Adobo Sauce {Gluten Free}

I adore Tex-Mex cuisine, but when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, eating out Tex-Mex style became nearly impossible. Many restaurant and store-bought varieties of Tex-Mex, including Adobo sauce, contain added gluten, often in the form of wheat flour, added as a thickener.

Making homemade peppers in Adobo sauce is simple, a great way to boost flavors in your weekly meals and the taste is far superior to canned Adobo (and of course, this version is gluten-free). We typically choose either Chiptole or Ancho peppers. We'll go into their distinct flavors in a moment.

Adobo sauce is a wonderful addition to dips and sauces and as a marinade for cooking meats, fish and vegetables. You may also use Adobo sauce for cooking rice - it makes a delicious, smoky, spicy side dish.

When refrigerated this Adobo sauce recipe will keep for several weeks in an airtight container. You may also freeze or can the homemade Adobo sauce and save it for up to a year.


Chipotle and Ancho peppers bring their distinct flavor, spice and color to the Adobo sauce, along with many healing benefits, which include: reducing inflammation, lowering risk of heart disease and related events, relieving congestion, boosting immunity, preventing the spread of certain cancers, reducing the instance of stomach ulcers, improving digestion, improving metabolism, lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes and assisting with weight loss.

Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives peppers their spice. The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. Capsaicin helps to prevent inflammation by affecting the neuropeptides. Capsaicin's heat also stimulates secretions that help clear mucus and relieve congestion from our nose and lungs.

Rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism are reduced in cultures that eat more chili peppers. Specifically, red chili peppers, such as Anchos and Chipotles, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation, while still improving the formation of blood clots.

Those chili peppers that are bright red color contain a high content of beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Just two teaspoons of red chili peppers provide about 6% of the daily value for vitamin C combined with more than 10% of the daily value for vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps to prevent infection and by supporting healthy mucous membranes. Chili peppers may also prevent bacteria from propagating in the stomach, leading to improved digestion and a reduction in stomach ulcers.

Meals containing chili peppers significantly lower the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar levels after a meal, but may also increase the rate at which the liver is clears insulin. Besides capsaicin, chilies contain antioxidants, including vitamin C and carotenoids, which might also help improve insulin regulation. Our body would therefore need to make less insulin AND would use it more effectively.

A study published in the March 15, 2006 issue of Cancer Researched even links capsaicin to a reduction in the spread of prostate cancer cells.

Peppers may help to reduce our risk of high blood levels of insulin, a disorder associated with type 2 diabetes. Sweet and spicy peppers have also been found to significantly increase heat production and oxygen consumption for more than 20 minutes after being eaten, which contributes to an increase in calories burned.


You'll find dried peppers in your store located in the Mexican foods aisle or alongside the produce section.

Enjoy this recipe for homemade Adobo sauce with either Chipotle peppers or Ancho peppers (slightly milder flavor and very family-friendly).

ANCHO: An Ancho pepper is the dried form of the Poblano chili pepper. Ancho pepper have a mild paprika flavor, with sweet to moderate heat.

CHIPOTLE: A Chipotle pepper is a smoked or dried Jalapeño pepper. Chipotle peppers have a smoky flavor and tend to be spicier, especially when the seeds are included in the dish.


Take care when handling and cooking with chili peppers, especially when fresh. The capsaicin may cause burning and irritation especially when it comes in contact with sensitive skin, lips or eyes. Be mindful even when cooking with dried peppers to wash hands thoroughly after touching.

Enjoy this Adobo sauce on our Chicken with Adobo sauce recipe or use it in Chipotle Dip - available on our blog later this week.

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Adobo Sauce {Gluten-Free}


  • 7 to 10 Dried Peppers (Chipotle or Ancho), de-stemmed, seeds removed and slit lengthwise

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced

  • 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1/4 Cup Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup

  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 3 Cups Water


1. In a large sauce pan, combine ingredients and simmer, covered, over low heat until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. This will take approximately 1-1 1/2 hours.

*Eat Inspired Today tip: You can also make this sauce in a slow cooker set on low.

2. Use immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate or freeze.

3. ENJOY and Eat Inspired Today!