Canned chipotles in adobo are one of those magical back-pocket ingredients that make quick, flavorful dinners a cinch.
What Should I Do with an Open Can of Chipotle Chiles?
Published Feb. 24, 2023.
They’re convenient and affordable, and they pack a real punch: Chipotles are smoked jalapeños, so they have a strong smoky heat, and they’re canned with an aromatic tomato and vinegar–based adobo sauce, which adds another dimension of flavor.
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But since chipotles are so potent, recipes rarely call for using more than a couple at a time. So what to do with the rest of that can?
How to Store Chipotle Chiles
First, as soon as I open a can of chipotles, I dump the whole thing in a food processor and blitz it up (I got sick of scrubbing that bright orange oil out of my cutting boards after mincing individual chiles). Then, after using what I need, I store the rest for later use: If I think I’ll get to it within a week or so, I scoop the paste into a Mason jar and store it in the fridge. And if not, I freeze it in tablespoon-size dollops on a parchment paper–lined plate and then transfer the frozen blobs to a jar to store in the freezer longer term.
Chile Cheese Log with Tortilla ChipsA cheese log for every occasion—and no broken crackers.
What to Do With Chipotle Chiles
Need ideas for what to do with that chipotle chile paste now that it's ready to go? Here are some of my favorites.
- Toss it with roasted mushrooms and cauliflower for the tastiest vegetarian taco filling.
- Mix it with sour cream or mayo to take your burritos, burgers, and sandwiches to the next level.
- Spice up your salads: Make a chipotle-lime vinaigrette, or stir the chiles into store-bought Caesar dressing for an unexpectedly delicious take on a chicken Caesar salad.
- Use it in this Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup for the liveliest-tasting dish to ever come from your slow cooker.
- Make a spicy cheese log that will put the shrink-wrapped grocery-store varieties to shame.