Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

south-of-the-border essentials: achiote paste

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

Achiote paste is ideal for seasoning a lot of diverse Mexican dishes. Its primary ingredient is ground annatto seeds; combined with spices, such as: fresh garlic, citrus, and other goodies. It is an excellent rub or marinade, and also used to boost of the flavors of soups, stews, and chilis. It is easy/peasy to make, and you control the ingredients. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 10 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For south-of-the-border essentials: achiote paste

  • 1 oz
    annatto seeds
  • 1 Tbsp
    oregano, mexican, if you have it
  • 2 tsp
    ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp
    coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp
    cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp
    black peppercorns
  • 1 - 2 pinch
    kosher salt, fine grind, or to taste
  • 6 clove
    baked garlic
  • 2 md
    green olives, pitted
  • 3 Tbsp
    orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 Tbsp
    lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbsp
    white vinegar

How To Make south-of-the-border essentials: achiote paste

  • 1
  • 2
    You will need a spice blender, or mortar and pestle to grind the spices. In addition, you will need a food processor, fitted with an S-blade, or small mini-prep blender.
  • 3
    What Is Annatto? It is the seed of the achiote tree, which is found in Central & South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They are used in cooking to both impart deep orange, yellow, and red color, and to give an earthy, peppery, flavor to dishes, with slight notes of citrus and nutmeg. It is used extensively in Mexican cuisine, but can be difficult to find in most grocers. It can be used in marinades, oils, and as a flavor/coloring agent in soups, stews, and taco meat (to name a few).
  • 4
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 5
    Place all the dry ingredients into a spice grinder.
  • 6
    Grind all of the ingredients to a powder (grind-baby-grind)
  • 7
    Add all of the dry and wet ingredients to a blender, and blend-baby-blend.
  • So yummy
    Place in a proper container in the fridge or freezer until needed.
  • 9
  • So Yummy
    Use to enhance the flavors of South-of-the-Border dishes, like soups, stews and chilis. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.