Recado Rojo – Achiote Paste


Recado Rojo is a very popular red seasoning paste which is commonly used in the Yucatán region of Mexico to add color and flavor to food. The main ingredient in Recado Rojo is the Annato seed which gives it a brick red color and an earthy flavor with hints of citrus. Recado Rojo is commonly used as the base for marinades used on Pibils which are meat dishes baked in barbecue pits that have been dug into the earth.

Preparation time: 15 min Cooking time: 30 min Yield: 2 Cups


  • 1 cup of Achiote seeds.
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) of sour orange (aka Seville orange) juice.
  • 12 allspice beans.
  • 2 tablespoons of ground Mexican Oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns.
  • 20 cloves of Garlic.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Kosher salt.


  1. Grind Achote seed into a fine powder using a spice mill or a coffee grinder.
  2. Pass the resulting powder through a sieve to remove any large pieces.
  3. Pour 1 cup of the orange juice into the Achote seed powder, mix thoroughly and set aside.
  4. Toast the Allspice and Cumin in a hot skillet until they are fragrant and begin to smoke.
  5. Remove the All Spice and Cumin from the skillet , set aside and allow to cool.
  6. Place peppercorns and the toasted Allspice/Cumin mix into a spice mill or coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder..
  7. Add the peeled Garlic , Salt, and remaining 1/2 cup of Orange juice to a blender and blend until smooth.
  8. Add the previously prepared Achiete paste and the ground spices to the blender with the Garlic and Orange Juice mix and blend until the mixture forms a thick paste.
  9. Divide into portions for use within 3 weeks or freeze for future use.