All-purpose rub that balances sweet, smoky and spicy for vegetables and meat.

Gift from the kitchen: chipotle spice rub

Roasted sweet potatoes tossed in chipotle spice rub

For those who might be new to my blog, I’m doing a series of Gifts From the Kitchen as we all ramp up for the holidays. These are gifts you can use for a gift exchange with family or friends, or bring to a dinner party for an easy and useful hostess gift.

Truthfully, all these gifts are great ANY time of year, not just just for the holidays – for example this spice rub is a great gift during the summer BBQ season! As we all know, a nicely balanced rub can elevate a very simple dish of ribs to something very special.

Feel free to create your own rub for the level of spiciness you prefer, but my husband and I both like spicy food, so this rub is one I use a lot year-round for both steak and veggies. In fact, it’s the same spice mix I used on my recipe for Broiled Spicy Steak with Garlic Chips on a Gorgonzola Crostini that I entered into a recipe development contest a couple years ago on FOOD52 that made runner-up status against a lot of other great-tasting contenders.

Spice rub for meats or veggies

Chipotle spice rub for both veggies and meats

Chipotle Spice Rub


  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (Mexican oregano in particular is a great choice here)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (Pimenton de la Vera is by far my favorite)

Making It…

  1. Combine all spices in the bowl of a mortar and pestle and lightly mash them together.
  2. Pour into a nice gift container.
  3. Tie a cord or ribbon around it, strung through a small card with the recipe for the spice mix.
Roasted Spicy Yams

Spicy roasted sweet potatoes

Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes


  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (or to taste) Chipotle Spice Mix
  • 1 tablespoon shelled pumpkin seeds

Making It…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Peel the potatoes and cut into medium-sized cubes. Toss in olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle the potatoes with the Chipotle Spice Mix, toss again, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Serve warm with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.
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14 Responses to “Chipotle Spice Rub…Roasted Sweet Potatoes” Subscribe

  1. lizthechef November 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    And you deserved to have won that food52 contest…Again, love the gift theme.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      Ah well, all water under the bridge now. It’s still my husband’s favorite way for me to make him a steak dinner. Sometimes I sneak a bite – just to make sure the steak is done enough, you know. A sacrifice I make for his dinner :-)

  2. Ashley Pierson (@AshleyAnPierson) November 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    This is so great Susan! I love all the ideas! Thanks for sharing as always

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 17, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      Thanks Ashley! This has been a fun series to put together, and so useful. Are you signed up for the Food52 gift exchange? Liz – that question is for you too! It’s such a great idea!

  3. TasteFood November 18, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    This rub sounds gorgeous – right up my alley.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 19, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      Thanks Lynda! Yes, this definitely reminds me of your great sweet potato fries. I had them in a kale salad yesterday and they were a great contrast with apples and a vinaigrette.

  4. Sylvia Certo November 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Ciao Susan
    Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables combined with your chipotle spice mixture
    sounds scrumptious.
    Iam loving your blog!!!

    Felice giorno del ringraziamento,


    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 19, 2011 at 10:04 am #

      Ciao Sylvia, and mille grazie! Sono molto contenta che ti piace. Anche, felice giorno del ringraziamento a te e la tua famiglia.

  5. Hannah November 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Your Gifts from the Kitchen series is terrific! I am signed up for the Food52 gift exchange and you’re definitely giving me some ideas.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 23, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      Thanks!! I signed up too – I really love the idea of the gift exchange!

  6. Eric Herot August 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I found your spice rub when looking for something to go on some green beans with a sweet potato pasta dish. I added a bunch of nutmeg to it and sauteed the green beans in it (in olive oil and bacon fat–shhhhh!) and it was awesomely delicious.

    Thanks for posting it!


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