You Should Be Buying Canned Chipotles Just For The Sauce

Canned foods might be the most underrated ingredients in the kitchen. On top of being incredibly convenient to use, incredibly shelf-stable, and relatively cheap, canned goods can be as equally as tasty as their fresh counterparts — and their sauces are often no exception. Canned chipotles might be one of the most delightfully savory pantry items available for sale at most grocery stores, and its sauce alone should be enough reason to justify its purchase.

Canned chipotles usually come in adobo sauce, a versatile dressing that likely originated in Mexico shortly after Spanish conquistadors colonized the country. The exact recipe for this condiment varies across countries like Puerto Rico and the Philippines, but Mexican adobo sauce consists of dried chili peppers added into a tomato sauce that features a complex array of aromatics such as garlic, onion, oregano, and vinegar. Combined with the potent kick of dried jalapeños, you have a spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet sauce that works excellently in a variety of dishes, as a sauce or marinade.

Ways to incorporate canned chipotle's adobo sauce

One easy way to use the adobo sauce in canned chipotles lies in looking at the cuisines that frequently make it — namely, Latin American and Filipino dishes. In Caribbean countries like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, many people use adobo as a dry rub to marinate meat. Filipino cooks add soy-based adobo sauce to fortify stews — while Mexican chefs utilize adobo sauce as a way to spice up the flavor of soups like pozole and sauces like birria. You can mix it with regular salsa to create chipotle salsa — a great sauce to dip tortilla chips into.

The cuisines of countries colonized by Spain aren't the only ones that you can work in adobo either. When pureed alongside the dried jalapenos they come with, canned adobo sauce can be easily mixed into condiments such as barbeque sauce, ketchup, or even tartar sauce. You can also mix this adobo chipotle puree into preexisting dips such as hummus for a smoky, spicy bite.

Foods aren't the only place where you can use your canned adobo sauce either. Tomato-based cocktails such as the classic Bloody Mary and the savory michelada are just some of the drinks where you can integrate the smoky, umami hints of adobo. You can even plop a canned chipotle pepper over your beverage as a garnish, adding flavor and visual flair to these mixed drinks.

Don't forget about those canned chipotles either

While there are plenty of people who buy canned chipotles solely for the adobo sauce, that doesn't mean that you should ignore these delicious dried peppers. The actual chipotle is equally savory in its own right and can be incorporated into just as many dishes.

Chopping up canned chipotle peppers and adding them to staple American dishes — such as chili or mac and cheese — remains one of the best ways to employ these dried jalapeños. In fact, canned chipotles are just one of many simple ingredients that take canned beans from boring to brilliant, so definitely don't skip on it the next time you crack open some baked beans. Slice them on top of a burger or blend them into some Buffalo hot sauce for extra flavorful wings.

On top of providing much of the same flavors that their accompanying adobo sauce has, canned chipotle peppers also add some much-needed textural and color contrast to homogenous dishes such as mashed potatoes. Outside of saucy dishes and mashes, you can also use chopped canned chipotles as a topping for proteins such as grilled shrimp tacos, baked ham, and even seared sirloin steak.