Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning is easy to whip up at home using ingredients you likely already have in your cupboard and can be endlessly customized to suit your tastes.
Adobo seasoning is one of those all-purpose seasonings that you can easily make from seasoning staples like garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mine strays from traditional adobo seasoning recipes because I wanted to bring a little heat with cayenne pepper and chili powder.
There are wet and dry adobo applications, but here I'm focusing on Dry Adobo Seasoning.
- What is Dry Adobo Seasoning?
- What does Adobo Seasoning taste like?
- Uses for Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning
- How do you make Dry Adobo Seasoning?
- Variations to Homemade Adobo Seasoning
- How long does Homemade Adobo Seasoning last?
- What to serve with Adobo Seasoning?
- Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning
What is Dry Adobo Seasoning?
Adobo seasoning is an all-purpose seasoning like seasoned salt. It typically contains salt, garlic powder, oregano, turmeric, black pepper, and other Latin spices. It’s great for flavoring everything from meat proteins to seafood to vegetables. You’ve likely seen premade versions from brands like GOYA in the spice aisle at the grocery store But you can easily make your own at home. And tweak it in fun and interesting ways, as I did in this recipe to make it spicy by adding chili powder, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
I highly recommend using this Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning with chicken, it's money. Try it on Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs and Air Fryer Adobo Chicken. And you should definitely make these Adobo Chicken Tacos (pictured below).
What does Adobo Seasoning taste like?
Adobo seasoning is first and foremost salty and savory since it’s a seasoning salt. But it’s also herbaceous, warm, earthy, bold, and robust without being overpowering. Make it spicy by adding chili powder and cayenne pepper.
Uses for Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning
To season chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, fish, potatoes, corn, well you get the idea. Adobo seasoning is fantastic on pretty much everything protein or vegetable. It’s a good all-purpose seasoning that you can simply sprinkle on, use as a rub, or as a base for a marinade. When using keep in mind that it is salt-forward so use conservatively.
How do you make Dry Adobo Seasoning?
This Dry Adobo Seasoning recipe isn't authentic; more like authentic-adjacent and calls for cayenne and chili powder to add a bit of heat. You can leave the cayenne out if you wish.
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano*
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch of granulated sugar (or Splenda)
Add all ingredients to a spice grinder and grind for 10-15 seconds. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices by hand.
Variations to Homemade Adobo Seasoning
You could also try mixing this recipe up with the following herbs and spices. Add some dried citrus zest to the mix for seafood applications, or accentuate smoky flavors with paprika when grilling.
When adding (or substituting) to this Dry Adobo seasoning recipe, add similar amounts for similar seasonings. Suggested amounts are provided below.
- Thyme (½ - 1 teaspoon)
- Bay leaf (ground) (1-2 leaves)
- Chipotle chili powder (¼ -½ teaspoon)
- Paprika (including smoked or hot Hungarian) (½ teaspoon)
- Dried citrus zest (lemon or lime) (¼ teaspoon)
How long does Homemade Adobo Seasoning last?
For best results, use within 6 months to a year. Spices lose their potency over time. Store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place like a cupboard.
What to serve with Adobo Seasoning?
Homemade Dry Adobo Seasoning
- Spice grinder
- Add all ingredients to a spice grinder and grind for 10-15 seconds.