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Learn to make homemade chili seasoning with just a few pantry spices and a minute to combine! Homemade spice mixes are budget-friendly, easily accessible, and customizable to suit your tastes. Plus, they add so much flavor to all your dishes without the need for extra sodium and fillers!

seasonings on a plate to make a homemade chili seasoning blend.

How to Make Chili Seasoning

No going back to storebought!

I totally get the convenience of store-bought seasoning packets, but have you ever flipped over one of those bad boys and read the ingredients on the back? What does “natural flavor” even mean?!

Making a homemade seasoning with a beautiful blend of classic chili spices without all the additives and preservatives makes the chili taste even better, it’s actually better for you!

Whip up a batch, keep it stored in a jar and it’s good for about 4 tablespoons. And because we’re using spices that you probably already have on hand, you can make a fresh batch whenever you want.

So, the next time you’re cooking up your next batch of slow cooker chili or a chili cornbread casserole, whether beef, turkey, chicken, or vegetarian, add this homemade chili seasoning and discover how much better everything tastes!

Why you’ll love Homemade Chili Seasoning

Budget-friendly – This is especially true if you’ve already got what you need in your pantry! Even still, buying spices in bulk and using them to make smaller batches will save you money.

Versatile – Use it for more than just your pot of chili! Slow cooker chili mac, crockpot frito pie, and chili casserole with cornbread topping are just a few other ways to use this spice mix.

The spice level is flexible – You can choose to increase the cayenne pepper if you know you want a spicy homemade taco seasoning, or choose to leave it as is and add any extra cayenne while you’re cooking.

They’re great gifts! – Homemade spice blends are the perfect gift for the fellow home cooks in your life. Store it in a cute little jar, tie a ribbon, label it, and bam! A thoughtful and inexpensive way to share.

homemade chili seasoning in a glass jar.

Equipment you’ll need


Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika – If regular paprika is what you have, go ahead and use it. For that smoky flavor in your chili, you can add a drop or two of liquid smoke instead.
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper – Adjust the spice level to your liking.
overhead shot of labeled spices on a plate.

How to make Homemade Chili Seasoning

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Step One: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk to combine.
  2. Step Two: Store in an airtight container or mason jar with a tight-fitting lid at room temperature.
plate of chili seasoning with a wooden scoop.

Ways to use Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix

You may notice that chili seasoning and taco seasoning are similar in their ingredients. Chili seasoning has more chili powder and paprika, whereas taco seasoning tends to have more cumin. With that being said, they can be used interchangeably.

So, when you don’t have any taco seasoning on hand, use this chili seasoning on everything! Tacos, fajitas, chili, soups, stews, and use it to season your meat!

I’ve even used chili seasoning on roasted chickpeas, popcorn, and to add extra flavor to ground beef nachos.

Tips & Suggestions

  • A store-bought seasoning packet contains about 5 Tablespoons of powder, however, because it also contains fillers, it will amount to the same thing in the end.
  • This recipe makes enough for a big batch of chili, however, you don’t have to use it all if you don’t want to. Save some for next time.
  • Easily double or triple the recipe as needed.
  • Check expiry dates! Spices have a shelf life of about 6 months before they start to lose their potency and flavor. For best results, use fresh spices.
teaspoon lifting chili seasoning from a bowl.


What else can I add to this chili seasoning blend?

As with any homemade chili seasoning recipe, you can adjust, add, or omit what you want to suit your family’s taste preferences.

Some may want to add red pepper flakes for increased heat (or instead of cayenne). I know cocoa powder and cinnamon are considered secret ingredients (and they are!), that some people might enjoy.

Does this recipe contain a thickener?

No. A chili seasoning packet from the store might, but I don’t add anything to mine. If the recipe requires thickening, there are ways to do that later.

Can I omit the salt and pepper?

Certainly! This is a great option if you prefer to add salt and pepper to taste while you’re cooking.

Need more homemade sauces and seasonings? Try these:

Taco Seasoning

Italian Seasoning

Ranch Seasoning Mix

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Click here for my entire collection of sauces and seasonings recipes.

overhead shot of chili seasoning in a glass jar.

Did You Make This?

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went in the comments section below.

You can also tag me on Instagram – @melissa_pplates or share a pic in the Persnickety Plates Community Facebook group. I love seeing what you’ve tried!

seasonings on a plate to make a homemade chili seasoning blend.
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Servings: 4 Tablespoons
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Learn to make homemade chili seasoning with just a few pantry spices and a minute to combine! Homemade spice mixes are budget-friendly, easily accessible, and customizable to suit your tastes. Plus, they add so much flavor to all your dishes without the need for extra sodium and fillers!


  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together.
  • Store in an airtight container.


  • Makes approximately 4 Tablespoons of seasoning mix.
  • A store bought packet is generally 1.25 ounces (about 5 Tablespoons) but it contains fillers. You will need less of the homemade mix.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 650mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1762IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

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