If you are a fan of all things spicy, you probably also are a fan of Tex Mex cuisine. This is a mix of everything that is great within Texan and Mexican food.
Of course, not every ingredient used in the Tex Mex cuisine belongs to the truly authentic Mexican tradition, including the incredibly tasty Tex Mex paste.
There is nothing better than burritos, tacos, and nachos, but these dishes taste even better with the signature hint of spiciness given by this fantastic paste.
If you do not happen to have it at home, do not worry, we are here to help you out. Here is a list of Tex Mex paste substitutes you can use to bring your dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.
The best substitutes for Tex Mex paste
Tex Mex is what happens when Texan and Mexican food cultures meet. It brings out the best in both cuisines, and the final result is simply outstanding.
Not everything that you employ to create a fantastic Tex Mex dish belongs to real, original Mexican cuisine, but it generated a tradition of its own.
Tex Mex cuisine ultimately achieved its recognition worldwide thanks to the popular meal kit delivery service HelloFresh.
This company produces a Tex Mex paste that went viral online, and people cannot stop talking about it and praising its delicious taste.
This Tex Mex paste matches perfectly their Bold n’ Beefy tacos, and their fantastic burrito recipes. It got immensely popular and people even tried to replicate the recipe at home.
If you loved the HelloFresh Tex Mex paste, or if you simply love Tex Mex recipes, we got you.
Here is a list of all the extraordinary Tex Mex replacements, including a perfect substitute for HelloFresh Tex Mex paste, that you can implement in your cooking from now on.
1. Achiote paste
If you are looking for a Tex Mex paste substitute, achiote paste might be the ideal ingredient for your recipe.
It is a popular food in Mexican culture, specifically in the area of Yucatan and Oaxaca, but it is also used in Belizean cuisine as well.
It has a signature red or dark orange paste and it can be found in most supermarkets and corner shops around the world.
The achiote paste is also known as recado rojo and it is a mixture of spices and dried herbs (including annatto, black pepper, salt, cumin, oregano, garlic, and more) that provides your recipes a fantastic taste.
If you cannot find it at the shop, or if you simply prefer to make it at home, the recipe is remarkably simple and quick to prepare.
For an easy and quick homemade achiote paste, you will need some paprika, cumin, garlic (either powder or a fresh, minced clove will do), some oregano, and white vinegar.
Place all your ingredients in a bowl and stir well, until you have a smooth and well-mixed paste that is ready to be used.
2. Adobo sauce
Adobo sauce is an incredible Tex Mex paste replacement for your delicious recipes. It is a spicy sauce that matches both Mexican and Tex Mex food perfectly.
Like achiote paste, adobo sauce also includes dried herbs, garlic, and vinegar in its mixture, but the secret ingredient that changed the game is the presence of chili powder.
Adobo sauce has a dark orange, brownish color, and it has a similar texture to barbecue sauce.
It is possible to either buy adobo sauce or make your own version from the comfort of your own home:
- All you require are powdered ingredients, dried herbs, and a couple of fresh tomatoes (if you have chopped tomatoes in a can, or tomato paste it will do too).
- Take some chili powder and set it in a blender with some hot water. At this time, you can add the vinegar and the fresh tomatoes (or canned/tomato paste if you decide to employ those instead).
- Give it a quick stir before adding in the powdered ingredients: cumin, black pepper, and cinnamon.
- Another quick blend and then proceed to add a few cloves of garlic (there is not such a thing as too much garlic!), brown sugar, oregano, and some salt.
- Once you achieve a creamy and thick-ish consistency, it is time to place it in a pan with a teaspoon or two of olive oil on medium to high heat.
- Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
You will know your adobo sauce is ready when it will get that fantastic dark orange color and the creamy and smooth consistency of barbecue sauce.
It is advisable to make some extra in case you want to save a little bit for some other time. You can pour it into a jar, secure it with a lid and store it in the fridge.
3. Chipotle sauce
Another fantastic Tex Mex paste replacement could be chipotle sauce. Yeah, you heard that right!
You can use that mildly spicy chipotle sauce to replace your favorite Tex Mex paste in your dishes.
It is relatively similar to adobo sauce, but it has a tiny twist to it, especially its texture and its ultimate taste.
Chipotle sauce is creamier and runnier than adobo sauce. It is made of adobo chipotles (which usually gives the sauce that smoked and spicy taste), garlic, some lime and to step up the game, a little bit of plain yogurt.
