Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 15, 2008 06:50 AM

help! where to get chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Ok...hope this isn't a really stupid question, but i just got married and am learning how to cook. I have a recipe calling for chipotle chile in adobo sauce...can i buy this somewhere? What part of the grocery store? Or do i have to make this myself? Help! Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Usually in the Mexican food section - in small cans. Near the refried beans, enchilada sauce if you live in a place without a large section.

    1. it should be in any grocery that has an ethnic/mexican food section. look near the salsas, canned chile peppers, etc.

      1. Sounds like this is something you haven't used before. In which case I should warn you that it is pretty hot, especially by typical American standards. So taste and use with caution. Put what you don't need for this recipe in a small jar. It keeps very well in the fridge. A small spoon of the sauce is a good substitute for bottled hot sauce.


        1. I just came up with that need, also, for a SW dish called Gratin of the Three Sisters. Gratin doesn't sound SW to me. Anyway it calls for chipotle in adobo sauce and I understand that it is pretty peppery, and therefore I can't eat it (doctor orders). So if you don't find that, what might be a substitute with minimal heat (not none, just "one star")?

          13 Replies
          1. re: Gualtier Malde

            Any hot sauce to taste can substitute for chipotle, especially if the recipe just calls for a teaspoon or two of the adobo sauce. The main thing that this adds, beyond the heat, is some smokiness. Chipotle is a smoke dried jalapeƱo pepper. Chipotle in adobo is the chipotle canned in a tomato sauce, to which it lends its heat. Different brands use different sauces, and have slightly different flavors. Chipotle flavored hot sauces are pretty common as well.


              1. re: torty

                Smoky note for sure, but overall different flavor profile.

                I wonder if using just some of the sauce from the canned chipotles would be mild enough to meet Gualtier's criterion?

                1. re: hohokam

                  when I don't have any chipotle (chip-oat-lay) peppers, I cheat and use any good spicy red taco sauce with a few drops of liquid smoke. It'll do in a pinch.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      or chee poht lay ;) better than chi- pole-tay, eh? or chi-pottle!

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        I confess, this subthread left me feeling like I'm missing out on some inside joke.

                        Did my post read as if I needed guidance as to how to pronounce the word?

                        1. re: hohokam

                          No, not at all. Sorry, just some old nutters gone astray.

                      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        In my teen years in SoCal I worked summers in a taco stand. Had people order some mighty strange items, none of them on our menu. There were tay-koes, toe-stee-toes, and my all-time favorite, an add-on called goo-ka-stuff.

                        I'm guessing they were touristas. :)

                2. re: Gualtier Malde

                  Gratins are pretty common in Mexico... Calabacitas aka Mexican Zucchini aka Courgettes are common version... 3 Sisters doesn't sound as appealing.

                  The Mexican Adobos are the ancestors of American BBQ sauce... its a similar concept long cooked tomatoes, black pepper & sweet spices, dried herbs like Mexican oregano, roasted tomates & garlic... a major difference is that Mexican cooking usually derives its sweetness from roasting tomatoes & onions rather than from sugar or molasses so its less sweet.

                  You can use mildish Anchos with a little bit of reconstituted dried chipotles to achieve just a little heat.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    Thanks to all. Meanwhile my son did suggest using tomato sauce and Tabasco chipotle sauce in quantity sufficient to the proper amount of taste and heat.

                    Eat Nopal: We might have gotten our recipe from one of those slim paper-bound cookbooks. We have to do this recipe today or tomorrow morning for sure to take to a potluck. I do have Diana Kennedy's "My Mexico" and will try to find a more authentic version. Meanwhile would you point me to one? Thank you.

                  2. Thanks everyone...i did find them on the ethnic food aisle...i used them to make a smoky tomato soup...everyone loved it!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: iluvtennis

                      I loved the direct and to the point question you posed and your equally succinct follow up. I doubt you'll ever have trouble cooking (or maintaining a great marriage).

                      1. re: iluvtennis


                        I suppose you must be in Denton, TX.....Try Sack N Save close to UNT on Ave C....should be in a white and blue can. I will let you know the brand name later

                        1. re: soulslinger

                          San Marcos brand...below is a link to the picture. Those are the ones I use