How to Make Chili Powder

5 from 2 votes

Learn how to make homemade chili powder with just a handful of ingredients and a simple process using a spice grinder.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Learn how to make chili powder that’s perfectly balanced for a delicious, fresh flavor. If you’re looking for an easy way to add bold taste and a spicy kick to your favorite dishes, this homemade chili powder recipe is your answer. Why settle for a bland and generic seasoning blend when you can create your DIY chili powder that elevates any dish?

Homemade chili powder in a spice jar with dried chilis nearby.
Want to save this recipe?
Just type your email below and I’ll send it to you. And as a bonus you’ll get delicious new recipes from me!

This simple recipe begins with grinding the chiles in a spice grinder and combining all the chili powder ingredients for the most flavorful signature blend. After that, the possibilities are endless on how you want to use this chili powder seasoning. Add it to sweet potato chili, tortilla soup, ground beef tacos, or even roasted chickpeas for extra flavor. You will love how this homemade chili powder from dried chiles transforms any dish from boring to mouthwatering delicious.

WHY you should learn how to make chili powder seasoning

  • Homemade seasonings save you money. Making dried seasonings at home is a cost-effective way to enjoy big flavors at little cost. Purchasing dried chili peppers in bulk and grinding them yourself can be more economical than buying pre-packaged chili powder.
  • Full quality control. Homemade chili powder made from dried chiles offers unmatched freshness compared to pre-packaged blends that have sat on store shelves for a long time. You can capture the full flavor and aroma, producing a more vibrant chili powder that makes your dishes stand out.
  • Customize to your preferences. Making this at home allows you to tailor the blend to suit your preferences. You control the type and amount of chili peppers and other ingredients, allowing you to create a chili powder that perfectly satisfies your taste buds.

Ingredients to make chili powder

  • Dried mild red chiles: Dried chili peppers make the bulk of this recipe, so use the best. Great options are ancho, guajillo, or New Mexico red chiles.
  • Paprika: May also be labeled as sweet paprika for its mild and slightly fruity flavor.
  • Ground cumin: With a slightly nutty and earthy flavor, cumin adds warmth to any blend and is a staple in Mexican seasoning blends.
  • Dried Mexican oregano: Not to be confused with regular oregano, as they are two distinct herbs with different flavor profiles. Mexican oregano has a more robust, citrusy flavor with mild licorice notes, and you can usually tell them apart by their larger, pointier, and hardy leaves. You can usually find them in the same section as dried chiles.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a savory and slightly pungent flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile of the chili powder.
  • Cayenne pepper: Provides a spicy kick and a sharp peppery flavor, balancing the other ingredients well.
Ingredients for seasoning blend: paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and dried mild red chilis.

HOW TO MAKE chili powder

  1. Roughly chop dried chiles and place them in a spice grinder.
  2. Working in batches, grind the chile peppers until finely ground.
  3. Add ground chile peppers, paprika, cumin, Mexican oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to a small bowl.
  4. Stir to combine well.
4 image collage making recipe: 1- dried chilis in a spice grinder, 2- after grinding, 3- spice blend added to a small bowl before combining, 4- after combining.

TIPS FOR Making The best chili powder

  1. Toast peppers for a smoky chili powder. Add some smokiness to your chili powder by toasting the dried chili peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant. Flip them regularly and be careful not to burn them. Cool completely before grinding.
  2. Remove stems and seeds. Break open the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Seeds are incredibly spicy, so removing them helps you control the heat level better. You can discard or save the seeds as red pepper flakes for future use.
  3. Experiment with different chiles. Use a single variety of chili peppers or combine different types for a complex flavor profile.
  4. Texture preference. Grinding the peppers gives you control over the overall texture of the chili powder, whether you prefer a coarse grind, fine powder, or something in between. Experiment and adjust the duration of grinding to achieve the texture that suits you. You can also throw in the Mexican oregano towards the end and pulse a few times if you prefer them finer.

recipes to make with DIY chili powder

HOW TO STORE chili powder

Transfer the homemade chili powder to an airtight container, such as a small glass or spice jar. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

HOW LONG WILL chili powder last?

When stored properly, chili powder can last up to 6 months. However, the flavor and potency may diminish faster than store-bought seasonings because of the lack of flavor enhancers and other additives.

CAN I FREEZE DIY Chili powder?

Yes! You can freeze the chili powder to prolong shelf life. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag, removing as much air as possible, and place it in the freezer for up to 2 years.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I double or cut this recipe in half?

Yes, you can scale the chili powder recipe up or down according to your needs. Just adjust the chili powder ingredients and use a container that would accommodate the amount to store the seasoning blend.

Where can I find dried chili peppers?

You can typically find dried chiles in the spice aisle of your local grocery store. Dried chili peppers can also commonly be found in the Mexican food section if your store is large enough to have a dedicated section that features Mexican ingredients.

Can I use fresh chili peppers instead of dried ones?

Fresh chili peppers have a higher moisture content, which will affect the texture and shelf life of the chili powder. Therefore, it’s important to use dried chili peppers.

Top down view of a spoon scooping out chili powder from spice jar.

This quick tutorial shows you how to make chili powder seasoning with just a few basic ingredients and a simple preparation. Make a batch of this today to add delicious flavor and a spicy kick to all your Mexican-inspired dishes. Once you try this DIY chili powder, there’s no going back to boring store-bought blends.

MORE spice blends:

If you found this tutorial for How to Make Chili Powder helpful or if you try any recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of trying out this tutorial and we would love to hear about your experience. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

order MY book

The Feel Good Foodie Cookbook is now available everywhere books are sold!

How to Make Chili Powder

Learn how to make homemade chili powder with just a handful of ingredients and a simple process using a spice grinder.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 6 tablespoons
Calories 24
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Email This Recipe
Enter your email and I’ll send this directly to you. Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!

Ingredients
  

  • 0.75 ounce dried mild red chiles such as ancho, guajillo, or New Mexico, stemmed, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Working in batches, grind the chile peppers in a spice grinder until finely ground, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne.

Notes

Tips:
  • Toast peppers for a smoky chili powder. Add some smokiness to your chili powder by toasting the dried chili peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant. Flip them regularly and be careful not to burn them. Cool completely before grinding.
  • Remove stems and seeds. Break open the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Seeds are incredibly spicy, so removing them helps you control the heat level better. You can discard or save the seeds as red pepper flakes for future use.
  • Experiment with different chiles. Use a single variety of chili peppers or combine different types for a complex flavor profile.
  • Texture preference. Grinding the peppers gives you control over the overall texture of the chili powder, whether you prefer a coarse grind, fine powder, or something in between. Experiment and adjust the duration of grinding to achieve the texture that suits you. You can also throw in the Mexican oregano towards the end and pulse a few times if you prefer them finer.

Nutrition

Calories: 24kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 135mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1575IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Mexican
Course: Spices, Tutorial
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating