Homemade Chili Seasoning

5 from 8 votes

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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!

Mexican chilli powder in small bowl with colorful blue and green design/pattern

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.

Chimayo Powder

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.

ancho chiles in food processor bowl

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.

2 photo collage: ground up spices in coffee grinder and several ground spices on white plate

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.

Mexican chilli powder in small bowl with colorful blue and green design/pattern
small spoon in bowl of homemade chili seasoning

Homemade Chili Seasoning

5 from 8 votes
Homemade chili seasoning is cheap to make and tastes better than store bought. Make this easy recipe for the best Mexican chilli powder!
Servings: 16
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 min
Total: 6 mins


  • 6 oz dried ancho chiles (typically 12) (See Note 1)
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano or Mediterranean oregano (See Note 2)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Chimayo chili powder (optional)


  • 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.


  1. For a milder flavor, I also use a mix of dried chiles: 8 Ancho and 4 California.
  2. Mexican oregano is native to Mexico. Unlike Mediterranean oregano, it’s a relative of lemon verbena, with mild licorice and citrus flavors.


Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2972IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Course: Pantry Staples, spice blends
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Southwestern, Tex Mex
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image shows bowl of homemade chili seasoning


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. I’ m looking forward to trying your spice blends. Question: do you use the regular plastic Vitamix container? the hot peppers don’t linger in the container after washing?


    1. Hot water, soap and a good scrub take care of mine. It’s used daily and is a bit discolored from excessive use, but all good.

  2. 5 stars
    Hello and thank you Kevin. I am having trouble finding the Chimayo chili powder. Do you have a secret spot to find it. Thanks in advance.
    Kevin Livezey

    I added a lot of your recipes to my recipe app and can’t wait to try them all.

    1. I get mine from a local Mexican market, but sometimes find it at Safeway, Alberstons, Fred Meyers or online from Amazon, too. Thanks for writing and letting me know, enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Kevin! Love your site.
    I couldn’t find dried ancho peppers at our stores, but i did find dried ancho chili powder that’s just ancho chilis. Do you know about how much ancho chili powder you get with the 12 chilis? or how much finished chili powder the recipe makes?

    I just got the chimayan chili powder in – excited to make this

    1. I would have to say it should be a bit less than half a cup, it does depend on how big the dried chiles are. Maybe take out 2 tablespoons after measuring 1/2 cup. Enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    I love your spice blends, Kevin. Chili Powder is a staple in our house and I can’t wait to try making my own with this recipe!

    1. Lord knows how long those store bought spices are so homemade always guarantees I get fresh. Plus it’s so easy! Thanks Marissa!

  5. 5 stars
    Hey Kevin! Another great spice blend my friend! I can get dried ancho peppers and oregano in the Mexican section at my local grocery. I have two coffee grinder, one for coffee and the other for spices. Homemade is, as you know, superior to the store blends!

  6. 5 stars
    Bet this adds such a depth of flavour to allll the dishes! So much fresher and flavourful than store bought!

    1. Agree Dawn! I just like to give people alternatives to store bought. Hey! Question for you: when are the ladies of Wentworth coming back?