This homemade adobo powder from Chef Naxielly Dominguez is super easy to make, and a perfect substitute for commercial adobo mixes that are often loaded with salt. It uses onion and garlic powder, oregano, ground cumin, and also packs the antioxidant punch of turmeric instead of the more usual achiote. It’s an easy and delicious mix.

Adobo Seasoning FAQs

How should I use Adobo Seasoning?

There are countless ways to use your adobo seasoning and we’ve offered a few suggestions here. We’d love to hear your favorite use in a comment below—
Use as a seasoning rub for meats before grilling    
Sprinkle atop vegetables, eggs, or rice for an added flavor punch
Make an adobo compound butter
Dash onto avocado toast, or stir into homemade guacamole or hummus

How do I keep dried herbs fresh?

Once you’ve tried this, you might decide to double your batch. No matter how much you make, if you store it in an airtight container away from light and humidity (not on the back of your stove), it will last from 6 months to a year. When the color starts fading, that means you’re going to need a fresh batch.

Adobo seasoning in a small bowl with a wooden spoon full of seasoning.

Adobo Seasoning

5 / 2 votes
There are certain common ingredients usually a part of this seasoning mix. Although chefs might add something extra to make it unique, the common ingredients list to prepare it includes salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. This seasoning is famous in countries such as Mexico and The Philippines. It’s used in all kinds of curries, beef dishes, and soup.
David Leite
Servings24 teaspoons
Calories8 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


  • In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
  • Pour the adobo seasoning mixture into an airtight glass container with a lid. Use as needed.
Cook For Your Life

Adapted From

Cook For Your Life

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Serving: 1 teaspoonCalories: 8 kcalCarbohydrates: 2 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 292 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Naxielly Dominguez. Photo © 2020 Brent Hofacker. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This adobo seasoning is very easy to make. In three minutes, I had a spice mix. Adobo powder no less! Three minutes!

With my new adobo powder on hand, or jar, for that matter, one thing led to another and before I knew what was going on, my kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma of my new spice mix. I sprinkled the mix on a mini bagel that was lightly coated with olive oil and pressed the spiced side into my cast iron pan. This gave me a chance to enjoy the aroma as well as the flavour. My pork would be very pleased to be coated in this. Rather than “in your face” flavours, this spice mix had depth and subtle complexity that one wouldn’t expect from the sum of this particular combination of spices.

Having become acquainted with the flavour profile of the adobo powder, I decided to smoke pork chops with applewood smoke flavour. I used 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning to coat 1 pork chop after massaging the chop with olive oil. Both pork chops were cooked perfectly and both really allowed the pork flavour to shine.

As is, this powder is quite versatile as it can be layered on to suit different palates. For my next application, I’m steeping dried Aji Amarillo peppers in olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of adobo seasoning. I‘m hoping to rehydrate some of these peppers in the sauce and create a paste with the others. There won’t be a shortage of canvasses to spread this easy homemade adobo powder on.

I made a bowl with the specific intent to try out this adobo seasoning. It included black beans, brown rice, turmeric tofu, and zucchini.  I purposely kept each of these components completely bland to test the seasoning. 

Initially, I sprinkled it on my open palm, just to see how I felt about this salty-oniony-garlicky condiment, and then, still tentative, I sprinkled a little atop all of the elements of my bowl.  I’m consistently an under-salter, but this adds interest to plain old salt; it could easily become the go-to when seeking that something more than salty, something salty-plus. 

Having completed the test run meal with positive results all around, I’m now brainstorming the range of possibilities. It could be sprinkled atop any vegetable, mixed into butter for an adobo compound butter, in or atop beans, in or atop rice or another grain, atop popcorn, mixed into guacamole or atop avocado toast, stirred into fresh goat cheese/chevre or hummus, atop sliced or roasted tomatoes, stirred into tomato soup, and this list could easily go on!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Looking forward to trying this!

    Somehow I thought it would have some chile in it but turmeric and cumin are special favorites so being able to add a hint to a variety of new foods is an exciting idea.