Homemade Chipotle Paste Recipe (Plus Video)

Chipotle paste is, simply put, chipotle chillies ground to a paste with a few added ingredients. You end up with a smoky and spicy chilli paste that is going to jazz up your meals to no end!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Homemade Chipotle Paste

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. But first …

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.

Pronounced chi-poht-lay, with the first syllable being very short.

I get most of my specialist dried chillies on Amazon, from the same seller:

dried chillies photography
Chipotle Chillies

Chipotle Paste Recipe

It’s a very easy recipe to make at home. And you know, making your own anything allows you to control the flavour and what goes in there.

This is what we’ll be doing:

  1. Dry roast the chillies. (2-3 minutes)
  2. Soak them for 15 minutes in very hot water.
  3. Place everything in a food chopper or blender and zap to a smooth paste.
  4. Optional step – heat for 5 minutes and finish off with balsamic vinegar.

Sounds easy, right?

The Ingredients

Obviously, we want chipotles.

But I also like to add 1 or 2 other Mexican chillies to the mix, depending on what is available. This is to add flavour, as well as volume to our chilli paste.

  • Anchos and Pasilla are lovely, as they add volume and flavour without too much heat.
  • Chiles de arbol increase the heat level of your chilli paste, so I do like to add 1 or 2 to the mix.

EDIT May 2022

For a couple of years now, I’ve started adding 1-2 Chipotles in Adobo to the mix, along with a little of the adobo (sauce).

This takes our chipotle paste to the next level! It has a more intense depth and it’s slightly tangy too. Click here for our Homemade Chipotles in Adobo.

On top of that, I 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. This cooking further deepens the flavour of our chilli paste.

Chipotle Paste
Chipotle Paste

How to use Chipotle Paste

Here are some ways to use chipotle paste:

  • as a marinade for roasts and barbecues. It’s good with meat, seafood and vegetables.
  • as a cooking ingredient to add depth, like in stews.
  • as a topping or filling. Think burgers, sandwiches and canapés.
  • for jazzing up mayonnaise and aioli

Recipes using Chipotle Paste

Marmalade Chicken Traybake with Chipotle Paste
A spicy-ish Marmalade Chicken recipe. Super easy, one pot meal, all you need is some fresh bread, but just as nice with rice!
Get the Recipe!
Marmalade Chicken Traybake with Chipotle Paste
Chipotle Salmon with Vegetables
An easy recipe for oven baked chipotle salmon, complete with potatoes and vegetables. Spicy, smoky and aromatic, this salmon recipe is a complete meal.
Get the Recipe!
salmon with potatoes and vegetables
Chipotle Potatoes
A quick and super easy sautéed potatoes recipe with homemade chipotle paste. Or use shop bought, if you prefer. Ready in 20 minutes!
Get the Recipe!
chipotle potatoes photography
Chipotle Frittata with Marinated Vegetables and Scamorza
This chipotle frittata with marinated vegetables and scamorza is a deliciously spicy Italian omelette with deep flavours from the vegetables and spizzico di scamorza affumicata.
Get the Recipe!
slice of frittata on a dark plate

How long will this Chilli Paste Keep?

If you store it in the fridge in a clean jar, it will keep for a week in the fridge. To extend this to about 2 weeks, cover the chipotle paste with a layer of vegetable oil, about 1 cm depth.

Canning/Preserving the Paste

  1. Stick with this recipe and use the pressure canning method. Preserved this way, your paste will last a good 2 years.
  2. Or you can add the juice of 2 more limes (a total of 3) to this recipe to further increase the acid level, and give it a water bath. Increasing the acid level in the chipotle paste is in keeping with food safety advice on the canning of low acid level foods like chillies and onions. The lime juice does add a tang to the recipe, but let’s face it, lime juice makes so many recipes taste better! If you are increasing this recipe, be sure to increase the amount of lime juice proportionately too.

And guess what? It makes the perfect gift for a foodie friend.

I’m a huge fan of homemade gifts. Are you?

Can Chipotle Paste be Frozen?

Absolutely! Cool it to room temperature and freeze, pushing out as much air as you can in the freezer proof container you are using.

You could also freeze it in ice cube trays so you can use it a little at a time.

Ok then, shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor.

Lin xx

red chilli paste in spoon on glass jar

Homemade Chipotle Paste

Chipotle Paste recipe. It gives a wonderful, smoky flavour to fish and meat, is perfect for grilling and barbecuing and adds depth to stews and chilli con carne.
4.98 from 234 votes
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Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chilli paste, chipotle, hot sauce, spicy
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Makes about 2/3 of a cup (150ml)
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 20 chipotle chillies
  • 2 anchos optional
  • 2 chipotles in adobo plus a little of the adobo optional
  • 2-3 chilli de arbol if you want it a little hotter, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • water as needed

For Cooking the Chipotle Paste

  • 1 Tbsp EV olive oil
  • ½ tsp balsamic vinegar


  • 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.
  • When they are cool enough to handle, cut the chillies with scissors and soak in hot water for about 20 minutes.
  • Drain the chillies and give them a quick rinse, discarding the seeds if you like.
  • Place everything in a chopper and blend to a fine paste, with just enough water to make into a paste.
  • You can stop here, this is a delicious chipotle paste, as it is. If so, store in a small sterilised jar in the fridge and it will last a couple of weeks.
    Or you can go on and do that final step, cooking it for 5 minutes, and adding a little balsamic vinegar. This deepens the flavour.

