There’s nothing quite like a sizzling skillet piled high with fajitas. One reason the dish always turns heads in restaurants (other than the loud sizzle that signals its arrival) is the irresistible scent. Fajitas get their mouth-watering flavor from a hot pan and mix of fragrant spices.
Recipe developer Nicole Hopper describes this fajita seasoning as “warm and earthy, savory, with a very mild heat. I added a bit of chipotle powder to bring that characteristic hint of smokiness, but it is definitely optional and still delicious without.”
You can whip up the restaurant classic at home in no time, especially if you keep a jar of homemade fajita seasoning on hand. This spice mix will add tons of flavor to beef, chicken, shrimp, and veggies with minimal effort.
What's in Fajita Seasoning?
Fajita seasoning is a blend of warm and earthy spices, designed to give meats and/or vegetables tons of flavor with minimal effort. Chili powder and cumin are two pronounced flavors, with other dried spices like garlic and onion powder, oregano, black pepper, and paprika rounding out the lightly smoky, savory, and herbaceous mix. Most mixes also include salt, making it a one-stop shop for seasoning fajitas.
Nicole notes that chili powder can range quite a bit from brand to brand, so she recommends trying a couple to find one you like best. She used Simply Organic brand and liked its depth of flavor.
Store-bought Vs. Homemade
You’ll find one-ounce packets of fajita seasoning in the grocery store next to the taco seasoning. One packet contains 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of seasoning mix.
Homemade fajita seasoning is quick and easy to make, and chances are you already have the spices in your cabinet. It gives you more control over the freshness, plus you have total control over the flavor profile. Tweak the salt or spice level until you get it exactly how you like it.
Fajita Seasoning Vs. Taco Seasoning
Fajita seasoning and taco seasoning are very similar, but not identical. The ratios of each individual spice tend to differ. Fajita seasoning often contains more cumin, while taco seasoning contains more chili powder. Our taco seasoning recipe includes coriander and does not contain paprika or chipotle.
How to Store Fajita Seasoning
Store fajita seasoning as you would other spice mixes—in an airtight container (like a glass jar) in a cool, dark place. If you’re using relatively fresh spices to make the mix, it will keep for at least 6 months. While fajita seasoning won’t go bad, it will eventually lose some of its flavor.
How to Use Fajita Seasoning
This spice mix works well on all of the usual fajita options: Sliced chicken (white or dark meat), steak, shrimp, peppers and onions, and more. Nicole recommends adding 1 tablespoon per pound of meat or vegetables, then tasting to see if you’d like to add more. Toss the meat or veggies and seasoning together before cooking on the stovetop or grilling.
To kick the dish up a notch, add fresh lime. Nicole says “The one element of the store-bought fajita seasoning packets that I was unable to include is acidity—all the ones I tasted were heavy on the citric acid and lime flavoring. So I recommend adding a little fresh lime juice to balance out all the flavors.” Squeeze 1/2 to 1 whole lime over along with the seasoning per pound of meat or vegetables.
Use This Spice Mix to Season These Recipes
This seasoning blend contains enough salt that you likely won’t need extra to season meat or vegetables. If you’re on a low-salt diet, you can decrease the salt or leave it out altogether, seasoning to taste.
When using the seasoning in a dish, add the juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lime (to taste) for the best flavor.
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons (18g) table salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika (smoked or unsmoked)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, optional
Combine the ingredients:
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl until evenly combined.
Transfer to an airtight jar or container. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
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When making fajitas, add 1 tablespoon seasoning per pound of meat or vegetables, then taste to see if you’d like to add more. Toss the meat or veggies and seasoning together before cooking on the stovetop or grilling.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||2%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|