This Homemade Adobo Recipe Tastes Better Than Anything You'll Find in a Store

POPSUGAR Photography | Ashley Ortiz
POPSUGAR Photography | Ashley Ortiz

Of the many important culinary lessons I learned growing up in a Puerto Rican household, there is one that has stuck with me the most: never let your adobo supply diminish. Adobo (not to be confused with the classic Filipino dish) is an all-purpose seasoning traditionally made from salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, and cumin that can be used to enhance the flavor of meats, habichuelas (beans), and scrambled eggs (my childhood favorite).

This staple seasoning blend is most commonly associated with the brand Goya, which offers a wide variety of adobo flavors that are distinguishable by the color of the bottle's lid. However, as with many processed foods, store-bought adobo can be high in sodium and contain additives that some may not want in their dishes. The good news is that adobo can easily be made at home and stored in an airtight glass jar for up to six months by combining just a few staple spices.

The ratio for this blend is 4 parts salt, 2 parts garlic powder, 1.5 parts oregano, 1.5 parts onion powder, 0.5 parts black pepper, 0.25 parts cumin, and 0.25 parts turmeric. If you're looking to make a large batch to distribute to family and friends, measure out these ingredients with cups. For smaller servings, tablespoons usually offer about a month's worth of seasoning. There are many ways to adjust the flavor profile of the blend to suit your preferences. While I added turmeric to my adobo, you could also kick up the spice by adding hot pepper powder, or make it citrusy by adding orange zest.

If your spices and herbs vary in size like mine do, you can grind down the largest grains into a fine powder in order to form a more cohesive blend using a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. You can also combine the ingredients as is, but just be mindful to shake the container well before every use. Once you've mixed these spices all up, you'll have yourself a tasty adobo blend that you can use on almost anything.

POPSUGAR Photography | Ashley Ortiz
POPSUGAR Photography | Ashley Ortiz

Homemade Puerto Rican Adobo Seasoning

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Yield1/2 cup of seasoning

Original Recipe


    • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
    • 3/4 teaspoon (equivalent to 1/4 tablespoon) cumin
    • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric


    1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind down the salt and oregano.

    2. Add the remaining spices, and mix until thoroughly combined.

    3. Pour into an airtight container, and store in a dark, cool place for 3-6 months.