This recipe for Fajita Seasoning is the perfect way to add smoky, savory, and slightly spicy flavor to any type of Mexican meal, from steak and chicken to eggs and veggies. This 5-minute fajita spice is made with a combination of ingredients you likely already have on hand, without any of the additives or artificial ingredients you’ll get from store-bought spice packets.
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About this fajita seasoning
There’s something special about a sizzling platter of fajitas, isn’t there? The steam, the sound, the showmanship of it all! But the most impressive part of fajitas is always the flavor — perfectly spiced strips of meat with a colorful bevy of peppers and onions just waiting to be tucked into warm tortillas and devoured with gusto.
If you, like me, always order fajitas (steak, shrimp, and chicken, OH MY!) at your local Mexican haunt, you know that the flavor is always SO MUCH BETTER than what you can create at home using a tear-open spice packet from the store.
Wanna know why? Because they use nothing but real spices, plus ingredients like oil and fresh lime juice to flavor food. Those 99-cent packets are loaded with fillers and thickeners and artificial ingredients that give the illusion of real Mexican fare without really tasting like it.
Luckily, I’ve cracked the code on the absolute perfect blend of real spices to bring all that zesty Mexican goodness right to your table.
Why you’ll love this recipe for fajita seasoning
What’s not to love about this robust fajita spice?! This fajita seasoning recipe is:
- Quick & Easy. All you need is 5 minutes and one bowl. It couldn’t be any easier!
- Made With Only 10 Easy-To-Pronounce Ingredients.Unlike those store-bought fajita seasoning packets at the store. I mean, maltodextrin who?
- Allergen-Friendly. Using only real spices mean there’s no sneaky corn, soy, or gluten lurking in the shadows.
- Customizable: Mixing your own seasonings for fajitas (and more!) allows you to control the ingredients and proportions! Make your homemade spice blend lower in sodium. Or make it super hot and spicy. You do *you*! Plus, fajita seasoning homemade taste brighter and fresher in flavor than store-bought packets.
- Versatile. The best part about homemade seasonings – they can add so much flavor to everything. Use this fajitas seasoning as a rub, marinade, seasoning, and as a replacement for taco seasoning in recipes. Plus, you can package it up in a cute jar with ribbon for a homemade gift.
Ingredients in fajita seasoning recipe
As promised, this homemade fajita seasoning is made using only real, honest-to-goodness spices. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chili Powder – Contrary to what you might think, chili powder is actually a blend of different ground peppers and spices.
- Substitute: Feel free to swap in regular sweet paprika, which is the primary ingredient of most chili powder blends.
- Smoked Paprika – To get that chargrilled taste, even if you make your fajitas on the stovetop.
- Substitute: Ground chipotle chili powder will give you similar smokiness plus an added boost of heat. Alternatively, consider using smoked salt instead of kosher, or add a dash of liquid smoke to the pan as you cook.
- Ground Cumin – For earthy warmth.
- Substitute: If you only have whole cumin seeds on hand, give them a quick toast in a dry pan and then crush them using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
- Onion Powder & Garlic Powder – For all that allium goodness without the sticky fingers or tearful eyes.
- Substitute: You can swap in onion salt or garlic salt, but make sure to dial back the kosher salt if you do.
- Mexican Oregano – Mexican oregano has a particular, almost spicy flavor that’s hard to replicate.
- Substitute: Strangely enough, marjoram is a closer substitute for Mexican oregano than Greek oregano.
- Cayenne Pepper – For a tantalizing hint of heat.
- Substitute: Feel free to swap in your favorite hot chili powder here. You can also adjust the heat level by increasing or decreasing the amount you use.
- Ground Coriander – Technically optional, but definitely encouraged for a bright citrusy and vaguely floral flavor.
- Substitute: If you only have whole coriander seed on hand, give it a quick toast in a dry pan to release all the essential oils, then grind it using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. You can also swap in some dried parsley for similar citrusy notes.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper – For seasoning. When possible, opt for freshly ground black pepper to get the most flavor out of it.
Fajita spice: variations
- Sugar – This is totally optional. I personally don’t use it, but if you miss the sweetness you’d find in the spice packet at the store (which, by the way, is usually dried corn syrup), feel free to add either light brown or plain granulated sugar to taste.
