Chili Seasoning Recipe

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The secret ingredient for award-winning chili is a great Chili Seasoning Recipe. A careful blend of herbs and spices takes ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level and beyond, all the way to a blue ribbon.

A bowl of homemade chili seasoning on a cutting board.


 

Skip the store-bought chili seasoning packet and the expensive little jar of McCormick chili seasoning blend. As long as you have a batch of homemade chili seasoning mix in the pantry, your next batch of chili recipe will always be perfectly seasoned and with a delicious depth of flavor. Not too spicy but wonderfully rich and hearty.

Once chili season comes, your biggest problem might be deciding what kind of chili to make first. This homemade blend of spices is a natural fit for beans, venison, ground beef, ground turkey, or shredded chicken. Make a big pot of mouthwatering chili for your next potluck or Sunday supper; it couldn’t be easier when you have your own custom seasoning.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for chili seasoning.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chili powder: If you shop at an international food market and buy “chili powder,” sometimes this is just straight-up ground dried red chiles (cayenne pepper), not the Americanized chili powder blend you’re thinking of. You should be able to tell by the color of the powder.
  • Chipotle chili powder: Chipotle chili powder is spicy! If you’re unsure, start with 1 teaspoon (or less) until the chili is fully cooked. Then, taste and add more at the end. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, and coriander. Stir to combine. Store covered for up to 6 months.
A bowl of homemade chili seasoning on a cutting board.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes ½ cup homemade chili seasoning, enough to make 8 servings of chili from 2 pounds ground meat or sweet potatoes.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place for up to 6 months.
  • Customize your blend: Tweak your spice mix with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, or ancho chili powder. Crank up the heat with cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • Salt and pepper: I prefer to keep salt and black pepper out of my seasoning blends and add them directly to my finished dishes.
  • Classic Beef Chili: This easy Beef Chili recipe tastes just like the one mom used to make! It’s also easy to customize with your own special additions if you want to.
  • Venison Chili: If you’re lucky enough to have some ground venison in your freezer, this Venison Chili recipe is the one you’ll want to make all winter long.
  • Chili con Carne: Made with boneless beef chuck roast instead of ground beef, this delicious Chili con Carne recipe has layers of flavor from bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, lots of garlic, and all the classic chili spices. And it’s made right in your slow cooker!
  • Turkey Chili: This delicious Turkey Chili recipe is made with ground turkey, so it’s a little bit lighter than the standard beef version. It’s full of vegetables and classic spices and it’s ready for all your favorite healthful toppings like diced avocado, green onions, and fresh cilantro.
  • Hot Dog Chili: Make a batch of Hot Dog Chili to spoon over Chili Dogs for the ultimate tailgate recipe! It’s perfect for any game day celebration.
  • Sweet Potato Chili: This hearty vegan Sweet Potato Chili is loaded with black beans, vegetables, and all the classic spices. Like all chilis, it freezes well and makes a great meal prep option.
  • Cincinnati Chili: Made famous by Skyline Chili in Ohio, this Cincinnati Chili recipe is full of secret ingredients like cinnamon and chocolate or cocoa powder. It’s served on spaghetti with lots of toppings like shredded cheese, raw onions, and kidney beans. Which “way” do you want yours?
  • White Chicken Chili: When the temperature drops, slow cooker White Chicken Chili is the ultimate comfort food. Tender chunks of chicken simmering in a creamy broth studded with white beans, green chiles, and corn make for a most satisfying meal.
  • White Turkey Chili: This is my favorite soup to make after Thanksgiving when leftovers are abundant. It’s hearty, creamy, and a refreshing way to enjoy leftover turkey all over again. To keep things easy, make White Turkey Chili right in your slow cooker.
  • Chili Mac: Made in just one pot in 25 minutes or less, this easy Chili Mac recipe is like a great bowl of chili in casserole form. It’s perfect for the busiest, hungriest weeknights.
  • Chili Cheese Burrito: Put leftover chili to work in this easy Chili Cheese Burrito. Just fold up leftover chili with cooked rice and shredded cheese, then toast in a dry skillet.
A chili dog on a plate with a pickle and chips.
Chili Dogs with all the fixin’s.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “chile” and “chili”?

They are the same thing; it’s really just a matter of naming conventions. “Chile” is the Spanish word for capsicums such as jalapeños, serranos, habañeros, poblanos, and so on. Americans sometimes spell it “chili” but now we are moving towards “chile” because “chili” is the stew with the meat.

More homemade spices

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A bowl of homemade chili seasoning on a cutting board.

Chili Seasoning Recipe

The secret ingredient for award-winning chili is a great Chili Seasoning Recipe. A careful blend of herbs and spices takes ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level and beyond, all the way to a blue ribbon.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 tbsp each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 31
5 from 23 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, and coriander. Stir to combine. Store covered for up to 6 months.

Notes

  1. Chili powder: If you shop at an international food market and buy “chili powder,” sometimes this is just straight-up ground dried red chiles (cayenne pepper), not the Americanized chili powder blend you’re thinking of. You should be able to tell by the color of the powder.
  2. Chipotle chili powder: Chipotle chili powder is spicy! If you’re unsure, start with 1 teaspoon (or less) until the chili is fully cooked. Then, taste and add more at the end. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes ½ cup chili seasoning, enough to make 8 servings of chili from 2 pounds ground meat or sweet potatoes.
  4. Storage: Store in a dark, cool place for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 tbspCalories: 31kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 132mgPotassium: 194mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2380IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup.of Chile powder plus cayenne powder. The notes say in that in the US Chili powder is often cayenne so what is the 1/4 cup made of ?

    1. Hi Brian, chili powder in the US is a spice blend that typically has paprika, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and can have a variety of dried chilis such as cayenne, New Mexico and Ancho Chilies. The blends vary by brand, and so just take a look at the label of the chili powder you will be using and try to avoid the kind that is primarily cayenne so it’s not too spicy and you get those other great flavors. Thanks for the question! – Meggan

  2. I had never used a chili seasoning before this. I was making my chili and I just couldn’t figure it out because it was bland. I decided to throw this together because I have never had a Culinary Hill recipe fail me. BADA BING! It was the best chili I had ever made. I’ll just go to this recipe every time now. Thanks (again) Meggan!5 stars