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).

A plate of homemade fajita seasoning.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Fajita Seasoning Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled spices for fajita seasoning.

Ingredient notes

  • Paprika: Both sweet and smoked paprika work here.
  • Sugar: Leave this out if you want to.
  • Cayenne pepper: Add more if you like spicy food, omit entirely if you don’t.

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon), and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon). Store in an airtight container.
A bowl of homemade fajita seasoning.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes ¼ cup fajita seasoning which is enough to season 4 pounds of beef, chicken, or shrimp.
  • Storage: Store this spice blend covered in the pantry for up to 6 months.
  • Making chicken fajitas:
    1. In a plastic bag, add 2 pounds chicken (breasts or thighs), ¼ cup minced cilantro, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of fajita seasoning. Mash until 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. Serve with tortillas, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream (or your favorite toppings).
Chicken and Steak Fajitas set out on platters.

Have a Fajita Fiesta

A plate of homemade fajita seasoning.

Fajita Seasoning

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).
5 from 142 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 (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (see note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • cayenne pepper to taste (see note 3)
  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon), and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon). Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Paprika: Both sweet and smoked paprika work here.
  2. Sugar: Leave this out if you want to.
  3. Cayenne pepper: Add more if you like spicy food, omit entirely if you don’t.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes ¼ cup fajita seasoning which is enough to season 4 pounds of beef, chicken, or shrimp.
  5. Storage: Store this spice blend covered in the pantry for up to 6 months.
  6. Making chicken fajitas:
    1. In a plastic bag, add 2 pounds chicken (breasts or thighs), ¼ cup minced cilantro, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of fajita seasoning. Mash until 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. 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
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Comments

  1. Thought I had a pack of fajita seasoning in the pantry, but was wrong and had a serious craving for chicken fajitas! Found your recipe and it saved my dinner! Great taste!

  2. A coworker of mine cannot have gluten, and many of the packaged fajita mixes contain it. So i searched for a mix for a work potluck and found this one for chicken (I sliced the chicken thin and we used a raclette). Holy moly, it was the talk of the town. We had the whole building in our department wanting to know what smelled so good. The cilantro in the marinade pushes it over the edge. My family was jealous that it wasn’t for them, so I made it at home in a cast iron skillet and I will never need another recipe. They came out better than any restaurant fajitas we’ve ever had, and rivaled some that we had visiting friends in Texas. Thanks so much for this!!!

  3. I have been looking for a good fajita seasoning. Wow I’m so glad I found this recipe. I really like to cook so I am constantly trying new recipes. This one is definitely a keeper!! I didn’t have any sweet smoked paprika so I scouted out some and it’s terrific on shrimp cooked in the air fryer too.
    I was wondering if the meat could be marinated then frozen and cooked at a later date?
    Thank you for sharing5 stars

    1. Hi Patty, thank you! Yes you can freeze the marinated meat for up to 3 months. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  4. Excellent. This gives the chicken a very nice flavor whether you’re cooking the chicken in a skillet or an a charcoal grill (my preference). The recipe is great on its own and won’t disappoint. However, I like to tweak it in two ways. First, I use smoked paprika. Just my personal preference. I love smokiness in chicken, and it’ll give you that element. Second, I put a small amount of coriander in it. Just adds a nice twist.5 stars

  5. I’ve been experimenting with DYI taco seasoning to replace store-bought packets. Looks like if I took this recipe and left out the sugar and maybe added a bit of cornstarch as a thickener, I’d have a good taco sauce mix. Does this sound right? Thx

  6. I used this seasoning on borth chicken and steak fajitas letting them marinate overnight in the fridge with the lemon juice and cilantro and it was a hit! All our guests loved it and even days after kept telling me how delicious the fajitas tasted. Will for sure be our fajita marinade from now on, thank you!5 stars

  7. Hubby said it was the best chicken I ever made him (2 decades)! I agree. Marinated at room temp. Going to try 1-hour fringe marinate time next. Thank you for publishing this recipe.5 stars

  8. I used all 4 tablespoons of this recipe in a fajita casserole. Two sheets of puff pastry, 2 cups of heavy cream, this AWESOME fajita seasoning, around 1 pound of chicken, three bell peppers (green, yellow, and red), and a large onion. Turned out fantastic! I needed a tad bit more salt in mine just to round out the flavor but it was absolutely delicious and very easy to make. Thank you for this recipe!

  9. What a delicious seasoning! I am so happy I checked online for a scratch recipe. This is a dozen times tastier than packaged seasoning using standard pantry spices. Thank you for sharing this one, Meggan.5 stars

  10. When you say “chili powder” do you mean as in the mix or a specific type of chili that’s been powdered?

    1. Hi Matthew, chili powder refers to the spice blend mix chili powder. It’s usually a blend of dried chiles, and spices like cumin, oregano, garlic, paprika, and salt. The blends are usually different between brands, so you may want to taste some before including it in the seasoning mix so you can adjust the mix if you are sensitive to spiciness. – Meggan

  11. 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

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

  20. 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 meggan@culinaryhill.com. I’m really sorry again. And my apologies to your wife! -Meggan

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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

    1. Thank you so much for this recipe I really appreciate you posting and sharing… Can’t wait to make this tonight ☺️