Add a deep, earthy and smoky flavour to your recipes with this Chipotle Chilli Paste or Chipotle Sauce as it’s also known and make it quite frequently. It can be used for so many things, gives a wonderful, smoky flavour to fish and meat, is perfect for grilling and barbecuing and adds depth to stews and chilli con carne.
What are Chipotles?
Chipotle chillies are dried, smoked red jalapeños and have an amazing deep, smoky flavour and aroma. They add wonderful depth without too much heat.
Chipotle Paste Recipe
It’s a very easy recipe to make at home. Making your own chipotle paste allows you to control the flavour, the heat level, and most certainly, what goes in there.
When I make chipotle paste, I love to also add 1 or 2 other Mexican chillies to the mix, depending on what is available. Anchos and Guajillos are lovely, as they add volume and flavour without too much heat. Chiles de arbol increase the heat level of your chipotle paste, so I do like to add 1 or 2 to the mix.
But this is completely up to you. Chipotles have such a strong presence that adding a couple of other chillies isn’t going to dilute the signature smoky constitution of our chipotle paste.
I also love to add a pinch of cumin for depth and a natural complement to the smokiness, and a little balsamic vinegar rounds everything up with just a hint of tang.
And finally, I give you an optional step of lightly cooking the chipotle paste, which I do quite often. The cooking further deepens the flavour of our chilli paste.
Didn’t I say easy? Shall we get to it?
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Chipotle Paste (Chipotle Sauce)
- 20 chipotle chillies
- 2 chile de arbol optional
- 2 anchos optional
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- pinch of ground cumin
- ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- water as needed
- 1 Tbsp EV olive oil optional
- Dry roast the chillies for a couple of minutes on medium heat, being careful not to let them burn. They might puff up slightly.
- Cut the stalk end off and shake the seeds out, if you like.
- Cut them with scissors and soak in hot water for about 20 minutes.
- Drain the chillies and place everything in a chopper/mortar and blend to a fine paste, with just enough water to make into a paste.
- Store in a small sterilised jar in the fridge and it will last a couple of weeks.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan or deep frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the chipotle paste without the balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes, stirring.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and take off the heat.
- Store in a sterilised jar.