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Homemade Adobo Seasoning and Mexican Spice Mix

Adobo Seasoning is the Mexican version of seasoned salt or all purpose seasoning. Make this DELICIOUS seasoning for every possible meal with just 5 INGREDIENTS that you already have in your pantry!

adobo seasoning in a small jar

What is adobo seasoning?

Adobo spice is the “all-purpose” seasoning mix or seasoned salt that is used in Mexican and Filipino cuisines.

Adobo Seasoning means one thing to Mexican cuisine and another to Filipino dishes. Don’t get confused or we will be forced to take away your international foods passport.

For this recipe, I will show you the Mexican style adobo seasoning. But don’t fret because I will also explain the differences and similarities too.

You don’t want to get yourself in a bind, especially when it comes to cooking great food!

For example, you could use it in recipes like my Celebration Sliders if you wanted to. Not going to force you… but wouldn’t hurt to try.

overhead picture of individual spices for adobo in bowls

If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious easy Adobo Seasoning recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

Mexican Style Adobo Seasoning

Mexican style adobo seasoning fuses Spanish and Latin flavors to make a seasoning that can be used wet or dry.

Basically, it’s a major seasoning foundation to a lot of dishes.

It’s similar to Goya Sazonador Complete but the “complete seasoning” contains additional herbs and spices like parsley, cumin, and onion powder.

This recipe shows you how to make the dry seasoning which you can use for a rub on meats, add to stews, and even just sprinkle on most anything you want.

It is so good you will start eyeballing different things and wondering how it would taste with adobo seasoning on it… Like melon for example.

So, feel free to make extra. It is delicious, stores well, and finds purpose in plenty of recipes.

adobo seasoning ingredients in a mortar and pestle

create your own adobo seasoning

So, while this seasoning can be either be Filipino or Mexican style, it can also be wet or dry. In fact, adobo can also be considered a sauce, not just a wet marinade.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, the cultural heritage of both Filipino and Mexican style adobos share some history.

Specifically, the Spanish sailors that went around searching for pots of gold and fountains of youth, found flavors and food preservation techniques to appropriate as well.

In some ways, making your own adobo rub counts as finding a pot of gold.

Basically, Philippine adobo refers to a dish where the main seasonings are vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Whereas Mexican adobo can be a seasoning blend or a sauce.

The sauce includes the adobo spice mix, but then adds in vinegar, garlic, tomatoes, and chili peppers.

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adobo seasoning in a spice grinder before grinding

What is the flavor of adobo?

The flavor profile of the Mexican seasoning tends to be like the Spanish version and lean toward spicy with an oregano herb flavor.

The Latin and Filipino version tends to be more salty and sour.

What is adobo seasoning made with?

  • salt
  • pepper
  • turmeric
  • granulated garlic
  • oregano

For my basic adobo seasoning blend, you need salt, pepper, turmeric, granulated garlic, and oregano.

Grind the heck out of the ingredients. You want the vigorous blender action to make a fine powder out of everything.

This makes the flavors come together as one. So you don’t just taste any one flavor on its own.

I have used a mortar and pestle, and came out with very sore arms so I would recommend an electric spice grinder.

In this sense, making your own adobo is akin to making your own gumbo file seasoning.

What is a good substitute for adobo seasoning?

A homemade Mexican adobo is the best substitute for the store bought Goya Adobo and Badia Sazon seasoning.

Once made, it can be stored for a few months. Just make sure to keep it in a dry place in a tightly sealed spice jar. I like to keep it in a spice jar that has a sprinkle style top.

That way I can use it in just a small dusting over the top of a steak or pork tenderloin to season. Or I can open it up and dump it onto a piece of meat and use it generously as a dry rub.

uses for adobo seasoned mix

Tips For Using Adobo Spice

  • What sort of dishes does adobo seasoning go best with?
    Adobo seasoning works great on meat or veggies. You can use it on chicken, beef, or pork. I personally like it best on pork and chicken, but try it on some baked squash too.
  • How do I use adobo mix to make the adobo sauce?
    You can easily make adobo sauce with some tomato paste, vinegar, and ground chilis, then just add your adobo dry seasoning and simmer. Add more tomato if the chilis are too hot.
  • Can I use garlic powder instead of granulate garlic?
    You can use garlic powder but I feel like starting with the granulated garlic has a better flavor.
  • Are you supposed to include annatto seeds?
    Some people use ground annatto seeds because the powder is bright orange so it adds a light yellow color and a slightly nutty flavor.
spoon of spice mix on top of a jar

Don’t be surprised if you start using your homemade adobo to season instead of just salt and pepper.

It adds a great sprinkle of flavors and works on everything. Especially popcorn!

Shoot me a comment and tell me how you are using this amazingly delicious seasoned salt to spice up your dinners!!

complete your Mexican feast with

If you love this Abobo as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

Pinterest image for adobo seasoning mix

other great spice mixes

Easy Adobo Seasoning Recipe

adobo seasoning in a small jar with stirring spoon

Adobo Seasoning

Yield: 2/3 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Adobo Seasoning is like the Mexican version of seasoned salt or all purpose seasoning. You can make this delicious seasoning with 5 ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 4.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Mix to combine.
  3. Grind in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
  4. Store in a cool, dry place.

Notes

*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 7Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 893mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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Jeffrey

Sunday 22nd of December 2019

Use half as much salt. It was way too salty for me.

Jennifer

Sunday 22nd of December 2019

That's the best part of homemade, you can make it to your liking:)

Paulette

Saturday 30th of November 2019

Why have a recipe that calls for 1/3 or 2/3 of a tsp. Hard to make an accurate measurement. Have never seen this in any recipe before.

Jennifer

Monday 2nd of December 2019

You can always triple the recipe and use full teaspoons. These are the ratios and the recipe is basically for one serving but when I make this I always make like 10 times this so it's a larger batch and store it.