Spice up your dishes with this Tex Mex Paste recipe. If you're a fan of the original Hello Fresh tex mex paste, you will love this copycat recipe. Whip up this simple paste, and add some bold flavor to your favorite recipes. It's perfect for tacos, fajitas, and all your southwest-inspired dishes. So who is ready for Taco Tuesday?!
Our family loves the Hello Fresh meal packages with our hectic schedule. The tex mex paste was a real winner for us, and I wanted to create a copycat version that we could easily make at home. I think this recipe is actually better than the Hello Fresh version, and it comes without all the added preservatives. The bold flavor is perfect for all our Mexican and Southwest dishes!
What is tex mex paste?
Tex mex paste is a concentrated blend of pureed tomatos, onions, and chili peppers combined with a six-spice blend. The bold flavoring of this paste is perfect for seasoning tacos, chili, meat, and more. Hello Fresh debuted the paste as an ingredient in its subscription meal service. Since then, many have tried to replicate the recipe for use in Southwestern and Mexican dishes at home.
This recipe uses several ingredients to create a very intense flavor profile. You may need a trip to the spice section of your grocery store, but it will be 100% worth it!
Roasted Garlic: You definitely want to roast your garlic for this recipe. The cloves will be soft and fragrant after about 30 minutes in your oven. Don't skip this step!
Spice Blend: Get your spice cabinet ready for this recipe! You'll want to gather chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder. Altogether, these spices create a complex and delicious flavor profile for the recipe.
Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder is a mystery ingredient that adds a depth of flavor to the recipe. It compliments the smoky flavor of the peppers and spice blend.
Chipotle Peppers: Look for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for this recipe. You can find them in the aisle with other Mexican foods in your grocery store. I like using these peppers because they are already cooked and ready to puree in the recipe.
If you're trying to recreate your favorite Hello Fresh meal, and want to know how to make tex mex paste, follow the simple instructions below!
Step 1) Combine all spices into a small bowl to make your tex-mex spice blend.
Step 2) Blend your wet ingredients (tomatoes, onion, garlic, and peppers) together.
Step 3) Combine pureed tomato and pepper mixture with spices, and cocoa.
Step 4) Simmer the mixture over medium heat on the stove for 15-20 minutes.
Tex mex paste substitutes
This recipe is the perfect tex mex paste substitute. If you don't have time for the full recipe, here are my top three recommendations. Any of these are sure to work in a pinch!
- Tomato Paste with Chili Powder: This simple combination is an easy substitution. I recommend heating the tomato paste and then adding the chili powder to incorporate.
- Dry Spice Rub: Any dry spice rub with chili powder as the main ingredient will be an excellent substitute for tex mex paste. A taco seasoning will also have a similar flavor profile.
- Pureed Chipotles: Puree an entire can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This mixture will have a similar flavor profile and texture. You may need to simmer the puree on the stove to reduce the sauce for a thicker consistency.
Although all three of these will work, I highly recommend the recipe below! It's the most flavorful version.
This tex mex paste can be used as a marinade, a sauce, and even as a seasoning. The sky truly is the limit!
- Make a marinade by combining three tablespoons of tex mex paste with two tablespoons of pineapple juice, and two teaspoons of lime juice. Add your protein (about 1.5 pounds) and marinate for one hour before cooking.
- Create a zesty sauce by combining three tablespoons of paste with one-third cup of mandarin juice. Reduce the sauce by simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add one tablespoon of butter.
- Add tex mex paste to your taco meat after browning for a delicious and smoky flavor. Use about three tablespoons per pound of meat.
Our family likes to use this paste in place of the southwest spice blend when making Classic Beef Tacos from Hello Fresh!
For this recipe, you need a small or medium-sized food processor. Use something with more than a four-cup capacity. A blender will also work just fine. You will use this to pulse the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers.
You will also want an immersion blender for the final step of pureeing the paste. I prefer an immersion blender because you can puree while the mixture is still warm. You can use a regular blender ifyou don't have an immersion blender. However, you will want to ensure that the mixture has cooled before using the blender.
This paste can be refrigerated (fully covered) for 3-4 days. After that, you will want to freeze any remaining paste so it doesn't spoil.
I love to freeze this recipe and use it later. However, since you probably won't use all the servings at once, I recommend freezing the paste in Ziplock plastic bags. Try putting three to six tablespoons in each bag. Then, place it in the refrigerator overnight, and it will be ready to incorporate into your meal the next day!
Frequently asked questions
The main ingredient in tex mex paste is fire-roasted tomato puree. It also includes red chili pepper puree, onion puree, salt, soybean oil, sugar, tomato powder, chipotle chile, cocoa powder, garlic powder, and other natural flavors.
You can get tex mex paste by ordering a Hello Fresh meal package that includes the packet. Otherwise, you will want to make the recipe or use the substitutions above.
No, Hello Fresh does not sell its packets for individual sale. They are only available as a part of a meal package.
Tex Mex Paste
- food processor
- immersion blender
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 bulb garlic roasted
- 1 white onion diced
- 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons tomato paste
- ½ cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 3 teaspoons garlic chili paste
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
- To roast your garlic, see the notes in the recipe below. Ensure that you roast the garlic until the cloves are golden and soft to the touch. Once cooled, squeeze out the individual cloves.
- To make the spice blend, measure all individual spices and place them in a shallow plate or bowl. Stir with a fork to combine and set aside.
- Place your roasted garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse to puree. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, and chipotle peppers. Pulse again until the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium pot on the stove. Add rice vinegar, chili paste, sugar, cocoa powder, and spice blend. Stir the mixture to combine all the ingredients (the paste will still be slightly chunky). Simmer the paste over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the paste from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Use an immersion blender to achieve a smoother consistency. Once you have achieved your desired consistency, allow the paste to cool fully. Remember that your paste will thicken as it cools.
- Enjoy your paste with your favorite tex-mex recipe or refrigerate and freeze to use for later!
Notes and Tips
- Roasted Garlic: You definitely want to roast your garlic for this recipe. The cloves will be soft and fragrant after about 30 minutes in your oven. Don't skip this step!
- Chipotle Peppers: Feel free to increase or decrease the number of peppers to achieve your desired amount of "heat" in this recipe. I've used ¼ cup when I wanted a milder flavor.
- Immersion Blender: You can use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender. Be sure to allow the mixture to cool slightly before using the immersion blender.
- Paste Consistency: I like to use the immersion blender to achieve a silky paste with no chunks. This is an optional step at the end of the recipe. Also, remember that your paste will "firm up" as it cools down.
Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!
Please leave us a rating and feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!