Cooking the Chipotle Paste

  • 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 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and take off the heat.
  • Store in a sterilised jar, in the fridge.
    red chilli paste in spoon on glass jar

Fancy Homemade Chipotles in Adobo?



Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 3134IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

28 thoughts on “Homemade Chipotle Paste Recipe (Plus Video)”

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks Lin, just made a huge batch over the weekend from home smoked chipotles. It’s just wow, made some scrambled eggs for breakfast and folded it in, man, I wish I’d made more! I see you’ve got the adobo chipotles in there now. I’m making that this weekend as mentioned on Insta, after that another batch of this chipotle paste with the chipotles in adobo!

  2. 5 stars
    I just wanted to say thanks for this recipe and all those ideas for using it. I’ve made every single recipe you’ve suggested more than once. They were all big hits.

  3. Just about to try making this my homegrown, cold smoked dried Carolina chillies. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Hot I imagine.

  4. 5 stars
    OMG! this homemade chipotle paste is delicious. I will love some as your foodie friend! 😀 Since I will not be able to source chipotle chillies will go with some chipotle flakes and regular chillies.

  5. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    Interesting recipe Azlin, never thought of making chipotle paste at home. Must give it a try. I may not be able to source chipotle chilis but like the suggestion to use normal dried chilis and add some chipotle flakes.

  6. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe, never tasted anything like it. Made your potatoes with it. Going to try the other recipes too. Cheers!

  7. 5 stars
    I love chipotle sauce and always have an excuse to add it. I will next time look for this chillies and try to make sum.

  8. Do you have an estimate of how many grams/ounces of chillies this recipe uses? As locally I have only found dried chipotle chilli flakes and not whole. And will this still work with the dried chipotle chilli flakes? Thanks.

    1. Hi Julia, just weighed 20 medium-large chipotle chillies. That’s about 30g (roughly 1 oz). The anchos and de arbol will add another 20-30g.
      Here’s my suggestion. Use about 30g of any dried red chillies. Preferably unsmoked because you want the chipotle flakes to grab your attention. I don’t know where you are, but if you have access to a Chinese or Indian shop, their dried chillies will do.
      Follow the recipe in soaking and chopping them. Then add 2 Tbsp of your chipotle chilli flakes for that signature smoky flavour. And finish the recipe off as on the post.

      1. Thank you that’s very helpful! However, could I not just use 30g of the chipotle chilli flakes instead of any other dried whole chillies and just soak them as you would whole chipotle chillies?

        1. Chilli flakes are a little more concentrated than actual chillies, in terms of heat and flavour. While it’s true that seeds in themselves are not spicy, but because they come in contact with the white glands, they naturally “absorb” the heat.
          Here would be my suggestion, then, to make it with just the flakes.
          1/2 a cup (about 30g) of chipotle chilli flakes
          1 small clove of garlic
          juice of 1 lime
          1 Tbsp sugar
          ½ tsp salt
          pinch of ground cumin
          1 Tbsp water

          For Cooking the Chipotle Paste
          1 Tbsp EV olive oil
          ½ tsp balsamic vinegar

          No need to toast the flakes, as they’ll burn very quickly.
          Start the recipe in step 4, where you place the ingredients in the chopper.
          Then finish off with the quick cooking and balsamic vinegar.

          Let me know how it goes. It will probably be spicier than if you were using whole chillies to start with.

          1. Thank you for your feedback! I ended up using 15g anchos, 15g Guajillo and 1.5 tbsp chipotle flakes as I am sensitive to spice and it worked out great 🙂 just added a bit of water to the flakes, ground them in a pestle & mortar and finished of the recipe as you said.

  9. Hello, your recipe looks wonderful. If you want to make the high acidity version for storing in jars, is it two limes in total? Or three? I wasn’t quite sure from the recipe. Emily.

  10. 5 stars
    Wow, thanks! I’ve been hearing so much about chipotle here in Singapore and have wondered for ages what it was! Now I know. I’m going to see if I can find any Mexican chillies here. We have lots of Mexican restaurants or TexMex, have to check.

    1. A pleasure, Kevin. Amazing when you think about how popular Mexican food is in Singapore. Even in the 90s I remember there were a couple of pretty popular ones that I used to frequent. Good luck finding the chillies.

  11. 5 stars
    This sounds really nice. I don’t know if we can get chipotle here in Hong Kong, but I’m going to try.

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve just made double the batch, now I wish I’d made more! Thanks, first time making my own and you are right, much better than from a jar!

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