Garlic and onion powder, black pepper, oregano and cumin are staples in many adobo seasoning recipes, creating an earthy spiciness with mild heat. While you can buy adobo seasoning at the supermarket, making your own takes just a few minutes and allows you to customize the flavor. Adapted from Ingrid Hoffman’s adobo seasoning recipe, this version calls for cayenne pepper to intensify the heat and additional cumin to make the spice mix’s warm, nutty flavors more pronounced.

Start to Finish: 3 minutes

Servings: Around 6 tablespoons, or enough to season 3 pounds of meat

Difficulty Level: Beginner

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place. For best results, use within 2 years as spices lose their potency with age.

Add a touch of sweetness by adding in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of either brown or granulated sugar.

If you prefer adobo seasoning to be more mild than spicy, leave out the cayenne pepper and substitute it with smoked paprika or ancho chili powder.

Boost your adobo seasoning’s flavor profile by adding ingredients like lemon pepper, ground bay leaf or coriander.