If you adore spicy food, you probably love Tex Mex cuisine, a beautiful combination of Texan and Mexican food. Whoever came up with this fusion deserves a medal, by the way!
That said, not all ingredients in Tex Mex cuisine follow the truly authentic Mexican tradition. One such ingredient is Tex Mex paste, tasty addition to numerous dishes.
HelloFresh is one of the most popular brands to produce Tex Mex paste, providing an unimaginable flavor profile that goes well with nachos, tacos, burritos, and more!
So, what happens when you don’t have Tex Mex paste available in your local store or forget to stock up?
You can always use a Tex Mex paste substitute.
We listed down what you can use, so read on!
How Do You Choose The Best Tex Mex Paste Substitute?
Since there are different options when selecting a Tex Mex substitute, base your choice on the following factors:
- If you have a bit more time and the right ingredients, we recommend making a homemade option so you know what’s going into your Tex Mex paste! You can recreate the infamous HelloFresh Tex Mex paste to the best of your abilities or go for quick alternatives with ingredients you have at home, without any preservatives.
- We recommend using adobo or chipotle sauce if you want a smoother consistency.
- For a thicker consistency, opt for achiote sauce. Sriracha is your next best bet for thickness and how it’s readily available.
Remember, there is no best Tex Mex substitute for all; it depends on the factors above, personal taste, and the ingredient availability!
What’s the Best Substitute for Tex Mex Paste?
Tex Mex paste is a mixture of tomato puree with spices and sauces, which add an explosion of flavors to Tex Mex dishes. You can even use it in other cuisines to experiment!
Fun fact: HelloFresh is a food delivery service that includes Tex Mex paste with other ingredients to make it easier to cook at home. The brand is what made Tex Mex cuisine and its paste so popular!
Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact ingredients and ratio in HelloFresh’s Tex Mex paste. Furthermore, they don’t sell their Tex Mex paste individually! But we do know a few substitutes you can try if you don’t want to purchase a whole meal kit.
Try a Tex Mex paste substitute from our list below:
1. Achiote Paste
Achiote paste is an ideal Tex Mex paste substitute as it’s a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, specifically in Oaxaca and Yucatan. You can also find and use it in Belizean cuisine, too!
Achiote paste, also called Recado Rojo, has the signature red or dark orange color.
It’s made of a combination of dried herbs and spices like annatto, salt, black pepper, cumin, garlic, oregano, and more. As a result, your recipe will have a unique and delicious taste!
If you have no achiote paste, you can always make your own with paprika, garlic, cumin, oregano, and white vinegar. Simply place all those ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Once all the ingredients are combined, you’ve got a paste you can use for your recipes.
2. Adobo Sauce
Adobo sauce is another excellent Tex Mex paste substitute for your recipes, a spicy sauce matching Tex Mex and Mexican cuisine well.
Like achiote paste, adobo sauce is made of dried herbs, vinegar, and garlic. However, the significant difference is the presence of chili powder in adobo sauce. Furthermore, adobo sauce features a brownish, dark orange color, with a similar texture to barbecue sauce.
You can easily find this sauce in local stores or make your own, following these steps:
- Prepare dried herbs, fresh tomatoes, chili powder, vinegar, garlic cloves, brown sugar, oregano, salt, and olive oil.
- Blend chili powder with hot water, adding vinegar and tomatoes (fresh, canned, or tomato paste works).
- Stir your mixture before adding seasonings like cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, and other desired ingredients. Blend again.
- Add a few garlic cloves, oregano, salt, and brown sugar. Blend it again.
- After getting that creamy and thick-ish consistency, place your mixture in a pan, adding 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium or high heat.
- Bring your mixture to a boil, then allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. It’s ready once you see that the mixture has a dark orange color and smooth, creamy consistency like barbecue sauce.
3. Chipotle Sauce
Chipotle sauce is a fantastic Tex Mex substitute, particularly the mildly spicy variety.
It’s similar to adobo sauce with a tiny twist, particularly in terms of texture and flavor.
Chipotle sauce is runnier and creamier than adobo sauce, made of adobo chipotles, garlic, lime, and plain yogurt or Mexican cream. The Mexican cream softens the sauce and makes it runnier than others.
Moreover, the adobo chipotles give the sauce a spicy, smoky taste. These chipotles lower the spice levels of chipotle peppers, making the sauce mild and easier for our taste buds and those with lower heat tolerances. (*)
You can easily find chipotle sauce in grocery stores worldwide or create your own!
Here is how to make it at home:
- All you need to do is mux smoked jalapenos, garlic, salt, honey, and olive oil.
- Mix it before adding a bit of Greek yogurt for a firmer consistency.
- Blend this mixture well, and you’ve got homemade chipotle sauce!
5. Sriracha Sauce
If you’re looking for a quicker alternative that’s always readily available and easy to find in stores, go for Sriracha sauce!
You probably already have this in your kitchen.
Sriracha isn’t your typical hot sauce as it’s much thicker and with a sweet, garlicky flavor.
It won’t taste exactly like Tex Mex paste, but it gives your dishes the sweet and spicy kick you love.
Add a bit of mayonnaise to your sauce for better consistency and a balanced flavor.
BONUS: Homemade Tex Mex Paste Recipe
If you want to experiment a bit in the kitchen, you can try making a homemade Tex Mex substitute! Here are the steps to follow:
- Prepare garlic cloves, place them on aluminum foil, and sprinkle olive oil on them. Envelop the garlic in the foil, letting them set in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until they are soft and mushy.
- As the garlic is in the oven, take dried chilis, and place them in your pan with a bit of water, bringing that to a boil. Once it’s boiling, let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- While waiting for the chili and garlic, prepare your blender and combine your ingredients, particularly a diced onion, roasted tomatoes, then your drained, softened chilies. Blend until your mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Pour your blended mixture into your pan over medium to low heat. Add your other ingredients like vinegar, chili paste, tomato paste, and roasted garlic. Also, add your dry ingredients like chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, salt, and a bit of sugar.
- Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes, then switch off the heat. Let it cool, and you’ve got a homemade Tex Mex paste substitute!
HelloFresh doesn’t sell Tex Mex paste on its own, nor do they share the ingredients of their paste, keeping that unique flavor a secret!
Frequently Asked Questions
Left with questions about Tex Mex paste? We’ve got you as we answer the most frequently asked questions below:
Wrapping It Up
Finding a Tex Mex paste substitute isn’t as tricky as you’d think!
There are actually ingredients you can use at home or other brands that sell something similar to the OG Hello Fresh Tex Mex paste.
Hopefully, you found the best Tex Mex paste substitute based on our list.
The next time you’re craving this ingredient for your dishes, go back to this article and achieve your dreams of a sumptuous Tex Mex dinner!