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What Are The Best Substitutes For Tex Mex Paste?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Now unless you are proficient at cooking Mexican food, you might not be aware of what Tex Mex paste is. This stuff is a chili-flavored sauce that you can use to jazz up your salsa or your chili. This is made with garlic, cumin, chiles, and a few other spices.

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However, this paste is not easy to find at your local supermarket.

You might be halfway through a recipe and suddenly, shock of all shocks, there’s Tex Mex paste on the list of ingredients, and you know you haven’t got anything in the kitchen cupboards. But are there substitutes for Tex Mex paste?

The answer is that yes there is. But what are they? What flavor will they give to your chile dish? How are these substitutes different from Tex Mex?

List Of Tex Mex Substitutes

Achiote Paste

  • Calories: 200
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 2240mg
  • Carbohydrate: 44g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8g
  • Total Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Substitute ratio: 1:1

Adobo Sauce (17g)

  • Calories: 17
  • Total Fat: 1.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0.2mg
  • Sodium: 72mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.9g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 0.4g
  • Substitute ratio: 1:1

Chipotle Sauce (18g)

  • Calories: 79
  • Total Fat: 8.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.9g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9g
  • Cholesterol: 4.6mg
  • Sodium: 115mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.2g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Substitute ratio: 1:1

Sriracha (6.5g)

  • Calories: 6
  • Total Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 138mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.2g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Substitute ratio: 2:1

Homemade Tex Mex Paste (1 Tube)

  • Calories: 50
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 1570mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Substitution ratio: 1:1

Tex Mex Paste (1 Tube)

  • Calories: 50
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 1570mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 1 g

What Does Tex Mex Paste Taste Like?

This paste has a very zesty taste, as it comes made with a range of herbs that will give it that real kick. This paste includes garlic, onions, and tomato, as well as spices to give it that super dose of heat.

This has a very creamy texture and will blend well with most existing tomato purées. If you are looking to spice up that sweet tomato sauce that you have made, then we would suggest that you add a little bit of Tex Mex.

Tex Mex paste works well with enchiladas, tacos, and burritos, especially if you want to raise them up a few notches on the Scoville scale. You can also add this paste to soups or stews to thicken them up and that extra spice.

But what if you cannot find any Tex Mex paste? Well, there are plenty of substitutes out there, some are a little milder, and some a little stronger than Tex Mex. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at our list of the best Tex Mex replacements.

Best Tex Mex Replacements

1. Achiote Paste

This first paste is one that is spicy but with sweeter notes than you might find in Tex Mex paste. This is a very grainy paste, but it is often used as a substitute for Tex Mex in authentic Mexican cuisine. This is very earthy and will give your dish that deep red tinge.

If you are going to swap your Tex Mex paste for some achiote, then you should make sure that you mix it with water first. You can also add some sugar if you prefer a sweeter edge to your spicy meal.

The water and the sugar combined will help to release a lot of this paste’s flavor too.

2. Adobo Sauce

Next up, we have a sauce that is a lot more acidic, because it contains a lot more vinegar than your average sauce. This also contains vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic all of which contribute to a very heady flavor that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

This has a very punchy flavor and is much more naturally tangy than Tex Mex, although it does contain a similar flavor profile. You can substitute your Tex Mex paste with adobo sauce 1:1, as it does have the same spice level and texture.

3. Chipotle Sauce

This is another sauce that will inject your Mexican dish with that extra smoky flavor. It contains garlic, tomatoes, onions, and chipotle peppers, which is what gives it that heat boost.

However, this paste is very thick, so you might want to add some water to thin it out before putting it in your dish.

You can add chili powder and garlic if you want it to taste more aromatic. This has a more subtle flavor than Tex Mex, although it does have that similar sweet undercurrent. You can also add this paste to watery soups to thicken them up.

4. Sriracha Sauce

Now if you are looking for that super dose of spice to your meal, then we would certainly recommend you choose Sriracha. This is a very punchy sauce, but it is a common one that is added to a lot of chile dishes to give them an added kick.

This is another red sauce, although the texture is far stickier than a lot of the other pastes on this list. However, once you have added it to your meal, it will have a similar flavor profile to Tex Mex.

You might have to add less of this sauce than you would Tex Mex, as it is so spicy.

5. Homemade Tex Mex Paste

Why buy Tex Mex from the store when you can just make your own at home? That’s right, if you have the right ingredients in your cupboard, you can make a Tex Mex sauce that tastes a lot fresher.

You can also amend the ingredients to get the flavor that you want.

All you need to make your own Tex Mex sauce is diced tomatoes, chiles, jalapeño peppers, garlic, cumin, and onions. Blend them together in a food processor and there you have it, your very own Tex Mex sauce that you can put in your Mexican dish straight away.

1. Tex Mex Potato Salad

If you are looking for a light meal with an extra kick of spice for the summer, then try this potato salad recipe. The combination of flavors in this dish is amazing.

2. Tex Mex Ground Beef Skillet

This is a delicious meal that you can make for yourself or a small party of people. It is made with freshly-ground beef and plenty of veggies, both of which are a fantastic source of nutrients and protein.


Tex Mex is not the most readily available sauce, so we hope that our list of alternatives has given you some inspiration. However, make sure that you amend some of the measurements of these sauces, as some of them are much spicier than Tex Mex.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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