Homemade Chili Powder

Homemade Chili Powder
Homemade Chili Powder. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2 Tablespoons (6 Servings)
Ratings (29)

If you're out of chili powder, there's no need to go to the store. You probably have everything you need right at home in your pantry. And you'll never have to buy chili powder again!

This is an easy homemade chili powder. Use homemade chili powder in your favorite chili, Tex-Mex meatloaf, beefy chili mac, tacos or taco salad, or just about any place you might want chili powder or Southwestern flavors. Chili powder can add depth of flavor to everyday burgers as well.

If you use chili powder frequently, you might want to scale the recipe up. Just double or triple the ingredients and store the mixture in a jar with a lid, a food storage bag, or sealable container.

And don't hesitate to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. The cayenne pepper makes it quite spicy, but the heat level can be easily adjusted. For a milder chili powder, reduce the cayenne pepper to 1/4 teaspoon and increase the paprika to 1 3/4 teaspoons. Or omit the cayenne altogether and use 2 teaspoons of paprika.

What You'll Need

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

How to Make It

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly.
  2. The above measurements yield about 2 tablespoons. To make 1/2 cup of chili powder, use tablespoons rather than teaspoons.

Expert Tips

  • Spices lose their potency as they get older, so make sure the spices you use are as fresh as possible. Check the dates on the spice and herb jars you'll be using. 
  • The "best by" date for your homemade chili powder will be the same as the least fresh spice or herb you use in it. Label your chili powder with the name and this "best by" date.
  • Always store spices in a cool, dark place. They should not be stored near heat or in direct sunlight. To keep moisture from entering the jars, don't pour a spice or powder directly over a steaming or simmering pot.
  • If you grind your own cumin seeds, 1 3/4 teaspoons of seeds will produce approximately 2 teaspoons of ground cumin. If you frequently grind spices, you might want to purchase a coffee grinder and reserve it for spices. A mortar and pestle may be used as well.​