How I Save Leftover Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

Tips from The Kitchn

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Smoky, spicy canned chipotles in adobo are one of my favorite flavor-boosters. Just a little bit of this wonderfully smoky, spicy stuff adds so much flavor to my cooking, but it also leads to one of the more annoying aspects of opening up a can: dealing with the leftovers.

With just three easy steps, you can save the rest of the can in easy-to-use portions so none of it goes to waste!

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1. Blend them up.

Chipotles pepper in adobo sauce are intensely smoky and spicy, so they're usually minced up for recipes to distribute the heat. The sauce is also often used since it contains just as much flavor as the peppers themselves.

To save myself the task of mincing them up each time I need them, I just throw everything in the can, sauce and all, into the blender and make a puree! Then I'm left with a tomato paste-like substance that's easy to stir into whatever I'm cooking.

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2. Portion out.

Once the chipotles are blended up, they'll last for a few months in the refrigerator, but for true long-term storage, use this method on saving tomato paste and freeze it in measured spoonfuls instead.

Line a baking sheet or freezer-safe dish with wax or parchment paper and use a measuring spoon to drop dollops of the puree on it. With spicy chipotles, you might want to freeze it in both tablespoons and teaspoons, just in case you only need a small kick of heat.

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3. Freeze and store.

Freeze the spooned puree until solid, then transfer to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag. When you need to use it in a recipe, thaw if you have the time, but you can also just throw it frozen into whatever you're cooking and it'll melt quickly.

Now that you know how to preserve leftover chipotles, put them to good use with some of these delicious recipes!

(Image credits: Christine Gallary)