Yogurt, or sometimes a Mexican cream is also used to soften the sauce a little bit, making the chipotle sauce runnier than other sauces.
It also lowers the spiciness of the chipotle peppers, making the overall taste of the sauce mild and kinder to the palate.
Chipotle sauce is pretty easy to find in stores around the globe, but it is super easy to make at home as well.
Mix some smoked jalapenos, olive oil, some garlic, salt, half a lime, some honey to add a little sweetness to it, and finally some Greek yogurt (it provides a more proper and firmer consistency to it).
Blend all of these ingredients and there you have it: your super simple, incredibly quick recipe to a delicious homemade chipotle sauce.
4. Homemade Tex Mex paste
If you are feeling a little experimental in the kitchen, you can try making your own Tex Mex paste substitute.
More specifically, you can try to recreate a fantastic substitute for HelloFresh Tex Mex paste at home.
Making your own homemade Tex Mex paste is not as difficult as many people might think. It substantially is a mixture of dry and wet ingredients:
- Take some garlic cloves (the more the better), place them on top of some aluminum foil and sprinkle some olive oil on top of them.
- Envelop them carefully in the aluminum foil and set them in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, until they soften and get all mushy.
- At this time, while the garlic is in the oven, take some dried chilis and place them in a pan with a little bit of water and bring to a boil.
- Once it is boiling, allow it to simmer for 20 minutes or so.
- As you are waiting for the chili to be ready, take your blender and start combining the rest of your ingredients. Include a diced onion, some roasted tomatoes, and the drained, softened chilis (do not set that pan aside yet, though!). Merge it properly until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Take the empty pan you used to boil the chilis and pour the blended mixture in there, and set it to medium to low heat.
- This is when you add all the other ingredients as you keep stirring the mixture well. Include some vinegar, chili paste, the roasted garlic you made beforehand, and some tomato paste.
- Subsequently include your dehydrated ingredients too: chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, and a hint of sugar to balance the acidity of the mixture.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
There you have it. Your fantastic homemade Tex Mex paste is ready to be used.
It can also be stored as well, so when you make the effort, you can prepare a little extra for the future!
If you do not feel like making a fuss in the kitchen by making your own Tex Mex paste substitute, or if you do not want to get a store-bought one, there is another option for you.
Sriracha represents a hassle-free option for those who do not want to waste time assembling their own homemade version of a sauce. Or it is the ideal option for those who already have sriracha laying around in their cupboard.
Sriracha is not your conventional hot sauce. It is a lot thicker than any other hot sauce around, and it is easy to taste its signature garlic and the sweetness of the sauce.
Simply add it to your dishes when needed, and that is it. There is no additional step to modify this already perfect Tex Mex alternative.
There is only one action you can carry out if you want to change its consistency a little bit: add some mayo to the sauce.
This little hack will give you a delicious sriracha mayo, with that fantastic firm consistency that will give your dishes a perfect and balanced taste.
6. Smoked paprika, tomato paste, and chili
Another extremely simple and easy alternative is mixing ingredients you might already have in your cupboard.
It will give you that similar Tex Mex paste taste and an incredibly similar consistency too!
Take some smoked paprika – it is essential it is smoked, otherwise, the taste will not be as good as the real deal. Mix it with some tomato paste and add some chili powder.
If you feel extra fancy, you can add some roasted jalapenos but you need to combine the mixture in a blender if you do so.
And that’s it! Within five minutes you can have a fantastic Tex Mex paste substitute with minimum effort and keep the washing to a minimum.
How to choose a Tex Mex paste substitute
As you can see, there are plenty of options if you want to experiment with making your own homemade Tex Mex paste substitute:
- Homemade option: if you do not mind a little challenge in the kitchen, you can try to recreate the delicious, viral HelloFresh Tex Mex paste at home. Or you can mix smoked paprika, tomato paste, and chili powder to have an additional quick and easy alternative.
- Smooth consistency alternative: if you want to find a Tex Mex substitute for your recipes, you can go for a smoother alternative, like adobo or chipotle sauce.
- Thick consistency option: if you prefer a thicker consistency, then achiote paste or sriracha might be the right alternative for you.
Consistency aside, all these pastes and sauces will all bring that fantastic spiciness and flavor to your dishes so they are all worth a try.
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