How to make Chili Seasoning Mix from Scratch

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Chili powder is the main ingredient in chili seasoning.
Chili powder is the main ingredient in chili seasoning. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Making a batch of chili requires a host of seasonings and spices. Though you can buy premade seasoning packets and blends, you can also easily custom create your own dry chili mix to keep on hand for whenever you want to whip up a batch of chili. One alternate option, is to make a generic chili mix batch to start and then use portions of the base mix to create unique flavor blends for different versions of chili such as Cincinnati style and spicy Southwest chili.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic containers with air-tight lids
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Sugar
  • Dried minced garlic
  • Dried onion flakes
  • Parsley flakes
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Paprika

Clean and thoroughly dry a plastic container with an air-tight lid for storing the chili seasoning mix. Make sure the container is completely dry before mixing your chili mix because moisture will cause the mix to mold.

Mix together the ingredients for a basic chili mix batch. Use 3/4 to 1 cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons oregano, 2 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons dried minced garlic, 2 tablespoons dried chopped onion, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt or sea salt, 1 teaspoon black or white pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon white sugar. Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir together with a fork to break up lumps and ensure all spices and seasonings are well blended. This will yield 1-2 cups of basic chili seasoning mix which can be used as is in traditional chili recipes.

To create a spicier chili seasoning mix, use the following guide which can be modified to suit your taste. Blend together 4 tablespoons of the basic chili mix, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (add more or less to change heat level) and 1 teaspoon white or black pepper (use for extra heat). Use a fork to blend well and store in an air-tight container, labeled as spicy chili blend.

Create a Cincinnati chili spice blend for use when making this regional version of traditional chili. Blend together 1/4 cup basic chili seasoning mix, 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cloves (ground) and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix well and store in a labeled container which has been sealed tightly.

Play around with all ingredient amounts to achieve the chili flavor you want. You can also add alternate spices and seasonings to the pot of chili after the entire pot has been cooking for a while to impart even more flavor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep notes about ingredient amounts so that you know which amounts and combinations work best for you.
  • When using cayenne pepper, wash your hands before touching your face, mouth or eyes.

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