The “Best” Basic Chili Powder Recipe

Hoping to make your own seasoning mixes to save money and get the artificial ingredients out of your diet? This Easy Homemade Chili Powder Recipe is made with things you most likely have in your pantry - and tastes the best out of the blends we tested in our kitchen. Tastes great in chili (of course), but also on veggies, pasta, rice...I've even heard of folks putting it in hot chocolate!

I love making my own homemade seasonings.  From taco seasoning to celery salt to cinnamon sugar, herbes de provencevegetable brothcurry powder, cinnamon sugar, and even DORITO® seasoning –if it’s a blend I will try to make it–I just have a thing about “DIY”s and saving money, and all of the good things that go along with it.

Chili powder is no exception.

For the past year or so I’ve been on the hunt for a great chili recipe.

We’re tried tons of recipes, and so you can imagine I’ve gone through a ton of chili powder.

(Well-maybe about 2 pounds is more like it :).)

I’ve always made my own Homemade Chili Powder and the recipe has served us well, but this week I decided to experiment with a bunch of recipes and do some taste tests so I could recommend a recipe for you all.

The chili powder recipe that we were using called for a base of chili peppers.  And while we like it a lot, the chilis are a little hard to come by, and they are a little pricey, so I wanted to find a recipe with a base of paprika–a spice that is in almost everyone’s kitchen.

I hope to share my original at some point, but for now, this one should keep you pretty happy.

One other chili powder came in a close second, but it needs a bit more work before I share that one.

After literally making and trying about 15 different recipes, we have a winner (and I now have a bunch of “non winners” that I’ll blend together to put in a corporate chili powder container so nothing goes to waste.)

First of all, just to share a bit about me if you haven’t been around my blog for a long time, I LOVE making my own just-about-everything.

Partially because I am cheap frugal, but also because I think it’s a fun challenge.

I also do it to avoid icky ingredients in things.

Why Make Your Own Seasoning Blends

I have a whole post written on homemade seasoning blends, but here’s a brief synopsis:

1.  Save Money – It’s a lot cheaper to make your own seasoning blends–you’re basically paying “the other guy” to do the measuring and blending.

2.  Adaptable for Taste – You can play around with the ingredients to find a mixture that you like best.

3.  Adaptable for Special Diets – You can adapt to special diets easily.  (Some spice mixes have gluten, dairy, or other ingredients in them that folks with those allergies need to avoid.

4.  Avoid Toxins – Many spice blends have chemical nasties in them (like silicon dioxide) to make them free flowing.  Personally, I’d rather break up a few lumps in my spices than eat silicon dioxide, thank you very much.

5.  Enjoyment – It’s fun to experiment in the kitchen :)!

How to Use Chili Powder

1.  Chili – Of course, use it in chili.  (I’m pretty clever, huh?)

2.  Sides – Sprinkle it on rice and beans, or even on veggies.

3.  Salads – Sprinkle on salads with a drizzle of olive oil and salt for a makeshift dressing.

4.  Eggs – Sprinkle on eggs.

5.  Pepper Substitute – As a substitute for pepper in a recipe.  Just add a bit more chili powder than pepper.

6.  Desserts – On Desserts – really?  Yes, it’s true.  Try some on chocolate ice cream, in brownies, etc.

7.  On Fruit – try sprinkling chili powder on fruit for a fun twist.

 Hoping to make your own seasoning mixes to save money and get the artificial ingredients out of your diet? This Easy Homemade Chili Powder Recipe is made with things you most likely have in your pantry - and tastes the best out of the blends we tested in our kitchen. Tastes great in chili (of course), but also on veggies, pasta, rice...I've even heard of folks putting it in hot chocolate!

I hope you like this as much as we do.

It’s great on so many things — we taste-tested these mixtures on popcorn and brown rice, veggies, and salads.  While we were working on finding “the winner”, my boys and my husband had a great time sampling the options while we were moving a “new to us” trundle bed into our boys’ room.

It went like this — move mattress in–taste rice–move bed piece in–taste rice.  You get the picture.

You should have seen my kitchen after doing all of these taste tests –little containers of rice with chili powder on top and popcorn is just about everywhere :).  I had my sons help me with the blending and measuring so things are a bit more messy than usual.

It’s hard not to have a mess in a whole food kitchen, isn’t it?

And in case you are wondering where I buy my spices, right now I buy a lot from this company in bulk (I think the have superior flavor and fragrance) but check my Resources Page for more options.

So now you have another great homemade seasoning blend to add to your frugal pantry arsenal.

And now I get to go back to working on a really great chili recipe to share with you all.


4.3 from 6 reviews
The "Best" Basic Chili Powder Recipe
Recipe type: Spices
Cuisine: Gluten-Free
Serves: Approx. 4 T
Looking for a Great Chili Powder Recipe that doesn't use a lot of fancy ingredients? This is it! Make your own Homemade Spice Blends and save money!
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Blend thoroughly.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Paprika is a pepper and should be refrigerated for maximum shelf life and potency.
Use 1-2 Tbsp of chili powder per pound of meat, or to taste.


Other Homemade Seasoning Blends:

Taco Seasoning
The “Best” Cinnamon Sugar – Made Healthier
Mild Curry Powder
Vegetable Broth Mix | All-Purpose Seasoning
Celery Salt and How to Use It
Pumpkin Pie Spice

Do you have a favorite chili recipe to share?  I’d love to try it!

