Homemade Fajita Seasoning
Skip the store-bought packets and learn how to make Fajita Seasoning from scratch to keep in your pantry! It’s perfect to spice up steak fajitas, chicken enchiladas, taco salads, and more.
As a food blogger I don’t always share every recipe I make, especially when I cook for fun. Sometimes I need a mental break from all the testing.
Other times the recipe is so easy, it doesn’t even occur to me about sharing.
I’ve been cooking dinner for myself ever since I studied abroad in Ireland back in 2007. It was my first time with a kitchen and no meal plan on campus.
I learned to get over my fear of touching raw meat very quickly (with the help of a housemate).
One dinner I made a lot throughout college is easy steak fajitas. Sometimes chicken fajita salad or shrimp.
My secret weapon to making a quick and easy dinner is having a jar of Homemade Fajita Seasoning ready to go in my pantry.
If you have a well-stocked spice pantry, you don’t need to run out and buy a packet. You can easily make this affordable fajita seasoning recipe at home right now in 5 minutes.
What are fajitas?
Fajitas are a Tex-Mex dish of grilled meat (usually steak or chicken), bell peppers, and onions served in a tortilla.
Fajita seasoning refers to the spice mix used to flavor the meat.
What is in fajita seasoning?
Typically the ingredients for homemade fajita seasoning are:
- Chili Powder – There will be a huge taste difference between dollar store chili powder and high quality chili powder. They also vary in spice level, so choose one you’re comfortable with.
- Black Pepper – Freshly cracked from a pepper mill is best.
- Salt – Preferably kosher
- Smoked Paprika
- Dried Oregano
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Crushed Red Pepper or Cayenne – Optional if you love your food extra spicy
Make sure you’re using high quality spices for the best fajita seasoning recipe.
Don’t get me wrong – if all you have is the cheap dollar spices, by all means it still makes a great dinner. That’s what I did in college.
However, if you can afford fresh spices from a reputable source, your taste buds will thank you.
How many tablespoons of fajita seasoning are in a packet?
Let’s say you’re following a recipe that calls for one packet store-bought seasoning. How much homemade fajita seasoning do you use instead?
I actually bought a packet, ripped it open, and measured.
You’d use 6 tablespoons fajita seasoning to substitute for one 1.25 ounce packet.
What is the difference between taco seasoning and fajita seasoning?
I’ve been researching this question quite a bit. Turns out nobody really knows the answer!
What I personally concluded is although they contain the same spices, they have a different ratio, which alters the taste slightly.
I personally use my seasoning for both fajitas and tacos. I don’t think there’s any hard rule to follow.
How To Make Fajita Seasoning
Making fajita seasoning is the easiest recipe ever!
Measure all of your spices into a bowl, stir them together, then store in a glass or plastic container in your pantry for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place away from direct light.
Heat will diminish your spices, so don’t store it near your hot stove or window.
How To Use Fajita Seasoning
Use a tablespoon or two for every pound of meat, depending on personal preference.
You can make Chicken Fajita Pasta or spice up Slow Cooker Beef Enchiladas.
Throw it in some taco meat or cook up some Fajita Shrimp Tacos.
You can also make Fajita Veggies and add them to your meals.
Hosting a cinco de mayo fiesta? Cook up a fajita bar!
For non-Mexican, spice up some Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy.
How To Season Chicken For Fajitas
To season chicken for fajitas, pat your chicken dry with paper towels then cut your chicken into 1-inch pieces.
Next, evenly sprinkle your chicken fajita seasoning then mix (with your hands or a spoon) until coated.
Your fajita chicken is now ready to cook! Check out my recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas for instructions.
Learn how to make Fajita Seasoning from scratch to keep in your pantry! This recipe for fajita seasoning is perfect to spice up steak fajitas, chicken enchiladas, taco salads, and more.
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper (optional - add for extra heat)
- Stir together all of the spices. Store in an airtight container in a dry, cool place for up to 6 months.
- For best results, use high-quality spices. There is a big taste difference between dollar store spices and fresh spices.
- Not sure what to make with your seasoning? Check out Chicken Fajita Salad, Steak Fajitas, Chicken Fajita Pasta, and Crockpot Beef Enchiladas.
First published November 1, 2012
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchase.
Beautiful, beautiful combination!
You are so right that making your own seasoning is the way to go. I like that you can control the amount of sodium and adjust flavors to taste. I love your photos with the spices in layers. So cool!!
Great way to control sodium!
I’m loving this mix and I need to make some because having things done beforehand is my idea of awesome. Also love how you layered it!
Hi Carla, found you through Kim. Great looking seasoning. Will have to come back and see what else you are up to soon. Have a great weekend.
I am with you on that, why go out and buy when you can make it at home. I always make taco seasoning, but don’t ever to think to make Fajita Seasoning. Saving this recipe now
I totally agree! I make a similar version It’s been one of my most popluar “recipes”. I have never bought a packet again!
Your photos are beautiful!
