Spicy 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.Jump to Recipe
As a lover of bold flavors, I have accumulated quite a few seasonings. My typical cooking MO has me eye-balling dashes of this and that as I cook, tasting and adjusting as I go. But I definitely appreciate the convenience of a well-made spice blend (looking at you Umami seasoning from Trader Joe’s).
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 seasonings because I wanted to bring the heat with cayenne pepper and chili powder.
What is 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 quickly 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.
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, and earthy, bold and robust without being overpowering. Make it Spicy Adobo Seasoning by adding chili powder and cayenne pepper.
What do you use Adobo Seasoning for?
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 Spicy Adobo Seasoning?
- 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.
I have this spice/coffee grinder and it's fantastic.
Other seasoning additions
You could also try mixing it up with these herbs and spices. Add some dried citrus zest to the mix for seafood applications, or accentuate smoky flavors with paprika when grilling.
- Bay leaf (ground)
- Chipotle chili powder
- Paprika (including smoked or hot Hungarian)
- Dried citrus zest (lemon or lime)
How long does Spicy 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.
If you like this, you might also enjoy:
- Spicy Pico de Gallo
- Black Olive and Jalapeno Tapenade
- Ranchero Eggs
- Cheddar Bay Chorizo Balls
- Roasted Garlic Chimichurri
- Easy Seasoned Refried Beans
- Crunchy Porchetta Seasoned Pepitas
Spicy Adobo Seasoning
- Spice grinder
- Add all ingredients to a spice grinder and grind for 10-15 seconds.