The best secret ingredient for chili is Homemade Chili Seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices that take ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level.

Homemade chili seasoning in a glass jar.

Skip the packet and the expensive little jar of McCormick chili seasoning. As long as you have a batch of homemade chili mix in the pantry, your favorite chili recipe will always be perfectly seasoned and delicious. 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:

Homemade chili seasoning ingredients in various clear bowls.

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.

Instructions:

This recipe makes a little more than ½ cup of chili seasoning. Once you gather all the spices, making the best chili seasoning you’ll ever taste is fast and easy.

  1. Combine the ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, thyme, and coriander together in a small bowl. You can store the blend in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep it in the pantry for when you need it.
    The best secret ingredient for chili is Homemade Chili Seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices that take ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Chile vs. 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.
  • Turkey Chili: A fabulous and easy ground turkey recipe that’s so good for you.
  • Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne: Slow cooked traditional chili is great to come home to after a frantic day. Especially with cornbread.
  • Venison Chili: Got a hunter in the family? Help them make space in the freezer with this healthy chili made with deer meat.
  • Cincinnati Chili: Famous chili eaten on spaghetti and topped with onions and cheese. Add some cinnamon to the mix to make it authentic.

 

Homemade chili seasoning in a glass jar.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

The best secret ingredient for chili is Homemade Chili Seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices that take ordinary ground beef and beans to the next level. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Servings 8 tablespoons
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 31

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup chili powder (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

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. Chile vs. 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.
  3. Turkey Chili: A fabulous and easy ground turkey recipe that's so good for you.
  4. Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne: Slow cooked traditional chili is great to come home to after a frantic day. Especially with cornbread.
  5. Venison Chili: Got a hunter in the family? Help them make space in the freezer with this healthy chili made with deer meat.
  6. Cincinnati Chili: Famous chili eaten on spaghetti and topped with onions and cheese. Add some cinnamon to the mix to make it authentic.

Nutrition

Serving: 2teaspoonsCalories: 31kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 132mgPotassium: 189mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2380IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 3mg
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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. 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