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Adobo Seasoning Substitute

Adobo Seasoning Substitute

In Latin America and Mexico, Adobo seasoning is used in almost every dish. In Caribbean countries, the Adobo seasoning is pretty famous as well. Adobo seasoning refers to a delicious spice blend. The delicious Adobo seasoning goes pretty well with oregano, garlic, and other herbs. You can apply a little bit of Adobo seasoning while marinating meat and vegetables. The flavorful Adobo seasoning is available in powder form only.

Adobo Seasoning Substitute

What is Adobo seasoning?

The Adobo seasoning is actually a staple seasoning blend. Seasoning is used in every single dish of Latin American cuisine. Believe it or not, there is a wide range of use of the Adobo seasoning in classic Spanish cuisine as well. In East Asian countries, chefs use Adobo seasoning sometimes in their recipes.

The Adobo seasoning is capable of turning your boring and bland food into a delicious one. The Adobo seasoning is golden yellow in color. In addition, this spice blend features a unique garlicky flavor. The taste of the Adobo seasoning can vary between two regions depending on the application of the spice ingredients during preparation.

The main ingredients for making the Adobo seasoning are onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and so on. In some regions like Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc., people use paprika and salt in the Adobo seasoning as well. You can create the base of any marinade or base of any sauce with this multi-purpose seasoning. You can apply Adobo seasoning on chicken, beef, pork, fish, and vegetables with a little bit of vinegar.

To make the Adobo seasoning with the aforementioned ingredients, you need to know the exact amount of those ingredients so that you can bring in a memorable flavor in your Adobo seasoning. There will be 3 tablespoons of garlic powder in the Adobo seasoning recipe. All the other ingredients should be added in just 1 tablespoon. For a more delicious flavor, you can add ½ tablespoon of ground white pepper to the Adobo seasoning as well. The chefs add some local herbs to the Adobo seasoning as well.

Best recipes with Adobo seasoning

The Adobo seasoning is quite good for your health. As mentioned earlier, you can apply a sprinkle of Adobo seasoning almost everywhere. In Spain and Latin American countries, Adobo seasoning is used in the daily cooking of homes.

You can season seafood, pork, beef, chicken, shellfish, etc., with the help of Adobo seasoning. If you want to grill or roast your meat, you must apply the Adobo seasoning during the marinating process. During frying and sautéing, you can sprinkle some Adobo seasoning on top of the dish. These days, chefs are adding Adobo seasoning to stews, meat stock, soup, sauces, beans, and other baked items.

The Adobo seasoning makes the dishes red and thick. To complement the Adobo seasoning, you should add some crushed chilies, other herbs, and spices to the dishes. You can even dilute the gravy with some water or other sauce.

The dishes where the Adobo seasoning is used

Adobo roasted chicken

Adobo grilled chicken

Seafood dishes with Adobo seasoning

Grilled fish with Adobo seasoning

Beef dishes with Adobo seasoning

Sometimes, chefs add Adobo seasoning to tea and other beverages as well to make them delicious.

Adobo seasoning substitute

An authentic Adobo seasoning includes items like cumin, turmeric, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, etc. You will not get this authentic Adobo seasoning in every country. So, it would be good if you make the Adobo seasoning at your home with these ingredients. You can also go for some other Adobo seasoning substitute as well if you want. Let’s know about the Adobo substitutes in detail.



Chipotle is a spicier alternative to Adobo seasoning. It brings the same smoky flavor to your food, just like the authentic Adobo seasoning. With Chipotle, if you add jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, and some local spices, you will get the exact taste of the Adobo seasoning. In addition, Chipotle will bring in the exact same texture to the dishes like Adobo seasoning powder. But, if you are not looking for any spicy hot food, maybe you should skip this Adobo seasoning substitute altogether.

 Adobo paste

 Adobo paste

The Adobo paste or Adobo sauce can be a great substitute for Adobo seasoning. The Adobo paste features a high amount of vinegar and sugar in the recipe. But, it includes most of the original ingredients of the Adobo seasoning. So, if you are preparing soup, stew, or any other liquid dish, the Adobo paste will be the right choice for you. In the case of grilling, you can marinate with the Adobo paste if you want.

Cajun seasoning

Cajun seasoning

The Cajun seasoning includes all the ingredients used in Adobo seasoning. So, it can substitute your Adobo seasoning pretty well. But, here, the black pepper and oregano dominate the flavor. You can use the Cajun seasoning on any dish, be it a soup or a roasted meat item.

Chilli powder

Chilli powder


You can make a delicious Adobo seasoning substitute with chili powder bought from the market. Here, with the chili powder, you will have to add some black pepper, cumin powder, garlic powder, etc., to bring the exact same flavor of the Adobo seasoning. The color of these two spice blends can be a little different. The authentic Adobo seasoning comes in yellow color, but this chili powder spice blend comes in vibrant red color.

Greek seasoning

Greek seasoning

Though the Greek seasoning can be a perfect substitute for Adobo seasoning, it features a Mediterranean flavor. This extraordinary spice blend includes some thyme, marjoram, etc. These ingredients add an additional flavor to the dish. If you don’t have Adobo seasoning left in your kitchen, you can use Greek seasoning in your food.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What flavor does Adobo seasoning have?

If you look for the classic Goya version of the Adobo seasoning, there will be garlic, oregano, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, etc. A smoky garlicky flavor will come from the Adobo seasoning on your food. If you add citrus zest, there will be some additional lemony flavor as well. The classic Adobo seasoning features a nutty flavor as well.

Is Adobo seasoning salty?

Yes, there will be saltiness in the Adobo seasoning. This aromatic Adobo seasoning features the warmth of oregano and cumin as well. So, it is guaranteed that the Adobo seasoning will not be too salty for your food. Other spices adjust the saltiness of the spice blend.

Is Adobo Filipino or Mexican?

Adobo Chicken and Adobo pork are quite famous in the Philippines and Mexico. These dishes are prepared with top-quality Adobo seasoning. This Adobo is prepared with easily accessible pantry items such as vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and so on. The Philippine Adobo seasoning is a little different from the Latin American Adobo spice blend.

Is Sazon and Adobo the same?

No, they are not the same. But Sazon contains almost all the ingredients of the Adobo seasoning. It contains some other ingredients like annatto as well. Their flavors are a little different as well. So, don’t confuse the Sazon spice blend with Adobo seasoning at all the same. But Sazon contains almost all the ingredients of the Adobo seasoning. It contains some other ingredients like annatto as well. Their flavors are a little different as well. So, don’t confuse the Sazon spice blend with Adobo seasoning at all.


Now that you are well aware of the Adobo seasoning and its substitutes, start applying them to your daily cooking. These Adobo seasonings will boost your appetite, making your food extra delicious and flavorful.