Adobo seasoning is a versatile and widely-used spice blend rooted in Latin American and Filipino cuisines. Its name, “adobo,” comes from the Spanish word “adobar,” which means “to marinate,” reflecting its original use as a seasoning for marinated dishes. While the ingredients can vary, the most common components include garlic, onion, paprika, salt, black pepper, and oregano. Other variations might also contain turmeric, cumin, or citrus zest.

  • Scientific name: N/A (Blend of various spices)
  • Family: N/A (Blend of various spice families)
  • Genus: N/A
  • Kingdom: N/A
  • Order: N/A


The history of Adobo seasoning is deeply tied to the culinary traditions of Spanish colonization. In the Philippines, “adobo” refers to a popular cooking technique and dish where meat is marinated and cooked in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and other spices. The Spanish adobo seasoning, however, evolved in Latin America as a dry spice mix used to season and preserve food, particularly meat.


While Adobo seasoning is primarily valued for its rich flavor, it also offers several health benefits, mainly derived from its components:

  • Garlic and Onion: Known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help boost the immune system.
  • Paprika: Rich in vitamin A, contributing to good eyesight and skin health.
  • Black Pepper: Promotes digestion and has antioxidant properties.
  • Oregano: Contains antioxidants and is thought to have antimicrobial properties.

These spices combined can contribute to an overall diet that supports good health, although they are typically consumed in small amounts within the seasoning.


If you’re out of Adobo seasoning or prefer to try something different, several other spice blends can serve as good substitutes:

  • Taco Seasoning: Similar in its profile, although typically a bit spicier with the addition of chili powder.
  • Cajun Seasoning: Offers a more piquant tone but similar usability in various dishes.
  • Goya Saz√≥n: Another Latin blend that shares some ingredients like garlic and cumin, suitable for dishes requiring a Latin profile.