Achiote Paste

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    ½ cup

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About


  • 2 tablespoons finely ground annatto seeds (sometimes labeled achiote)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure chile powder, such as ancho
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice (about 5), toasted and ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cup or so fresh orange or tangerine juice, or enough to make a smooth paste


Combine the Annatto seeds, olive oil, chile powder, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, honey, oregano, and salt in a blender. Blend, adding the juice a bit at a time until the mixture is a smooth paste. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Can also be frozen.