5 Best Tex Mex Paste Substitute For Your Recipes

If you are a fan of spicy food, you must be an avid user of Tex Mex paste in almost all your recipes. Texan and Mexican food is a mix of different flavors, and Tex Mex paste goes with almost all dishes including BBQ, tacos, and burritos. A little paste gives a hint of spiciness to the dish.

But what if you are out of the paste? Don’t worry I’m here to help you out. Fortunately, there are plenty of Tex Mex paste substitute that you can try in your recipe to enhance the flavor.

5 Close Tex Mex Paste Substitutes

The problem with Text Mex paste is that it’s not available in all local markets, and most people prefer to prepare the paste at home. But if you are short on time, and cannot spend hours searching for the paste, here are some substitutes that are closest to Tex Mex.

1. Achiote Paste


Achiote paste is the closest thing to Tex Mex paste in flavor. It is a major ingredient in Central American dishes. Achiote comes in both paste and powdered form, so it can also be used for dry rubs.

Achiote paste is made of annatto seeds, oregano, garlic, cinnamon, clove, and vinegar. It gives the paste a nutty flavor as compared to tex mex paste, which is sweeter.

If you want to achieve a somewhat similar like tex mex, try adding sugar, and chili powder to the paste, and you will have a perfect substitute.

2. Chipotle Sauce

Chipotle chili sauce is a perfect match for tex mex cuisine. Chipotle chilies are smoked jalapenos, with a sweet and smokey flavor which is a perfect match for Texan and Mexican cuisine.


You will find plenty of canned chipotle sauce available in the market with different levels of chili. You can use any brand you want depending on your taste. I mostly use Herdez Taqueria sauce and La Anita Chipotel Habanero Pepper sauce.

When substituting, keep in mind that chipotle sauce is thinner in consistency when it comes to tex mex paste. You can use it as is, or you can thicken the sauce using tomato paste or spices of your choice.

3. Siracha


While Siracha does have a different consistency, it’s equally spicy like tex mex paste. With siracha sauce, you don’t need time to prepare, as it can directly be added to your recipe while you are cooking, so you can adjust the level of spice and flavor accordingly.

In comparison to the smoky flavor of tex mex paste, siracha is more fuity which is why it goes great with grilled meat, tacos, and chicken.

When using siracha, make sure to add it towards the end of your cooking, because long exposure to heat will decrease its flavor.

4. Canned Chili 

canned-chili-hello fresh tex mex paste substitute

Canned chili is another great substitute for tex mex paste. It gives the same flavor and spice kick to your recipes like HelloFresh tex mex paste. Since most canned chili brands contain tomato and other spices, you can directly add them to your sauces or meat.

Some chili brands also include other ingredients like beans or ground beef, so make sure to pick the one that goes well with your recipe.

5. Adobo sauce

adobo sauce

Although not so common, Abodo sauce is a perfect tex mex replacement. Its spice level matches tex mex and goes great with all kinds of dishes.

Like achiote paste, the sauce is a mix of various spices and herbs like cinnamon, black pepper, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, vinegar, and chili powder. Adobo sauce also contains fresh tomatoes, so you get a thick creamy-like consistency. It’s similar to BBQ sauce with a brownish color.

It serves as a perfect rub for chicken, and meat for grilling.

How to Make Homemade Tex Mex Paste

If you don’t want to use any of the substitutes, you can easily prepare tex mex paste at home with a few ingredients as the process is pretty simple. You can even store the paste in the refrigerator for future use.

So, if you have the time, just follow this recipe to make homemade tex mex paste.

                    Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours | Serving: 20


  • 3 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 6 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 1/2 tsp garlic chili paste
  • 4 1/2 rice vinegar
  • 3 white onions, pureed
  • 2 tbsp chipotle chilis
  • 5 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 bulb of roasted garlic
  • 21 oz roasted tomatoes


  1. Take garlic, sprinkle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Bake the garlic at 400 F for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small pot, add dried chilies with water and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Make sure the water is covering the chilis. Once softened, drain the chili.
  3. Slice the onion and add it to the food processor. Add baked garlic, drained chili, and fire-roasted tomatoes.
  4. Add the puree, garlic chili paste, tomato paste, chipotle chilis, and rice vinegar to a pot.
  5. Combine all the herbs and spices, along with cocoa powder, and stir thoroughly.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it turns thick and fragrant.
  7. Once cool, you can store it in jars and use it however you want.

Emily is a tech and entertainment writer who loves the art of writing for research-based articles in different niches. As she translates her thoughts into words, they inspire others to do so too!