Simple things can be the best things and that is definitely the case with this seasoning blend! With just 4 ingredients, the Best Homemade Chili Seasoning Recipe can be made in bulk and kept on hand for savory chilis, soups, and more. It’s so versatile you’ll want to make an extra batch or two to save time in your dinner prep.
Making homemade seasonings is a simple step to ensuring quality taste and ingredients in your home cooking! Homemade blends will generally taste fresher and you can be sure they won’t include thickeners or additives like MSG or gluten. Get the kids involved in mixing up chili seasoning with some simple math and just a little bit of prep!
What Is Chili Seasoning?
A chili seasoning blend is often confused with chili powder, but there is a difference between the two!
Chili seasoning is a chili spice mix that includes chili powder as the primary flavor along with other spices. Chili powder, on its own, is a premade blend of chili powder and other spices that you can buy from any grocery store. While it is a blend already, it is not enough to completely flavor a yummy meal – chili seasoning takes care of that for you!
Chili seasoning is used in authentic chili dishes with ground beef or turkey and lots of tomatoes and sauce. The flavors in this blend can also work in dips, sprinkled over veggies or potatoes, or mixed into other types of soups and stews.
The top flavors in chili seasoning are usually chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, as well as garlic and onion powders. In my homemade chili seasoning recipe, I like to stick to a few basics for a classic taste that can be adjusted with various dishes!
Just 4 ingredients are all you need for a basic, yet flavorful chili seasoning recipe that can be used for countless dishes!
- Chili powder – This is a premade spice blend that can include a variety of dried, ground chile peppers (red, Ancho, cayenne, jalapeno, etc) plus other spices, depending on which brand you buy from the store. Every brand varies slightly but whatever you have on hand should work just fine!
- Ancho chili powder – Unlike chili powder, this is just ground-up ancho chiles, and depending on the brand, you might see it labeled as either “ancho chile pepper” or “ancho chili powder.” Just check the label to be sure the only ingredient listed is ancho chiles. I especially recommend buying this one in bulk since it is a slightly more expensive ingredient.
- Cumin – Cumin is a ground powder made from dried seeds of a flowering plant. There may not be another spice that is as widely used around the globe as this one!
- Salt – Plenty of salt rounds out this all-in-one seasoning blend! Feel free to adjust for low-sodium needs.
How To Make Homemade Chili Seasoning
The steps are pretty simple here!
First, mix all ingredients together well (making sure there are no clumps), and store in an airtight container. Jars with sealed lids work well for this!
Use 2 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat when making chili or seasoning ground meat.
Tip: Write this on a label or on the container for easy reference during recipe prep!
Recipe Variations and Tips
Even with an authentic chili seasoning recipe like this one, you can make tweaks to change up the flavor to your liking!
- Add some chipotle chili pepper (ground-up pepper that looks just like chili powder) for some extra spice and smokiness. If you just want the smoky flavor with no spice, add some extra paprika.
- You can decrease the amount of salt for low-sodium diets.
- If you’re a lover of sweet chili recipes, add in a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, or the secret of many chili lovers – cocoa powder! Any of these can add extra richness and depth to the seasoning.
And, a few general tips for creating your seasoning blend:
- Buy spices in bulk whenever possible! You’ll be glad to have extra spices on hand to mix up a large batch of seasoning to use in family-sized chili dishes.
- Prior to mixing, be sure that your individual spices are not so old that the flavor has lessened or that they have been unsealed for an extended amount of time. It’s best to create seasoning blends with spices that have a similar amount of shelf life and freshness!
How To Use Chili Seasoning
The obvious choice for chili seasoning is a hearty pot of chili, of course. However, you can make chili in SO many different variations if you like! From green chili recipes to veggie-packed recipes to my Slow Cooker Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili, your options are endless.
Since this recipe already makes a large batch of seasoning, plan for some bulk cooking and freezing chili to use for different meal types! For example, with one pot of chili, you could divide portions to use for meals like baked potatoes with chili topping, chili pie with corn chips, or over some good old-fashioned chili cheese dogs. Check out more tips here on How to Freeze Chili along with this simple seasoning.
Besides a meaty chili, you could use this seasoning for a pot of pinto or black beans, in filling soups and stews, or sprinkled over french fries or tater tots made in the air-fryer or baked in the oven. Also, try out this seasoning mixed into any of your favorite dips or appetizers!
How Much Homemade Chili Seasoning Replaces One Packet?
Store-bought packets are usually a little over 1 ounce and will typically provide directions for completing a chili recipe. With homemade chili seasoning, you can use 2 tablespoons of the blend to replace 1 packet, or per 1 pound of meat.
If you love chili flavors, you’ll discover that mixing up a homemade batch turns out to be a cost-efficient option!
Since this recipe makes a nice-sized batch, you should be able to store some extra after using it in a recipe or two!
The most important thing about storing any spice or spice blend is keeping it in a sealed, completely dry container. You can store the seasoning this way for up to several months.
Side note: Have you ever shaken or measured spices out of a jar into a hot, steaming pot of food? The steam can actually creep inside your spice container and cause it to clump or lose freshness. Try measuring it away from the steam for optimal storage and taste!
Best Homemade Chili Seasoning Recipe
- measuring cups and spoons
- storage container
- Mix all ingredients well and store in airtight container
- Use 2 tablespoons per pound of meat when making chili
- Store in a completely dry container for up to several months
- Purchase ancho chili powder in bulk from Amazon (or another wholesale retailer) for the best price
- If you like extra spice, add some chipotle chili pepper