Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 0 mins

This is an old family favorite. It is easy, can be frozen for future use, and is ten times better than the store bought junk. Use this for my Cochinita Pibil recipe.


  1. Put all ingredients into a spice grinder, and grind until you have a fine powder.
  2. Take the powder and put it into a bowl and add teaspoons of water at a time until you get a thick paste which binds together, in a putty like consistency.
  3. Separate into Tablespoon size portions and freeze individually.
  4. When you want to use it, mix the TB size portion with 10 cloves of garlic crushed, and 4 TB Seville orange juice and marinade pork or chicken overnight.
  5. Some might say to add tequila, but that is an Americanization of this Yucatecan specialty.
  6. *NOTE* You can find them at most Mexican grocers, and maybe even at your Lucky's or Safeway.
  7. Annato seeds are very, very hard, and are difficult to grind with a mortar and pestle, use the grinder or it won't make a paste.
  8. They DO, and WILL stain your grinder, and anything you happen to spill it on, be careful.
  9. You can double, or multiply this recipe as you wish, and I usually make enough for a year's worth.
  10. About 4x this recipe.
  11. It freezes very well, and will last the year in the freezer no problem.
Most Helpful

Excellent recipe! I made it sometime ago and stored it in the freezer until I needed it. It lasted me almost a year. Time to make more!! :)

fil55555 June 09, 2013

"Learning the ways of the annatto seed, I am" - Yoda. I have recently discovered annatto seeds at a local oriental market. I used this recipe for Achiote Marinade. I don't know what this is "suppose to" taste like, so I can only tell you what we thought. Both dh & myself liked the marinade quite a bit. And since most of the marinade is from this paste, we must have liked this paste! I appreciate you posting this, as it made my life easier. Instead of having to search high & low for achiote paste, I just had to type in a couple words here at Zaar. Thank you very much for the recipe & I feel honored to be the first reviewer. Sorry I didn't take a picture - I'm trying to get better at that.

Feej August 13, 2007