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This sounds great! I like to make my own too. It’s so much better and no chemicals! I’m going to give your version a try this weekend!
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I’m excited to find recipes for homemade seasoning mixes because I need to omit salt from my diet. I’d like to know what is the difference between between Fajita & Taco seasoning as the store bought packages seem to list identical spices yet the flavor outcome is different, why?
I think it’s the amount of spices you use. One may have more cumin or chili powder than the other. They are similar enough where if you ran out of one, you can substitute the other.
Love this recipe! Found it by googling for a fajita seasoning recipe. My hubby could not believe that made it (he thought it was a pkg). Thank you :)
It’s so simple, isn’t it? Happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe!
I was so glad I didn’t have to run out to the store for fajita seasoning! This was awesome!!!!!
Not so much a reply but a reiteration, we just got home with everything except the seasoning so you’re about to be a life saver! Mwah!
Very yummy….. but very hot!!!
The spice level depends heavily on the type of chili powder you use. Some are spicier than others.
Really awesome recipe. Thank you.
Now please tell me how to cook the meat so it comes out tender and not chewy.
Using the right cut of meat and not overcooking the meat are several ways to make the meat more tender. I highly recommend checking out this guide for more info http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/steak_fajitas/
Try useing boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Doesnt take long to cook, absorbs flavor wonderfully and less trans fat.
Made this tonight after googling “Fajita seasoning.” It was a huge hit! Thank you!!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Magical fajita seasoning. All three of my kids went back for seconds and they are so picky! I didn’t add red pepper flakes for that reason but the seasoning was so flavorful. Thank you!
Yes! Glad the whole family enjoyed.
I made this tonight for fajitas and it was great! My husband even asked me “what seasoning did you use? Those were really good” and he never normally does that! Thanks for the great recipe!
Excellent! Glad you both enjoyed it.
No more packages for me … easy and delicious! We had pork fajitas tonight.
Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Threw this together for a last minute meal tonight. Great taste. Thanks for the recipe.
Glad you liked it!
We are always making our own seasonings just for safety reasons since we are gluten free. I also think it makes the flavor so much better.
Smart! You never know about cross contamination with packaged goods.
LOVE the jar :) And homemade seasonings are the bomb.
Homemade seasoning is ALWAYS so much better than store-bought! And I love the way it looks all layered in that jar! Suddenly I’m in the mood for fajitas :)
Yes it makes for a pretty presentation, especially if you gift them for Christmas!
We always have a jar of this in the cupboard. It’s so good sprinkled on salmon before grilling.
Oh I haven’t tried it with salmon. Great idea!
These are all of my favorite seasonings. I never think to make a blend and have it ready to go. Need to give this a try especially since I love fajitas and tacos.
Once you make and keep this in your pantry, you’ll be having fajitas every night! ;)
This is a great recipe! I love mixing my own blends of spices for things, and this could even make a great gift!
I love the gift idea! Especially if you package it in a thoughtful way.
Love this! I always keep it on hand!
Happy to hear that!
Love this fajita blend…and the red pepper flakes are a must at our house!
Yes! The best part is you can add as many (or as little) red pepper flakes as you want based on preference.
Hello! I’m a retired Army vet of 20yrs. I love to cook and barbeque. My daughter keeps asking me “Mom, can you make homemade Beef Fajitas instead of buying them?” So I have experimented with many fajita seasoning recipes and nothing came close to this one. I did leave it over night in the fridge and the meat came out tender and very flavorful. My husband loves it. Plus, this recipe has saved us so much money. Buying marinaded fajitas is much more expensive. So now I buy the fajita meat from the butcher and marinate it myself. Thank You!!!!
Oh yes that’s one thing I learned in college – buying the fajita kits is much more expensive, especially on a college budget! Glad you and your family enjoyed the seasoning.
Thanks for the recipe. Taco and fajita seasoning are so high in sodium I can’t use them. I’m happy to have a recipe where I can adjust or eliminate the salt. Thank you!
Yes that’s the benefit of making your own! You can adjust the amounts to fit your lifestyle.
I’ve been making my own taco seasonings for years. The one thing I noticed is that yours calls for paprika, mine doesn’t. I liked the homemade so much that I expanded and make others as well…. like pumpkin spice mix. Homemade is definitely the way to go.
The paprika helps add another layer of flavor. Hope you give my version a try!
Hi Carla, how would you suggest I turn this mix into a paste?
Thank you 🙏
I never tried it, but usually you can add some water to make a paste. If that doesn’t work, maybe try some tomato paste.
I make this all the time in triple batches and use it for tacos too! We love this recipe
Glad you’re enjoying the seasoning!
Great for meals thank you so much for sharing this with us. I also made it and preserved it in a jar . Very helpful post thank you again for putting this up.
Glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you so much! I quadruple the recipe and keep it in a jar, we love making fajitas with shrimp, chicken, pork and brisket 😋
Yes it’s perfect to keep on hand!
How much equals a packet of store bought seasoning?
I haven’t personally measured it, but Google is suggesting 2 tablespoons in one packet.