How to Make Annatto Oil

Annatto oil is also known as Achiote Oil and Atsuete Oil. This is made by mixing annatto seeds with olive oil; vegetable oil, canola oil, and corn oil can also be used. The main purpose of this red oil is to provide color to different dishes to make it more visually appealing.

Since annatto oil is not always available in grocery stores, learning how to make it will surely be beneficial to you. Annatto seeds, which are one of the ingredients, can be found in Asian stores. If in case the nearest Asian store in your place is not that close, you can head directly to the nearest Mexican store in your area to purchase it (you should be looking for a package labeled “Achiote”).

Making Annatto oil is very simple. Here are the details to get you started.


1 1/2 tablespoons annatto seeds

1/4 cup olive oil


1. Combine the annatto seeds and olive oil in a saucepan then apply heat.

2. Maintain the heat to medium. When bubbles start to form around the annatto seeds, turn off the heat and let the seeds soak in oil for 1 to 2 minutes (Do not over cook the seeds because it will produce a bitter taste).

3. Transfer the oil to a container. Use a strainer to filter-out the annatto seeds.

4. You are now ready to use annatto oil as an ingredient to any dish that requires it.


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  1. Marcus Johns says:

    Is Annatto oil used for flavour, colour, heat or a combination of the three. Could chilli oil be substituted? (Having a LOT of difficulty finding Annatto seed or oil in China).

    Many thanks.

  2. luchie mccann says:

    what if lemon grass is not available ,what herbs can i substitute for that??

  3. Sin Soriano says:

    any substitute sa olive oil sir vanjo?

  4. can i use powdered annatto? we dont have annatto seed here. tnx!

  5. G’day! I am subscribed to your blog and find the various ingredients and dishes excited to see (LOVE the photos and step by step) as well as the videos.
    I was wondering could you suggest some of your dishes this oil can be used with? Thank you in advance and hope you have a good day!

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