This awesome homemade Chili Seasoning mix comes in super handy for making anything from chilis, tacos and even roasted vegetables. Skip the store-bought packets together with the additive and preservatives and make your own gluten free chili spice mix from scratch with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
I didn't get to enjoy the pleasures of homemade chili until I was in my 20s and we received a slow cooker as a wedding gift. Once I started looking up homemade chili recipes I got hung up by a curious ingredient by the name of packaged chili seasoning.
Of course, I didn't have it stocked in my pantry, so my next step was to for a homemade chili seasoning recipe. Sure enough, there were plenty to go around and I happened to have all of the individual ingredients already on my spice rack.
We fell in love with homemade chili! And I never turned to buying chili seasoning packets after learning how much more expensive they are than the home version.
Furthermore, they usually include additives (anti-caking agent) and fillers (like flour). Suddenly you have gluten in an otherwise gluten free recipe.
So for the last few years, I've always had chili seasoning handy. After whipping up many a batch, I think I have perfected the ratios. So today I want to share with you my favorite and what I believe to be the best chili seasoning!
How to make homemade chili seasoning
There really isn't any technique to this chili seasoning recipe. Just measure out the individual ingredients and combine.
You can whisk them all together in a bowl and use some right away, then transfer the remainder in an airtight storage container.
Or make the process really easy by measuring everything into a storage container, then close the lid tightly and shake everything up until evenly combined.
This recipe makes about ½ cup of the best chili seasoning mix. So make sure your spice container (like a small mason jar) is a little bigger so that the ingredients can move around and combine.
What are the ingredients in chili seasoning
Of course, there is chili powder at the core as the main ingredient, which is combined with paprika, cumin, onion and garlic powder. Cayenne powder gives an extra kick of heat (optional).
I also add salt and pepper right into this mix because I add them to every pot of chili anyway. Of course, you can reduce/omit those and season each batch of chili to taste.
Many other recipes will also include oregano, but I don't because my husband isn't a fan and I have gotten used to my chili not tasting like oregano.
Making homemade spice mixes at home is wonderful because you can ensure that they are always very fresh. The flavour of spices can deteriorate due to age and result in a dish that is not nearly as delicious as it could have been. If you don't use chili powder very often, this homemade chili seasoning only makes about 9 tablespoons which should be easy enough to use as you make hearty batches of chili over a few months.
Ground spices should stay fresh in your cupboard for between 2 and 3 years under the correct conditions. They should generally be in a tightly sealed container and in a cool dark place like a pantry cupboard. Direct sunlight can cause the flavours to deteriorate and the spices to lose their colour, which is why a cupboard is a preferred area for storage.
You will be able to tell if your spices are getting old by whether they have a duller taste than usual, look pale in colour, or are clumping together.
When you make this chili powder recipe, make sure that the spices you are using are as fresh as possible, especially if you plan on scaling the recipe up to store for a few years. Often, purchasing spices in bulk from a bulk food store is the cheapest way to go.
You can grab just the quantity you need for a certain recipe or the amount you will use in a few months. This is particularly ideal if there is a spice you don't use as frequently as others and don't need a full bottle of.
How much chili seasoning should I use? How much chili seasoning is in a packet?
Because this chili spice mix contains only pure seasoning ingredients it is quite potent. I use 2 tablespoons of the mix for a large pot of chili with 1 pound of ground beef serving about 6-8.
Store-bought chili packets, because of their fillers, usually include about 5 tablespoons for one batch of chili with ground beef.
Are chili and taco seasoning the same?/Can chili seasoning substitute taco seasoning?
While the ingredients for chili and taco seasoning are basically the same, there are subtle differences in the ratios. While chili seasoning really focuses on chili powder as the main ingredient, taco seasoning usually is stronger on the cumin. You can find my preferred spice ratio for Homemade Taco Seasoning HERE.
But in a pinch, of course, you could use this homemade spice mix in place of a taco seasoning packet. Again, about 2 tablespoons of this seasoning recipe replace 1 packet. However, feel free to add more or less depending on your taste and how much you enjoy the combination of chili, cumin, and other savoury spices.
In fact, depending on what you include in your chili recipe, the seasoning may be more or less noticeable, resulting in a need to adjust it to your taste. For example, some chili recipes that have a lot of tomatoes may need a little more spice mix if you like to taste more heat.
Other Uses for this Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix
While using this chili seasoning recipe in your favourite heartwarming chili recipe is delicious, you can use it in a few other ways as well. Here are some ideas:
- Add it to a skillet with strips of chicken and julienne peppers and onions for a homemade filling for fajitas.
- Use it as a rub on ribs, chicken, pork, or steak before grilling.
- Toss a little into a corn and bean salad to pair with a summertime spread.
- Dust it on grilled corn after buttering. You can also add a squeeze of lime for something bright and fresh!
- Make a sweet and savoury watermelon salad infused with this chili powder, Feta cheese, lime zest, and cilantro.
Great chili recipes to use this homemade chili seasoning mix in
More homemade spice mixes:
You can really save a lot of money by making your own seasoning mixes. Often you can buy half a pound worth of individual spices for the same price as buying a spice mix or individual packets. It's especially easy if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet. On top of that, you get to avoid any additives and fillers!
- Homemade Cajun Seasoning Mix
- Gingerbread Spice Mix
- Best Dry Rub for Ribs
- Homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning
Homemade Chili Seasoning
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Add all ground spices to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Store your homemade chili seasoning in an airtight container in a dry and cool place.
- Alternatively, measure everything right into a storage container, close the lid tightly and shake everything up until evenly combined.
- Use 2 tablespoons of this homemade seasoning mix for a large pot of chili to serve 6-8. This equals about one packet of store-bought seasoning mix.