Annatto seed

Pronounced: uh-NAH-toh

Annatto or achiote seed is brick-red with a slightly bitter, earthy flavor and imparts a rich yellowish-orange color in Caribbean, Latin American and Filipino cuisines. It has been dubbed the "poor man's saffron" as the color is simalar to the more expensive seasoning. Available whole or ground, the small triangular shaped seeds are used as both a spice and as a natural coloring in butter, rice, smoked fish and cheeses.


Annatto seeds


available year-round

How to store

Store in an airtight container out of the light.

How to prepare

Add directly to cooking liquid or steep in boiling water for about 20 minutes until desired color is obtained, then discard the seeds. The seeds may also be fried in oil, then discard seeds and use oil.


pinch of paprika (for color not flavor); an equal amount of saffron; yellow food coloring OR hot paprika OR equal parts turmeric and paprika

Popular Annatto seed Recipes