Achiote Paste or Recado Rojo


Achiote Paste or Recado Rojo

The achiote paste or recado rojo, is one of the main seasonings of the Yucatecan cuisine. Although it is mainly known for its use as the base of a marinade in the Pibil style dishes, it is used in many other ways.

This paste is made of achiote seeds, charred garlic, toasted herbs and spices such as oregano, cloves, cumin, black peppercorns, allspice, coriander seeds, salt and bitter orange or its substitute, which is a mix of citrus juices and/or vinegar.

Achiote paste has, like achiote seeds, a beautiful and warm brick-like color and a strong and pungent flavor. It keeps for months stored in a fresh and shaded area of the kitchen.

Luckily, it can now be found in many international and Latin stores or online.


27 comments on “Achiote Paste or Recado Rojo

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    1. Oh I don’t have a recipe for homemade achiote paste…but there are many brands that carry it (you want to look for achiote paste from Yucatecan brands like Anita or El Yucateco or ORALE, and you want a brick shaped paste, not a jar or a powder). There are many places online and in many Latino or international stores where you can find it.

  1. As a person with serious food intolerance issues, I can not use any of the commercial achiote pastes that I have come across. They all contain corn which I can not eat. However, I have found some recipes from somewhat reliable sources online and I’m eager to try them. I discovered your show recently on PBS and they were playing the Yucatan series. Absolutely love how much I’m learning about Mexico and the varied cultures even if I can only try a fraction of the food.

    1. Pennisi Cuisine has it, also doña chilota tortillas, chillis, black beans, etc. Found achiote today. Doing a pollo pibil on the weber tonight.

  2. Pati, I am another who cannot find the achiote paste locally. I found the seeds and the powder, but the paste is not available here in outland Michigan! I can go online and buy the paste, but now I have these packages of seed and powder to use! Of course, I bought them when I found them! How could I not?! I add my request for you to delight us with a recipe to make our own spice mix for this paste – I bet you have a list of people lined up!
    May I remark that this season has been my favorite so far – the Yucatan recipes wonderful and the show is like taking a vacation. I sincerely thank you for sharing the warmth of your visits with lovely people and allowing us into your family.

    1. I’m so glad you have enjoyed this past season! I’m excited to share season six with you soon. PS You’ve been added to the list ;).

  3. Pati, I love that you used Edam cheese with the lasagne. Edam is one of my favorites since Inwas a child and I rarely see it used in cooking and recipes.

      1. I found it at a local Carneceria/food store that I drive by everyday here in Los Angeles …The brand is Del Maya B, La Perla Achiote condimentado yucateco. It was only $1.29 and I’ll be able to use it three or four more times…As far as I could tell, it worked in the recipe 🙂

  4. Hi Pati! I have annato seeds and can make the achiote with oil. I wonder if this would change the texture needed for the lasagna. Instead, i can put the seasoning of the achiote paste directly on the meat.

    1. Hola,
      The achiote paste is much more than the seeds… it has onion, garlic, bitter orange, lots of spices… the annatto seeds though lovely, just give the annato taste. I really recommend you try to get the paste and give it a try. It may become a new ingredient in your pantry 🙂

  5. Hola Pati,
    I just bought your cookbooks because I’ve been looking into diving into more Mexican recipes than the standard Mexican-American fare. I cook just about everything and always enjoy making my own spice mixtures from scratch because they are always far superior to anything that can be bought and can be customized to taste. Can I request that you *please* post a recipe for this most important ingredient? I’ve looked online but none of the recipes that I’ve found include all of the items that you mention. I want my recado rojo to be the best that it can be, but most of all I want to enjoy making my own! 🙂

    Thank You!

  6. Hi Pati, Can I substitute achiote powder and mix in spiced seasoning paste (Bistek condimentado yucateco) for the achiote paste ?
    I couldn’t find the paste. Thanks

  7. Hello Pati. I remember eating pollo con achote prepared in the oven when I was a little girl. I was wondering if you have a recipe for pollo con achote. I would love to prepare it for my family. I love your book and show!