Favourite Ingredient

Favourite Ingredient: Chipotle Paste

Favourite Ingredients are delicious things I've discovered and love to cook with. None of the posts are sponsored.


I can’t remember how I discovered chipotle chilli paste but, as with oyster sauce, my cupboard and fridge have contained multiple jars ever since.

At one point it disappeared and I went from supermarket to supermarket in a state of mild panic because I wanted to make Nigella’s Cuban Black Beans. Although chipotle paste isn’t specified in the original recipe, to me, it’s essential. It elevates the beans from good to truly great, giving them depth and smokiness.

I’m pretty sure all of the major supermarkets stock some form of chipotle paste. A small jar costs around £1.50 and once opened lasts for at least a month in the fridge but the Tesco version is cheaper at £1.25 and has an eight week shelf life. A little goes a long way and a tablespoon breathes life into chillies, beans or stews. Alternatively, combine half a teaspoon with garlic, lime juice and mayonnaise or yoghurt for a quick and delicious sauce to top tacos, burritos, quesadillas or nachos.

It’s a great ingredient to reach for if you’ve cooked a dish and it’s lacking… something. That’s what happened with Cuban Black Beans; after three hours in the oven and liberal seasoning they weren’t quite what I’d hoped for. Chipotle paste came to the rescue like a mysterious, smouldering, spicy hero and single handedly turned the beans into what’s now one of my most cooked, all-time favourite dishes.

Newsletter coming soon

Add yourself to the list and as soon as it's ready we'll let you know.