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 used a base of chili peppers.  And while we like it, 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.  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.  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.  You can play around with the ingredients to find a mixture that you like best.

3.  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.  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.  It’s fun to experiment in the kitchen :)!

 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.

We were taste testing these mixtures on popcorn and brown rice.  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.

Move mattress in–taste rice–move bed piece in–taste rice.

You should see my kitchen now–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, but I do get some from Mountain Rose Herbs.

How to Use Chili Powder

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

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

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

4.  On eggs.

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

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.

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!

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  1. I wish my boyfriend understood the value of DIY. I love making my own breads, crackers, seitan, etc., but he thinks it’s easier to just buy them. But there’s also the time driving to the store! I’m happy to find this recipe. I forgot chili powder at the store, but I have all of these ingredients. Crossing “chili powder” off of my list. Thank you!

  2. Homemade chilli powder… your recipe looks very interesting
    You say it makes 4 tablespoons, but I can’t see how much to use per pound of minced beef????
    Please reply asap as I want to get cooking :)

  3. Great recipe, thanks!
    As an aside, although there are lots of chemical nasties in processed food, silicone dioxide isn’t one of them – it’s actually a naturally occuring mineral!

  4. I found your post on Google+ and had to tell you it was timely. I was just about to start making spice blends for Christmas gifts. This is perfect. Have a terrific holiday.

  5. while it is nice of you to post a recipe and im sure your mix tastes good. this is not chili powder. Chili powder is made with 70% ground dried chiles such as Arbol. Alton brown has an authentic recipe.

    • Hi Nick. I appreciate your sharing it but there are many others on the internet who use paprika in chili powder. I know it’s not authentic but I wanted to offer a simpler avenue for my readers. I typically use the ancho – LOVE them. But they are hard to come by.

  6. This is awesome.. thank you. :)

  7. Shirley R. says:

    Thank you for doing the hard work for making our own seasonings. I am fascinated that we can mix them ourselves instead of buying them. Enjoying your site. Lots of hard work see here.

  8. Imagine my dismay when I forgot chili powder for my favorite southern living chili that requires 6 tablespoons. I doubled your recipe and I must say after making this chili recipe for years, my husband and I agreed, it was the tastiest ever! I’ll never buy chili powder again. By the way I used a very hot chili powder from the Indian store, using les than required. Delicious! Thank you.