Elevate even the most basic chili with this 7-ingredient homemade chili seasoning recipe! It relies solely on basic pantry staples for complex flavor and will boost far more than chili!
Did you know you can make the best chili seasoning recipe at home with just a few basic pantry spices and a couple of minutes? The resulting seasoning mix is savory, earthy, has a spicy kick (100% adjustable to your taste!), and helps create deliciously complex and full-bodied chilies – but that’s not all!
Unlike store-bought blends, you’re in 100% control, meaning no excess sodium, preservatives, or other additives. It tastes better and will save you money, too. Plus, looking for more simple homemade spice blends? Check out my blog for recipes for taco seasoning, steak seasoning, chicken seasoning, and/or burger seasoning!
What Is in Chili Seasoning
With a chili powder and cumin base, this recipe relies on just a few other basic pantry spices to create this full-bodied, impressive, BEST chili seasoning recipe.
- Chili powder: To form the base of this seasoning and add heat.
- Cayenne pepper: (or red pepper flakes) Adds extra depth and heat. Omit for a milder mix.
- Cumin: Provides the classic savory, earthy flavor in chili.
- Salt & black pepper: Use kosher salt or sea salt (not table salt, which is saltier) and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Garlic powder & onion powder: For savory, aromatic flavor and a more complex, full-bodied chili seasoning blend.
Since you’re making this seasoning blend at home, adjusting to your flavor preferences is very easy. I.e., increase/decrease the salt content, spice level, etc.
How to Make Chili Seasoning
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl (or directly in a spice jar), mix/shake well, and store the spice mix in an airtight container.
How Long Does Homemade Chili Seasoning Last
Store the jar of seasoning in a cool, dry, dark location like a pantry or kitchen cupboard away from moisture, and use it within 4-6 months for the best flavor and freshness.
Homemade spice blends are really only as fresh as the spices used to make them, so make sure they’re fresh/new.
How to Use Chili Seasoning
It isn’t only chili that benefits from this spice blend. Here are just a few of the top ways we enjoy using it:
- In chili: From chili con carne to a vegan bean chili and everything in between. As a general rule, you’ll need about 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat (beef, turkey, or chili), but feel free to start with less and increase to taste.
For the best chili recipe, brown the meat first and drain the excess fat, then add the seasoning and sauté for a further minute to bloom the spices before adding the tomatoes/beans/remaining ingredients.
- In other Mexican dishes: i.e., as a seasoning for the meat or even veggies in tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
- In spice rubs or marinades: For chicken, steak, tofu, or even vegetables.
- Roasted vegetables: Like roast potatoes, fajita vegetables, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, corn on the cob, etc.
- In dips: To add depth to guacamole, avocado crema, hummus, white bean dip, etc.
More Homemade Spice Mixes
If you try this easy homemade chili seasoning mix, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Best Homemade Chili Seasoning
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl (or directly in a spice jar), mix/shake well, and store the spice mix in an airtight container.
- Store the jar of seasoning in a cool, dry, dark location like a pantry or kitchen cupboard away from moisture, and use it within 4-6 months for the best flavor and freshness.
- Dried Mexican oregano: For herby, citrusy, subtly floral flavor.
- Smoked paprika: for a subtle smoky element.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: just a teaspoon adds rich depth and complex flavor.
- Coffee/espresso powder: similar to cocoa, this helps to deepen the flavors of chili.
- Brown sugar: just a little can help create a more well-balanced chili.
- Cinnamon: just a pinch for warming depth in the homemade seasoning.