Achiote Oil (Aceite de Achiote)

by Erica Dinho on December 5, 2009

AchioteAchiote is also known as annatto seed and is used to give a yellowish color to food. Some people use it instead of saffron as a food coloring. Achiote can be found in Latin supermarkets and in some American grocery stores.

This spice is an important ingredient in Colombian cuisine. We use it to color our rice dishes, soups, stews and more.
Achiote Oil 069

To make Achiote oil:

Heat 1 cup of vegetable or olive oil and ½ cup Achiote seeds in a small skillet over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let the seeds turn black. Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes more. Strain the oil and store for up to 5 days at room temperature in a jar with a tight lid.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella December 5, 2009 at 10:15 AM

How clever making an oil with it! Thanks for telling us all about it :)

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2 Barbara December 5, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Love your informative post, Erica. I knew nothing about achiote-

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3 Angie@Angie's Recipes December 5, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Thank you so much for the information and the recipe! I had no clue what the achote is!

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4 Jhonny Walker December 5, 2009 at 3:22 PM

I just had a wrap with achiote grilled chicken and was wondering how good it is! And I come back and see your post :) Wonderful :)

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5 Kim December 5, 2009 at 3:22 PM

I can see how this would make a lovely color to some rice or meat. It looks very pretty :D

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6 Muneeba December 5, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Daisy (on the Food Network now) uses this all the time in her Latino recipes. I’m gonna try and hunt these down in my grocery store if I can.

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7 Erica December 5, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Thank you everyone for the comments!

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8 Joan Nova December 5, 2009 at 5:39 PM

I actually prefer achiote (like in Goya Sazon) but have used both achiote and saffron in a dish if I want an authentic Spanish touch.

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9 Jane December 5, 2009 at 10:26 PM

In December achiote is especially important as the coloring for the masa for Venezuelan hallacas.

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10 Oysterculture December 5, 2009 at 10:56 PM

I love achiote oil and use it frequently. Great reminder of a versatile ingredient.

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11 Divina December 6, 2009 at 6:54 AM

Thanks Erica for this information. :D

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12 Devon December 6, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Erica, does achiote have a flavor at all or is it just a food coloring? What does it taste like?

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13 Erica December 6, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Devon- Annato has a special flavor. It is hard to describe, but it is delicious. Try it!

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14 Ivy December 6, 2009 at 10:31 AM

I am not aware of this spice. Thanks for the information. Please pass from my blog to collect your Award.

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15 Erica December 6, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Ivy-Thank you so much!

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16 Joanne December 6, 2009 at 11:28 AM

I don’t think I have ever cooked with this but thanks for all the info!

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17 Soma December 15, 2009 at 9:38 PM

Looks pretty! wondering if I will get these in the Mexican/Spanish grocery stores.

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18 Erica December 16, 2009 at 8:15 AM

Soma- You can fin achiote in Mexican stores.

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19 Jackellyne May 15, 2010 at 11:22 PM

I’m so happy to see all these dishes. They send me back to my childhood memories with my family and there wonderful cusine.

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20 mlee July 21, 2010 at 9:33 PM

For person that are cooking spanish food and are interested on using achiote there is good news, Now it comes in powder form, I love it and you save a lot of time . PR stores Mex also.

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21 Berryblue October 30, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Just make sure your strain the achote well and if you get severe headaches then it is cause by the achote and you should avoid cooking with it moving forward. Achote has properties in it that causes migraine headaches.

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22 sare December 7, 2011 at 7:05 AM

Hi, We can’t find this spice. I use turmeric powder and saffron to have colour for food. I’m interested in its taste. Thank you.

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23 Amanda March 21, 2012 at 4:07 PM

you can find it at some safeways

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