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


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  1. This recipe saved dinner tonight! I needed chili powder and was all out with dinner already cooking on the stove. Thankfully I had everything I needed for this recipe and the dish tasted even better than usual!

    • So thankful! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share! I used some just the other day to make a quick chicken lunch for a friend in need. Shredded chicken with this in the Instant Pot and some butter on top. YUM~

  2. Thank you! My young husband had a heart attack recently and now we are re-inventing the diet in the house by finding low, fat and low, sodium versions online. He is a very picky eater and I’m hoping recreating his usual diet with healthier versions will help him adjust and be more compliant! I’ll let you know how it goes afterwards ?

  3. Thank you!
    And yes, it’s hard to keep a whole food kitchen from getting messy…just ask my brother ;-D
    I would also rather have a few lumps than silicon dioxide in my chili powder, that’s how I found you, I GOOGLE searched chili powder without silicon dioxide. I look forward to reading your other spice blends.
    Thanks again! Much appreciation 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this simple and practical recipe 🙂 Our family is really enjoying the homemade chili powder! I love your site and look forward to trying lots of other recipes. Keep up the good work and thank you again.
    God bless you,

  5. Mickey Maus says:

    Seems like a stupid recipe to me – a chili powder without chilis. A non-chili chili powder? It’s like saying, chocolate is too expensive so I’ll just eat sugar. If you are indeed the creator of this nonsense recipe you have unfortunately confused many other people and websites because this recipe seems to be all over the web – UNFORTUNATELY. In the interest of edification, before publishing such nonsense, it would seem you should have published a REAL recipe for chili powder. All you have done here is propagate confusion and misinformation despite any disclaimer.

    • Sorry but your analogy is not accurate. Paprika is actually a chili – it’s just a less expensive and more readily available one. Paprika is a spice made from the air dried fruit of the chili pepper called capsicum annum. I hope that clarifies things.

    • Mickey Maus, you’re an angry elf. You must be from the South Pole!! Adrienne, keep up the great work. You’re helping a lot people cope with a restricted diet. Thanks; I’ll be making my first salt-free chili tomorrow.

    • Adrienne, keep up the great work. You’re helping a lot people cope with a restricted diet. Thanks; I’ll be making my first salt-free chili tomorrow.

  6. thanks for this recipe! we buy spices in bulk at a co-op and they rarely have any spice blends, just the basics. it’s so much cheaper/more flavorful to make your own than to buy pre-jarred anyway! i have found that most store-bought ‘chili powders’ have quite a similar list of ingredients as this, for all the folks saying that this is missing ingredients. recipes calling for chili powder assume that there’s no salt or black pepper and have ingredients listed accordingly. this is my fave recipe that i’ve tried so far — thanks again!

  7. No salt and pepper?

    • Hi there. Salt isn’t typically included in a chili pepper. You would simply add it to the dish. There are loads of peppers – just not black pepper. Hope you like it!

  8. Hi: My daughter has become highly allergic to garlic in any form. It has become almost impossible to eat at restaurants because garlic is almost in everything and at times difficult to even cook at home because it is because it is not listed as an ingredient. For example, we cannot use chili powder because most likely it contains garlic. Can grinded red pepper flakes be used in place of bought chili powder? Also, what can be substituted in place of garlic in seasoning mixes? All recommendations very appreciated!

    • Chili powder is a blend of many spices and not just ground pepper. Red pepper flakes are chili peppers so if you grind them you can use them as one component of your chili powder. Onion would be the best sub for garlic. How did you know she was allergic? I know how terrible that is!

      • World Travelr says:

        Onions may not be your best substitute for garlic. Someone allergic to garlic may be allergic to anything in the allium genus of plants. Allergy testing will be able to tell you if you are allergic to the whole family of plants or just sensitive to some.
        We use a spice from India called asafoetida to replace garlic and onions. Asafoetida is a resin that has a very pungent smell that when used in cooking gives the dish a flavor like onions and garlic. You can purchase asafoetida, often called Hing, in powdered form. The resin is very expensive so it is often combined with flour made from rice, garbanzo bean or wheat. We can’t have gluten so we check all labels for fillers. I buy Nature ‘n’ Me brand organic pure Hing powder from my local Indian grocery. You can also buy it on Amazon. It is expensive, but a small bottle will last a long time. A pinch or less will flavor a whole dish!

  9. You just saved dinner for me. This will work! I forgot to buy a new jar of chili powder when I went grocery shopping last week, and the nearest grocery store to where I live is a 20 minute walk down the road… and I’m too busy today to bother. Thanks!

  10. Hey! Is this recipe enough to flavour a pound of ground meat? Is it a single serving or multiple use?

  11. LOL.

    Ummm. I think your “chili powder” recipe is missing a key ingredient.

    You know…CHILIS

    • Hi Brad. Thanks for reading and for commenting. Yes, you are right. That was the point of the post – to offer a less expensive option that would also make it easier for folks to obtain the ingredients. It’s good as well :). Hope to see you around again.

  12. SpiceLover;) says:

    OMGUSH Thank you so much for replying fast 😀 your website is definitely a life saver, i had run out of my store bought ones 😉

  13. SpiceLover;) says:

    Hai:) Idk if ur still active in replying comments but i hope you still do D: How much should i times the recipe for a whole bottle like in the picture above?:D thanks – spices lover((^^