search? Though your homemade sounds delicious.

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