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Best 12 Adobo Seasoning Substitute For Your Next Meal

The best adobo seasoning substitutes include Curry Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Lemon Juice, Hot Sauce Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Jalapeno Pepper, Chili Powder, Ground Red Pepper, Poultry Seasoning, and Cajun Seasoning.

These substitutes are probably lying around on your kitchen shelf; it’s time to put them to good use and have a delicious meal to serve your guests and family. The best thing about them is that they are affordable and can be found at your local store. Below is the list of all the substitutes you can use.

Nutrition Table

RecipesCalories
Curry Powder325 
Cayenne Pepper318
Lemon Juice22
Hot Sauce11
Black Pepper6
Garlic Powder331
Onion Powder342
Jalapeno Pepper28
Chili Powder282
Ground Red Pepper0
Poultry Seasoning307

Substitutes For Adobo Seasoning

Below is a full detail of the substitutes and how they can be substituted.

1. Curry Powder

adobo seasoning substitutes

While not always readily available in grocery stores, curry is an excellent substitute for Adobo because it has the same taste as Adobo, only more intense.

You can use it to liven up your dishes by sprinkling a spoonful of the mixture into your tacos and burritos while they are cooking, or you can incorporate it into your salsa or salad dressing and turn them into spicy delights!

How To Substitute

1/2 teaspoon of curry powder for 1 teaspoon of Adobo

2. Cayenne Pepper

adobo seasoning substitutes

If you want something that’s got a little more kick to it than your usual Adobo, cayenne pepper is the way to go.

The only problem is that many people cannot tolerate the amount of spice in cayenne pepper, so if you are not a fan of spicy food, this is not for you.

Cayenne pepper goes great with anything spicy, though – Mexican food and BBQ recipes alike! Sprinkle some over your salad dressing or salsa, and watch as it lights up your taste buds!

The smell is also very different from chili powder. Cayenne pepper can be added anywhere in cooking and works very well with spices such as garlic, onions or aromatic herbs like bay leaves, basil, or thyme.

How To Substitute

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for 1 teaspoon of adobo seasoning.

3. Lemon Juice

If you want a variation of the regular adobo seasoning, you can give your tacos an extra zing by adding a little bit of lemon. But don’t add too much because it will taste more like a citrus lemonade than anything else.

Lemon juice goes great with seafood, pizza, and pasta dishes and adds an acidic taste to the meal that gives it flavor and creams away any unamusing flavors – which is why it’s so perfect for seafood.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 tsp of lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of adobo seasoning.

4. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

If you’re the kind of person who likes things to be spicy, hot sauce is the perfect substitute for Adobo. Hot sauce can be bought in many different strengths, ranging from mild to extremely spicy.

If you want your meal to be a little more flavorful without adding too much spice, try using a mild hot sauce. Otherwise, go for the spiciest one you can find, and watch your food come to life!

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon of hot sauce for 1 teaspoon of adobo seasoning

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5. Black Pepper

adobo seasoning substitutes

If you want a spice lighter than any previously mentioned spices, pepper is a great choice. Pepper comes in both sweet and hot varieties, so whether you’re looking for spice or not, it’s got you covered.

It lights up your taste buds just like cayenne pepper does and can be used in soups, salads, and everyday recipes. It is also a fantastic substitute for adobo seasoning.

Black pepper offers many health benefits when eaten or sprinkled on food. According to some studies, it can improve digestion, relieve various symptoms such as a headache, aid in weight loss, and prevent heart disease.

How To Substitute

1/4 teaspoon of pepper for 1 teaspoon of adobo seasoning

6. Garlic Powder

adobo seasoning substitutes

Garlic powder is a must in any good Filipino recipe. Its subtle but noticeable smell will add a little heat and provide a flavorful taste.

The reason it is spicier than the other substitute is because of the high amount of garlic in the mix, and this can be adjusted by using less garlic or using both pepper and garlic in an equal ratio.

Remember that if you’re using both, the taste can be too pungent for some people and too mild for others. You also have to be careful since you’ll need to adjust the salt depending on how strong your garlic tastes.

How To Substitute

1 teaspoon of garlic for 1 teaspoon of Adobo

7. Onion Powder

adobo seasoning substitutes

Onion powder is made from a long process of dehydrating chopped onions. It is mainly used as a seasoning for food, but it has many other uses, such as in perfumes and drugs.

In essence, onion powder is a powdered form of onion and has become popular in many recipes that require little time or effort.

Fresh onions are hard to come by, which is why many heavy cooks opt to use onion powder as a substitute for Adobo.

The taste is very similar (onions being a popular ingredient in Mexican cooking), and you can use either on your tacos or burritos to spice things up! Use your imagination to come up with fun ideas for your favorite meals!

How To Substitute

1/4 teaspoon onion powder for 1 tablespoon of adobe seasoning

8. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno peppers are another popular and widely used ingredient in Mexican dishes. While they have a higher level of spice when compared to adobe, you can use them instead to add some more spices to your salsa and salad dressing.

