From barbecue sauce to refried beans there are so many dishes that are elevated with canned chipotle in adobo peppers. But with so many brands it’s hard to know, which one is the best? We’ve tasted dozens of brands and these are our favorites.
One thing everyone can agree upon is the smoky allure of chipotle peppers in adobo.
They have spice, they have smoke, a touch of vinegar, basically elevating every Mexican food recipe they touch. Plus, bonus: they come in a convenient can, ready to be used with no soaking necessary!
I like to add them to everything from my Bloody Mary to a pot of black beans. Adding minced chipotle chiles is a super easy way to not only spice up a dish but also that addictive smokiness we all crave—it even makes sour cream better!
but wait, what are chipotles in adobo sauce?
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, but just in case….
Canned chipotles in adobo are dried jalapeños that have been smoked then canned in a adobo hot sauce that has varying levels of brown sugar, Mexican oregano, and vinegar plus other spices depending on the brand.
I could easily use up a can in less than 30 minutes but if you open one, use one or two and wonder what to do with the rest, the good news is, they freeze beautifully. Feel free to puree the rest in the food processor then fill an ice cube tray with the puree and freeze for later!
I’ve used many different chipotle peppers in adobo sauce over the years and there are definitely some I like more than others. Scroll down to see which ones are my favorites!
The Best Overall Chipotle Peppers In Adobo
My number one favorite brand is La Costeña.
Initially I was sure I wasn’t going to like this one. It is the only brand I’ve tried that includes hunks of caramelized onion in the adobo sauce which made the sauce seem dry and chunky.
But it was the onions that sent these chipotle peppers over the top. They added a complex, browned, sweetness that really stood out. Mexican tacos will never be the same.
The Runner Up
My second favorite chipotles in adobo are La Morena brand.
They have excellent balanced flavor, not too smoky, not to much vinegar and the peppers themselves are large, whole high-quality peppers.
Really the only difference between La Costeña and La Morena are the caramelized onions. If you don’t like onions, you’ll probably love La Morena best.
The Best GMO-Free Chipotles en Adobo
It’s hard to know which ones are GMO-free because many of them aren’t labeled as such. I assume they aren’t unless they make a point of saying so on the packaging.
That being said, there are a few brands that use only non-GMO peppers and my favorite is Carey.
They have beautiful whole chipotles and great balanced flavor thanks to sea salt. Add them to your favorite Mexican street corn recipe.
The Best Gluten-Free Chipotles
Many canned chipotles use different preservatives and starches during processing, so a lot of them are not gluten-free.
The San Marcos brand is made with only chipotles, spices, vinegar, and salt making them perfect for those sensitive to gluten.
They are a bit acidic with maybe a little too much vinegar, but still have good smoky flavor and plump peppers.
What To Make With Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
Now you know which brand to buy, but what should you do with them?
- 17 Recipes You Should Be Making With Chipotle Peppers
- Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup
- Fall Harvest Enchiladas with Chipotle Cream Sauce
- Pork Tinga Tacos
- Smoky Chicken Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo
- Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs
- Manchego Chipotle Cheese Ball
Ready To Flesh Out Your Mexican Pantry
Check out my Ultimate Mexican Pantry Guide to see what you need!