How to make fajita seasoning
Making fajita seasoning homemade couldn’t be easier. Here’s how it’s done:
- Measure: Gather and measure all the fajita seasonings.
- Mix: Pour all the fajita spices into a small bowl. Use a fork or small whisk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust as you see fit.
- Use or Store: Transfer your homemade fajita seasoning to an airtight storage container. Store in a cool, dry, dark place, such as the pantry or a kitchen cabinet.
Tips for the best fajita blend
- Check expiration dates: Double check your pantry seasonings and dry herbs for expiration dates before using them.
- Start small: When using salt and “hot and spicy” seasonings, such as cayenne pepper, start with a small amount. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once you add it to your seasoning blend.
- Adjust to taste: Taste and adjust the seasoning mix to your specific tastebuds before storing. That way it’s ready to go when you are. (Recipes are a general guideline, not a rulebook.)
- Store properly: To keep your fajita seasonings fresher for a longer period of time, make sure you store them in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. A kitchen cabinet or pantry (with no windows) works great.
FAQ: fajita seasoning, homemade
Can I use fajita seasoning for making tacos?
Sure thing! While the two spice blends are slightly different, they use almost all the same ingredients and will definitely give you serious Mexican yummy vibes.
What are good toppings for fajitas?
That’s more of a personal question and will depend on your subjective tastes. I happen to love avocado or guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cheese, pickled or fresh jalapeño slices, and fresh cilantro.
Using homemade fajita seasoning
The great thing about making your own spice blends is that you can gussy them up however you please. Feel free to use this homemade fajita spice as a:
- Dry rub on meats: Try your seasoning on everything from pulled pork to flank steaks.
- Seasoning: Use fajita spice to give your favorite foods a boost of flavor. I love it on eggs, veggies and avocado toast.
- Marinade, mixed with oil and fresh lime juice: Mix a tablespoons of neutral oil or olive oil with fajita seasoning mix and a touch of fresh lime juice to create a marinade for beef and chicken fajitas and more.
- Taco seasoning replacement: Fajita seasoning actually has more flavor than taco seasoning. So I often replace the taco spice with fajita spice for more robust flavor.
- Ingredient in my Chicken Fajita Casserole: The most obvious way – use it in your favorite fajita recipes.
- Housewarming or Hostess gift: This homemade fajita seasoning recipe makes a great last minute gift idea.
Storing fajita spice
Once mixed, transfer your fajita spice mix to a clean, airtight container. If kept in a cool, dark spot, it should last for 2-3 years without degradation. That said, once you taste the difference, I have a feeling you’ll never go back to the packets and will easily use it up well before the best by date!
Until next time, I hope you stay happy, healthy, and well-fed. And remember: y’all guac my world! Thanks for visiting!
In queso you’re still hungry for some Mexican-inspired goodness, check out these yummy favorites: low-carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice, Easy Charro Beans, Black Bean Tacos, Barbacoa Beef, Tacos with Carnitas, and Mexican Chicken Casserole!
More seasoning recipes!
- Burger Seasoning
- Cajun Spice
- Jerk Seasoning
- Greek Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
- Sazon Spice
- Bagel Spices
- Old Bay Seasoning Recipe
Fajita seasoning recipe👇
- 1 Small Bowl or Glass Jar
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ¾ tsp Garlic Powder
- ¾ tsp Kosher Salt – more or less, to taste
- ½ tsp Mexican Oregano
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Ground Coriander (Optional - SEE NOTES)
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper – more or less, to taste
- Optional: ¼ tsp Sugar - or more to taste (SEE NOTES)
- Measure: Gather and measure all the fajita spices.
- Mix: Pour all the spices into a small bowl. Use a fork or small whisk and stir to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust as necessary.
- Store: Transfer your homemade fajita seasoning to an airtight storage container. Store in a cool, dry, dark place, such as the pantry or a cabinet.
- Coriander: Optional, but recommended for classic fajita flavor.
- Sugar: Optional; I personally don’t add it, but if you prefer a milder seasoning with a tiny hint of sweetness, add light brown sugar or white sugar to taste. I recommend starting out small, with ¼ teaspoon – you can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.
- Substitutions: Please see the post for a list of substitutions.
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