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Best Achiote Paste Substitutes

Are you looking for the best substitutes for achiote paste? You have come to the right location. This post will provide you with a collection of the better Substitutes for achiote paste.

The Best Achiote Paste Substitutes:

1. Harissa 


The ingredients used to make harissa include chilies, coriander, caraway seeds, and garlic. It is then ground into a paste.

You may either prepare it on your own or buy it from the Middle Eastern store in your neighborhood. This spicy chili paste has a taste that is hard to describe.

It can provide a spicy flavor to meat recipes seen in North Africa and France. Another possible application for the sauce is as a spread for sandwiches

It is possible to prepare harissa with any one of several distinct kinds of chili peppers.

The sauce is traditionally used with foods that feature lamb, In addition, this paste has a taste profile that is reminiscent of paprika and cayenne pepper in that it is earthy and smokey.

2. Sambal Olek 

Sambal Olek 

Sambal oelek is a type of chili paste that originates in Indonesia. It is made by combining red chilies, vinegar, sugar, and salt in equal parts.

This delicious sauce is often sold in Asian grocery shops as well as on the internet at various retail outlets. It is essential to take into account that the flavor is significantly more salty in comparison to that of other chili pastes.

The reason for this is that some salt was added to the mixture. When you are using Sambal oelek in your cuisine, you may include it in marinades or make stir-fry dishes with it. Additionally, it will infuse any food with a fiery and smoky flavor.

Any type of chili pepper may be used to make this chili paste. Depending on the combination that was utilized, it can either be red or green.

3. Homemade Achiote Paste 

Homemade Achiote Paste 

It is feasible to prepare achiote paste on your own at home, You will need lard and annatto seeds in order to do this task.

Annatto seeds should be added at a rate of one tablespoon for every three tablespoons of lard.

After you have transferred the mixture to an airtight container, let it be at room temperature and in a dark location for at least one night.

After the paste has had a chance to settle, mix it with some lime juice and cumin.

This concoction is going to stand in for the achiote paste that you normally use. The end product is an orange-colored paste that may be utilized in many applications as required.

You may put this condiment on rice dishes, use it in marinades, or put it in stews. Additionally, it works wonderfully in dishes calling for fish or poultry.

4. Cumin and Cayenne Pepper 

Cumin and Cayenne Pepper 

Spices with similar flavors and aromas, such as cumin, can be used in place of achiote paste in some recipes. To increase the level of heat, you may also add cayenne pepper in addition to the cumin.

When combined, these two spices can be used in a manner that is analogous to that of achiote paste.

Cumin is most commonly used in the cuisines of Mexico and the Mediterranean.

It is essential to be aware that this seasoning has a flavor that is slightly bitter, which makes it an excellent choice for stews, soups, and marinades.

Additionally, tomatoes, onions, and garlic are delicious when combined with cumin. If achiote paste is not available, cilantro can be used as a substitute for cumin.

This combination makes an excellent marinade for chicken meals and may be utilized in a variety of ways.

5. Guajillo Chili Powder 

Guajillo Chili Powder 

Ground guajillo chilies are the primary component of guajillo chili powder.

The flavor of the powder is comparable to that of the ancho or chipotle pepper, all of which are frequently utilized in traditional Mexican cooking.

However, it does not have the same level of heat as those peppers.

A suitable alternative to achiote paste is this red chili powder, which can be used in its place.

Use the mixture in your dishes after combining the powder with various additional spices.

You can produce your own guajillo chili powder at home by utilizing dried guajillo chilies and grinding them into a fine powder in a spice grinder.

After that, you should blend the powder with various additional spices and utilize the resulting mixture in your dishes.

You may also make a marinade out of the combination to use with chicken or fish recipes.

The Best Best Achiote Paste Substitute Recipe


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

How To Make:

Combine all of the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined, then use in place of achiote paste.

What Does Achiote Paste Taste Like?

achiote has no perceptible taste. When utilized in greater quantities as a flavoring agent, it produces a taste that is earthy, peppery and has a tinge of bitterness. The aroma of achiote seeds is described as having a hint of flowery or peppermint.

What Is Achiote Paste Made Of?

Achiote paste is a flavor made of annatto seeds (aka achiote), garlic, optional chilies, bitter orange juice, and a mix of seasonings. Everything is ground down and then mixed to form a thick paste.

Is Sazon The Same As Achiote Paste?

NO, Sazon and achiote paste are two different Latin seasonings, despite the fact that both include components that are similar to one another. While the consistency of achiote paste comes from the addition of bitter orange juice, the season comes in the form of a powder that is used in cooking to provide a robust flavor.