The Secret Ingredient (Chipotle): Chipotle Ketchup Recipe

Photographs: Kerry Saretsky

Chipotles are smoked jalapeños, but somewhat different than the usual jalapeño you'd buy at the store. Green jalapeños are picked when the pepper is slightly unripe; like bell peppers, the longer a jalapeño stays on the vine, the more its color deepens from green to red. So jalapeños meant for chipotles are left on the vine until they become deep red in color, then dry a bit, and are finally harvested. Once they are harvested, they are smoked over a period of days until they are quite dry, like a prune. Then, they go on to many different forms—the one I prefer being canned chipotle in adobo, where the peppers are packed and rehydrated in a vinegar-based sauce with onions and flavorings, that becomes a secret ingredient all on its own.

Chipotles can be used in all sorts of complicated dishes, slow cooking with pork, or co-chairing a guacamole with avocados. But one simple preparation that I often see on haute-casual brunch menus is chipotle ketchup, served simply with fries. The smoky, earthy spiciness of the chipotles add some heat to the ketchup, but the adobo, with its similar spices and vinegar content to ketchup, adds an extra element while still staying in the vein of the original ketchup. The result is something seamless that simply works.

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
Makes: 1 1/3 cups

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  • One 14-ounce bottle ketchup

  • 2 chipotles in adobo

  • 1 tablespoons adobo


  1. Put all the ingredients in the blender, and whiz until smooth. Serve with fries.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
37 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 37
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 308mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 107mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)