The jalapeno pepper is a pungent hot chili pepper that ranges in color from red to green. The hottest varieties can measure up to 350,000 Scoville units (jalapeno peppers typically range from 2,500-8,000 Scoville units)

How To Substitute

1 tablespoon of chopped jalapeño peppers for 2 tablespoons of adobo seasoning.

9. Chili Powder

Ground Red Pepper

If you’re looking to substitute Adobo seasoning in a recipe that contains chicken, this is the one to use. A lot of people use chili powder as a substitute, but it’s not the same.

Chili powder has more spice than a strong taste and comes with an earthy spiciness that is often used to make chili con carne, chili con queso, or any Tex-Mex foods.

Although you can use it as a substitute, its flavor is not the same and you won’t be able to get recipes like Adobo Chicken.

To achieve a similar taste, try using Mexican chili powder instead or add less salt than the recipe asks for and add chopped peppers.

How To Substitute

1 tablespoon Adobo seasoning for 1 tablespoon chili powder

10. Ground Red Pepper

Ground Red Pepper

Red pepper can also be used as a substitute for Adobo seasoning. When you use it for cooking, it adds a touch of spice that complements the taste of your dish but does not overpower it.

Red peppers provide medium heat but are not as pungent in taste as chili pepper or cayenne pepper.

The smell is slightly similar to dill, oregano, cumin, and sage. Red pepper powder can be used anywhere in cooking, especially in Mexican food where you have Adobo Chicken, chili con carne, and anything else that has a strong flavor.

How To Substitute

1 tablespoon of Adobo seasoning with 1 tablespoon of ground red pepper.

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11. Poultry Seasoning

Poultry Seasoning

Poultry seasoning is a mix of dried herbs and spices like sage, marjoram, and thyme. The taste is pretty much the same as Adobo seasoning, but the smell is very different.

If you’re looking for something that takes the place of Adobo seasoning in your recipe, this can be a good alternative. This seasoning has an earthy smell that comes from its sage and marjoram content.

Other flavors include black pepper and salt, which makes it a lot more versatile than just using salt to flavor your food. Remember to adjust the amount of salt you add to your recipe because it can be pretty strong for some recipes.

How To Substitute

1 tablespoon Adobo seasoning with 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning.

12. Cajun Seasoning

Cajun Seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a mix of dried mustard, garlic, and seasonings. Adobo is pretty spicy, and cajun is used to add more spice to some of your favorite dishes.

The spices used here are very similar to Adobo seasoning and you can get the same taste by using cajun.

However, the smell it gives off is a lot different than Adobo since it has a strong aroma of garlic.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning with 1 teaspoon Adobo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Substitute For Adobo Seasoning?

Rather than using salt, which can be bad for the body’s kidneys and also lead to high blood pressure in some people, it is safer to use pepper and garlic as well as onion powder.

These substitutes can help you create dishes with a little bit of flavor without salt.

How Do I Make A Substitute For Adobo Seasoning?

Most of these ingredients are found in any grocery or home improvement store. The only ingredient that might be hard to find is cumin if you are not an international food shopper.

You might have some luck at an Indian or Middle Eastern market, where they have spices from all around the world in bulk bins.

After Making My Substitute For Adobo Seasoning, How Do I Use It?

You can use this spice mix on almost any meat, protein and vegetable. It also works well as a breading for fish and chicken.

You could even put it on mashed potatoes or grits. The cumin is not quite as strong as other spices, so it will not overpower the taste of the dish.

How Can You Substitute Adobo Seasoning With A Healthier Option?

If you like to cook using Adobo Seasoning but would instead use a healthier version of it, there are many options available.

You could choose to use a herb mix instead of the seasoning, or try using black pepper or lemon juice in your dishes.

These are healthy alternatives that you can use in place of regular seasoning. Most stores will have these items readily available, and they typically do not cost very much at all.

Why Should You Not Use Regular Salt When Seasoning Food?

There are several reasons why regular salt should not be used when seasoning food. Salt can sometimes have several unhealthy effects on your body, such as high blood pressure and even kidney problems.

It also has a bad taste left over in your mouth after eating foods seasoned with too much salt.

How Can You Avoid Adding Too Much Salt To Your Diet?

To avoid adding too much salt to your diet, there are some steps that you can take. One of the most important things is to always read the labels on the packages of food that you buy.

This way, you will know exactly how much salt is in the food and can adjust the amount of seasoning to use.

You may also want to try looking for ways to cut back on the number of foods with a lot of salt in them, such as preparing more homemade meals instead of eating out or getting processed foods.

Best 12 Adobo Seasoning Substitute For Your Next Meal

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Total time

10

minutes

A seasoning for meat, and vegetables. Aromatic with notes of adobo seasoning substitutes, it is a versatile option that can be used for spices.

Ingredients

  • Curry Powder

  • Cayenne Pepper

  • Lemon Juice

  • Hot Sauce

  • Black Pepper

  • Garlic Powder

  • Onion Powder

  • Jalapeno Pepper

  • Chili Powder

  • Ground Red Pepper

  • Poultry Seasoning

  • Cajun Seasoning

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith