Skip the store-bought packets and make your own homemade Fajita Seasoning! It’s incredibly simple and can be mixed together in minutes (and you can reduce or omit the salt and the sugar if you want to).

Skip the store-bought packets and make your own homemade Fajita Seasoning! It's incredibly simple and can be mixed together in minutes (and you can reduce or omit the salt and the sugar if you want to). This versatile spice blend is great on fajitas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more! The best part: It lasts for ages, so go ahead and make a double batch. 

Recipe ingredients:

Fajita seasoning is a blend of chili powder, salt, paprika, sugar, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of cayenne pepper.

Skip the store-bought packets and make your own homemade Fajita Seasoning! It's incredibly simple and can be mixed together in minutes (and you can reduce or omit the salt and the sugar if you want to). This versatile spice blend is great on fajitas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more! The best part: It lasts for ages, so go ahead and make a double batch. 

I included salt and sugar in my Fajita seasoning, but you can reduce or omit them as you see fit.

If you buy Fajita seasoning in a packet, it might contain ingredients such as maltodextrin, modified corn starch, caramel coloring, and yeast extract. Why not skip all that and just add flavor?

Taco seasoning vs. fajita seasoning:

They are almost the same and could honestly be used interchangeably in my opinion.

There might be some minor differences in ingredients, especially between recipes and cooks, but the flavors are very similar.

  • Fajita seasoning has garlic powder and onion powder. Taco seasoning doesn’t, but you cook thew meat with onions and fresh garlic.
  • Taco seasoning has ground coriander. Fajita seasoning doesn’t, but I use fresh cilantro (coriander) in my marinade.
  • Sugar and cornstarch cold be used or omitted in either recipe.

The main ingredients of both (chili powder, cumin, and paprika) are almost the same proportions, too.

Making fajitas with this seasoning:

I recommend using half the recipe of seasoning per 2 pounds of chicken (I usually use boneless, skinless chicken thighs but breasts work too).

Some readers have reported that this is too spicy for them, so if you feel in your gut that half is too spicy, please use less or omit the cayenne pepper when you make the spice blend.

Or, check out my Chicken Fajitas post even more flavor and all the details (including gas grill and charcoal grill methods).

Here’s an overview of the skillet method (it’s great with steak or shrimp too!):

  1. In a large plastic bag, add 2 pounds of chicken, ¼ cup minced cilantro, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and ½ the fajita seasoning from the recipe below. Mash until chicken is evenly coated. Marinate at least 30 minutes (room temperature) or up to 1 hour (refrigerated).
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add chicken and cook until crispy and browned on one side, about 8 minutes.Flip and cook until browned on the second side and chicken registers 160 degrees, about 8 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips (do not discard fat in skillet).
  3. Meanwhile, to the skillet with the fat over medium-high heat, add 3 bell peppers (sliced) and 1 red onion (sliced) and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Push peppers and onions to one side and add sliced chicken back to skillet for serving.
  4. Serve with tortillas, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream (or your favorite toppings).

A sizzling platter of chicken fajitas is simple, fun, and just downright delicious. This Tex-Mex staple is famous for a reason: it makes everybody happy. Why not make your own tonight and skip the restaurant? This recipe is for the best, most tender fajitas around.

 

Skip the store-bought packets and make your own homemade Fajita Seasoning! It's incredibly simple and can be mixed together in minutes (and you can reduce or omit the salt and the sugar if you want to). This versatile spice blend is great on fajitas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more! The best part: It lasts for ages, so go ahead and make a double batch. 

Fajita Seasoning Recipe

Skip the store-bought packets and make your own homemade Fajita Seasoning! It's incredibly simple and can be mixed together in minutes (and you can reduce or omit the salt and the sugar if you want to). This versatile spice blend is great on fajitas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more! The best part: It lasts for ages, so go ahead and make a double batch. 
4.98 from 38 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 tablespoons
Course Pantry
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 24

Ingredients 

  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, stir chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon) and cayenne pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon, please use less or omit if you're sensitive to spice). Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Video

Notes

The full Fajita Seasoning recipe listed (¼ cup + whatever you added for cayenne pepper and salt) is enough for 4 pounds of chicken or steak. Cut it in half if you're cooking 2 pounds of chicken, quarter it if you're cooking 1 pound of chicken. And if you're sensitive to spice, you can use less of the seasoning than I'm suggesting for your amount of chicken or steak, and consider omitting the cayenne pepper entirely.
Here is a recipe for 2 pounds of chicken (or steak). It uses half the spice blend above along with lime juice and cilantro for the marinade. If you're sensitive to spice, please use less seasoning or omit the cayenne pepper entirely.
Chicken Fajitas:
  1. In a large plastic bag, add 2 pounds of chicken, ¼ cup minced cilantro, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and ½ the fajita seasoning from the recipe. Mash until chicken is evenly coated. Marinate at least 30 minutes (room temperature) or up to 1 hour (refrigerated).
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add chicken and cook until crispy and browned on one side, about 8 minutes.Flip and cook until browned on the second side and chicken registers 160 degrees, about 8 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips (do not discard fat in skillet).
  3. Meanwhile, to the skillet with the fat over medium-high heat, add bell peppers and onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Push peppers and onions to one side and add sliced chicken back to skillet for serving.
  4. Serve with tortillas, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream (or your favorite toppings).

Nutrition

Serving: 2teaspoonsCalories: 24kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 36mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1098IUCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. I have not yet made this recipe and I want 2 things clarified. Nowhere do you mention which chicken pieces you use. I’m guessing boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved. A new cook might not assume that.

    The other issue is there is no mention of the amount of onion and green pepper used. Again, new cooks might have no clue. I think the recipe should be revised with these issues addressed.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Sharon, so sorry for the confusion, all that information is in the Chicken fajitas post (this recipe is just for the seasoning).
      https://www.culinaryhill.com/chicken-fajitas/
      I should really explain that the recipe in the seasoning post is just a general guide and that all the details are in the chicken fajita recipe post. Sorry again. You’re absolutely right. It’s just that the seasoning post isn’t the place for all the details on chicken fajitas. But I can add some more info so if someone doesn’t want to click over, they don’t have to! Thanks for your feedback.
      -Meggan

  2. OMG!! This was a home run! Love the seasoning. Made the rice. Used parsley since I don’t like cilantro. Fabulous! Added mushrooms to the veggies. Thx!

  3. Delicious! Not spicy, just the right amount of heat. I used sirloin steak using the seasoning and marinated as listed. The whole family liked it a lot.5 stars

  4. This is the mix I use and it’s delicious!! I mix it in bulk and store it in a spice jar. I add the cayenne separately because not everyone tolerates the heat as well as I do.

    Goes great with beef fajitas also.5 stars

  5. Can I add the seasonings with vegetable oil and lime juice to make a wet marinade? How much would you suggest? Also can I use this seasoning on beef chicken and shrimp?

    1. Hi Maggie, YES, I always do this with lime juice. I use 1/3 cup per 2 pounds of chicken and half the seasoning (it should be listed in the recipe notes), and I always throw in a handful of cilantro. You don’t need to add oil, but you can, I’d do like 1 or 2 tablespoons. I’ve tried it on beef, it’s amazing, I’ll be posting that recipe soon. I haven’t tried it on shrimp, I’m sure it would be perfect. I’m going to see if I can get some so I can shove it in my face. Thanks! -Meggan

  6. I made this recipe last night, and the only negative thing I could say, was I didn’t have Margaritas to go with it. I’ve made fajitas before, and it always lacked something, but using this fajita seasoning mix, and marinating the chicken in the fridge for an hour, made all the difference in the world. Initially the chicken (which I cut and tasted) seemed spicy, but wasn’t, once sour cream, cheese, lettuce, some salsa, onions, peppers and tortilla were added, and so I will increase the chilli next time. There was a beautiful sear on the chicken, and the onions and peppers added after, absorbed all the bits left on the bottom of the pan, and tasted great. I will make this for friends and family as soon as I get a chance. Thank you for posting this recipe, and if I may make one suggestion, put a note somewhere to add Margaritas to the meal, as these are restaurant quality fajitas, and would go superbly with it.5 stars

  7. Hello,
    I made this seasoning recipe tonight for fajitas, and I noticed four teaspoons are a lot but I added it in thinking it would be ok. I only added half of the seasoning recipe, and all I can say is it was super spicy and my whole dinner was ruined. Did I do something wrong? If so please fix the recipe so more people don’t ruin it like me:(
    Sincerely Charlye

    1. Hi Charlye, I really want to figure out what went wrong for you. I just made this 2 days ago. So first – did you use 2 pounds of chicken? And you marinated it with the spices, the lime juice, and the cilantro? When you made the seasoning, did you use the 1/2 teaspoon (which would be 1/4 teaspoon if you only used half of the spice mix)? The only thing I can think of is that you either didn’t have enough chicken or somehow used too much cayenne. I’m going to change the recipe so cayenne is listed as “to taste” with no amount given. Like I said I made this 2 days ago and my 5-year-old daughter ate some of the chicken and she didn’t have any issues. If you write me at meggan @ culinaryhill.com, I’ll send you a gift card to Amazon to help make up for this. I’m really sorry. -Meggan

  8. Great recipe! My husband come home with a packet of store bought fajita seasoning (Gross, thick and sticky). I searched the web and found this recipe. I didn’t change a thing except I used enough cayenne pepper to taste.. This one is a keeper. Sooo good.5 stars

  9. Great stuff!
    Used it as a dry rub and upped the Cayenne because it needed a little more heat. Awesome seasoning.5 stars

  10. Holy Smoke Batman. My wife is a bit of a Wuss when it comes to spicy food. I like spicy but even I thought this was quite the bit over the top with the heat. Tell me if I was wrong but I made the recipe and I put the whole thing in the frying pan and then added 1/3 cup of water. With peppers and onion and leftover pork tenderloin. I actually only put in a 1/4 tsp of Cayenne Powder, 1/2 tsp sugar. Was I not supposed to put all of the seasoning that the recipe made. Thank you Richard

    1. Hi Richard, I’m really sorry. It’s only supposed to be HALF the seasoning blend, not the whole seasoning blend. I actually completely reworked this recipe last month so it be flawless, but I apparently only updated it on the Chicken Fajitas post, not the Fajita Seasoning post. The blend is still the same, but the instructions within the seasoning post don’t say to use half the seasoning amount. I’ll send you an Amazon gift card to make up for ruining your food, just send me an email and let me know where to send it. You can reach me at [email protected]. I’m really sorry again. And my apologies to your wife! -Meggan

  11. I tried this seasoning and it was actually really good! It was a little too strong, I’m guessing due to the chili powder but still, 5 stars. I would definitely do this again. Thanks so much!!5 stars

  12. Made it with sweet paprika and sugar! Made it awesome. Sweet and spicy. I’m a light weight with spices, and my lips are of fire, but it was so good! Don’t change a thing….other than maybe if you use sweet paprika you can omit the sugar if you want.

    Well done. Was going to use a package, but was complaining I’d have to use two with so many ingredient..and I only had 1. Thank God! I’ll just throw the package out and book mark this!

    Thank you!

    Brad5 stars

  13. Not the first fajita seasoning recipe I’ve tried, but definitely the last. Five stars!!! Perfect amount of heat, without making you sweat 😓. I also used two lbs of chicken, 2 bell peppers, 1 lrg onion, 1 zucchini and a lrg handful of cherry tomatoes… the amount of seasoning was perfect for all the chicken and veggies.5 stars

  14. This was a fantastic recipe. My husband asked me if I did something different because these were the best fajitas I ever made. The only thing I omitted was the cayenne pepper because I was out and wasn’t getting out into the bad weather to buy some. Thank you for a great recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Catrina, thank you so much! Cayenne is always easy to leave out, better than driving on bad roads. I’m so glad you liked it. Makes my day. Take care and thanks again! -Meggan

    1. Hi Sarith, sorry about that! I’ll go change the recipe to make the cayenne pepper “optional or to taste,” I always think that people will know cayenne is spicy and use what they want, but I feel bad you didn’t know. Sorry again. -Meggan

  15. I’m curious what the sugar does for the seasoning and if it’s necessary. I’ve been making my own taco seasoning for years now and greatly prefer it to the store bought packets. I have omitted the salt from my seasoning, so I feel comfortable reducing or removing the salt, but I’m curious about the function of the sugar.

    1. Hi Yardley, the sugar is something you could easily leave out. The sugar doesn’t have much of a function other than it tastes good (I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in the Midwest, but sugar shows up in a lot of recipes where other people might be like… why did you add sugar?!). It might help brown the chicken, too, but I add it for the flavor. Take it out if you want to, no problem at all! Thanks. -Meggan

  16. Yeeeess! Was great. Definitely saving this for next time. I’ve honestly never put sugar in any other mixture I’ve made for fajitas but this was very good.5 stars

  17. My family loved this seasoning and fajita recipe. It’s super easy and quick (approx. 30 mins). I’ve added it to my recipe folder! Thank you!5 stars

  18. This recipe is a keeper! My husband said that this was the best fajitas dinner he has ever had :)5 stars

  19. Hi Meggan, my family loves your fajitas seasoning. I made a flank steak fajitas with jalapeño wrap. It was delicious.  Gave you a shout out in the blog!5 stars

    1. Hi Stacey, one batch of this recipe is good for one pound of chicken plus peppers and onions. So I would make double for 2 pounds of chicken plus veggies. If you are doing JUST chicken, no veggies, you could use the recipe as is (without doubling). One thing to note is, everyone has a different taste of what is “too salty.” If you find that you are sensitive to salt, you could use less seasoning blend overall or just reduce the salt in the blend. I hope this is helpful. Thanks! -Meggan

    2. Hi Stacey, here’s the recipe I worked up to use the seasoning. I decided I should add it because it calls for adding 1/3 cup of water with the seasoning. If you missed that, your chicken would probably be overly salty/seasoned! I don’t want that to happen.
      1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil until shimmering. Add 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken and cook, without moving, until crispy and blackened on one side, about 8 minutes. Flip and cook 8 minutes longer on second side. (To substitute steak, cook to desired doneness).
      2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips.
      3. Meanwhile, add onions and peppers to skillet and cook until blackened and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
      4. Return chicken to skillet and add fajita seasoning (the full recipe below) and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 minute or until heated through.

    1. Hi Carey, the total recipe is 14 1/2 teaspoons I think, or just over 1/4 cup. You would use that whole amount with 1 pound of chicken and 1/3 cup of water. Does that make sense? You could certainly use less if you want to though. I will make sure that is clear in my post. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for pointing out that a recipe for Fajita Seasoning is useless without a guide as to what to do with it, ha ha! I’ve now updated the post with a recipe to put the seasoning to work. Here it is, I hope this is helpful! I should also say that I ended up doubling the fajita seasoning to make it work for 1 pound of chicken. Thanks for the question. -Meggan
      1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil until shimmering. Add 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken and cook, without moving, until crispy and blackened on one side, about 8 minutes. Flip and cook 8 minutes longer on second side. (To substitute steak, cook to desired doneness).
      2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips.
      3. Meanwhile, add onions and peppers to skillet and cook until blackened and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
      4. Return chicken to skillet and add fajita seasoning (the full recipe below) and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 minute or until heated through.

  20. Great recipe! I made this seasoning and used it for dinner. My wife and I loved it and will be making it again soon.5 stars

  21. I have been making my own seasoning’s (chili, taco, brown gravy, dried onion soup…I have a very bad heart…and need to stay away from all the extra junk…this is much healthier and I can make as little or as much as I like, I also make my own pasta and pizza sauce too….5 stars