Homemade chili seasoning is easy to make and tastes MUCH better than store bought. Make this recipe your new go-to for the best Mexican chilli powder!
Did you know that the generic chili powder at the grocery store isn’t just one type of ground up chile? Typically, it’s made with a combination of chiles, plus oregano and a few other spices ground to a powder.
The problem is, you never how long ago the spices in the bottle were originally ground up. That’s before they were used to create the prepared seasoning blend.
Making homemade chili seasoning with freshly ground spices will always give you the best flavor.
Ingredient notes for homemade chili seasoning
For years, my recipe for Mexican chilli powder was set in stone. Then Don, a reader here, told me about New Mexican Chimayo powder. After researching a bit, I decided to add it to the ingredients for my chili spice blend.
The bright red color of the ground spice is similar to that of ground cayenne, but the chiles themselves are very different. Cayenne pepper registers at 30,000 – 50,000 Scoville units (how the heat is measured for chiles). In comparison, Chimayo measures a measly 4,000-6,000 SHU Scoville units. So, it’s less spicy and not overwhelming like cayenne, but it has plenty of flavor.
The ingredient is fantastic and a great addition to the recipe, but including it in your seasoning is completely optional.
Toasted Ancho Chiles
Ancho chiles are the dried version of poblano peppers and they have a rich and smokey flavor. Dry toasting an already dried chile increases the flavor even more.
Allow the chile pods to cool before removing the stem and shaking out any seeds. The more seeds you leave inside the chile, the spicier your chili seasoning will be.
How to make Mexican chilli powder
Use a food processor, spice grinder or like I do, my Vitamix and pulverize those cooled chiles into a powder.
Add the Mexican oregano (regular oregano works fine too) and garlic and cumin powders. Pulse and that’s all there is to it.
Uses for Homemade Chili Seasoning
In addition to chili recipes like beanless chili con carne, 5 alarm chili and BBQ chicken chili, this go-to Mexican seasoning has other uses as well.
You can use it in any dish where you want a little Mexican kick, like chili mac and cheese casserole or baked jalapeno poppers.
Sprinkle some onto grilled cauliflower steaks, and use it in smoked pork and cheese enchiladas, or my favorite, grilled Monterey chicken.
Homemade Chili Seasoning
- In a dry skillet over high heat, toast the dried ancho chile pods for a few seconds on each side until slightly fragrant and they start to puff up a little. Let them cool slightly, then remove the stem and shake out any seeds. The more seeds left in, the hotter the chili seasoning will be.
- Using a food processor, spice grinder or high speed blender (like Vitamix), pulverize cooled chiles into a powder. Work in small batches if using a spice grinder.
- Add the oregano, garlic, cumin and optional Chimayo powder. Pulse several times to combine and blend. Store in an airtight container. Makes a little more than 1 cup total.
- For a milder flavor, I also use a mix of dried chiles: 8 Ancho and 4 California.
- Mexican oregano is native to Mexico. Unlike Mediterranean oregano, it’s a relative of lemon verbena, with mild licorice and citrus flavors.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.