My Southwestern Seasoning is an easy, delicious southwest spice blend that adds explosive flavor to your favorite southwest inspired dishes.
It’s no secret how much I love creating my own spice mixes. Homemade seasoning mixes can be customized to your specific needs. And homemade spice mixes are free of the fillers you find in commercial brands.
Use my mouthwatering spice blend to amp up the flavor in your favorite Mexican and Southwestern dishes. Think tacos, chimichangas, pinto beans, Southwest salad dressing, burritos, soup, salsa, Southwest Sauce and so much more!
Savory and herbaceous with a healthy dose of heat, this homemade Southwest seasoning recipe wakens your palate and tempts you to take “just one more bite”! So good!
What Is Southwest Flavor?
The American Southwest is both geographical and cultural. It includes Arizona and New Mexico, but also portions of states that touch their borders at some point. Think California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
Take the cultural food influences of Spanish conquistadors exploring South America and those of Mexican and Native American societies. Then mix those up with that of cowboys and Western settlers who moved into the regions. The result is a melting pot of food traditions we often call southwestern.
When I think of Southwest seasoning or food, the first thing that comes to mind is chilis. Peppers from mild to hot are common ingredients in southwest cuisine. Hatch peppers, jalapenos, poblano peppers, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, ancho chili powder and more are frequently used in southwest dishes. So, I definitely had to choose chilis for my homemade southwest seasoning recipe.
But, southwest spice isn’t all about peppers. Southwest spices include cinnamon, oregano, coriander, garlic, cumin and cilantro, too. Several make their way into my southwestern seasoning.
Southwest spices are some of my favorites for not only bringing heat, but warm southwestern flavor to many of our family’s favorite meals.
What Can I Use Southwestern Seasoning In?
The list of dishes and recipes that can be enhanced by Southwestern Seasoning is long. I really look at this Southwest Spice Blend as an all-purpose Mexican food, and Southwest food, seasoning. And I use it in my kitchen every week.
I use it in soup, salad dressing, eggs, tacos, burritos, chimichangas and quesadillas. It’s fantastic on grilled chicken. roasted pork
I also season pork, chicken and beef for the slow cooker with this tasty seasoning blend.
Southwestern Seasoning takes summer vegetables to a whole new level of scrumptious flavor. Add it to grilled vegetable medleys or corn salad.
Southwest spice blend is fantastic in taco dip, mayo and aioli, salsa and sauces, too.
- Chipotle Chili Powder (Common in southwest seasoning along with hotter chilis. This is a good balance of heat for my family.)
- Smoked Paprika — You can use regular paprika. Smoked just enhances the smokiness of chipotles.
- Ground Cumin
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Oregano — I use Mexican Oregano [affiliate link], but common oregano works just as well.
- Kosher Salt — If subbing table salt, use only half as much.
- Ground Coriander
- Onion Powder
- Ground Black Pepper
What Is Chipotle Chili Powder?
Chipotle peppers are simply jalapenos that have been smoked and then dried. The powdered form of those smoky dried jalapenos is called chipotle chili powder or chipotle powder. It’s perfect in this flavorful Southwest seasoning.
I almost never have cayenne pepper in my pantry, though it is common in spicier versions of Southwest seasoning. I do, however, always have chipotle powder. It is my go-to for most of our favorite dishes that have a spicy kick.
Serrano and/or Cayenne pepper can be anywhere from 3 to 10 times more hot than jalapenos. So, especially when we’re cooking for littles, I tend to use more poblano and jalapeno range heat in our spicy dishes.
Oregano vs Mexican Oregano
Yes. If you don’t have Mexican oregano in your pantry, regular oregano can be substituted.
I use Mexican oregano in my Southwestern Seasoning. If you don’t usually keep that on hand, you can definitely sub in regular oregano.
The oregano we’re all accustomed to is a Mediterranean plant that has been easily propagated in North and South America, too. It’s part of the mint family. This familiar oregano is very slightly sweet sweet, and depending on where its grown, may also have undertones of bitter and pepper.
Mexican oregano is actually from the verbena family. It’s a completely different species of plant. It has bright citrus notes mixed with anise (licorice). It’s more floral than Mediterranean oregano.
Choose the one that works best for your own family and kitchen.
Substituting Table Salt for Kosher Salt
For general purposes, think of table salt being twice as strong as kosher salt when used in equal measures.
If you substitute table salt in this recipe, use only half as much as what’s called for with kosher salt. Otherwise your seasoning will be too salty.
Can I Make Southwest Seasoning Less Spicy?
Yes. Try substituting a milder chili powder like ancho chili powder. It is sweeter and milder than chipotle powder.
How to Make Southwestern Seasoning
- Place Chipotle Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Ground Cumin, Garlic Powder, Dried Oregano, Kosher Salt, Ground Coriander, Onion Powder and Ground Black Pepper into a bowl and stir them to evenly distribute each ingredient. You can also put all the ingredients into a spice grinder or smoothie blender and blitz them to blend them evenly.
- As with all spice and herbs, store the southwest spice blend in an airtight container in a cool cupboard out of direct sunlight. It should last a year, though I can’t imagine it lasting that long.
- Use Southwest Seasoning in all your favorite Mexican and southwestern recipes.
Southwestern Seasoning is an easy, delicious southwest spice blend that adds explosive flavor to your favorite southwest inspired dishes. It’s my go-to all purpose Mexican and southwest seasoning. Think tacos, chimichangas, pinto beans, salad dressing, burritos, soup, sauces, salsa, mayo and so much more!
- 2 Tablespoons chipotle chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Take care to be sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.. (It is definitely not necessary, but I like to use a blender or smoothie blender to blitz the spices together and make sure all the ingredients are a uniform powder consistency.)
- Store Southwestern seasoning in an airtight container in a cool dry place. It should last up to one year.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Seasonings, Spice Blends
- Method: cold prep
- Cuisine: Southwest
Try Southwestern Seasoning in these Easy Recipes
- Easy Southwest Chicken Recipe
- Chicken Crunch Wrap Supreme — substitute Southwest seasoning for the taco seasoning
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Homemade Refried Beans — add 1 Tablespoon southwest seasoning to the cooking liquid
- 10 Minute Mexican Rice — add 1 teaspoon southwest spice blend and omit the cumin
- Best Easy Chili — substitute 2 teaspoons Southwestern seasoning for each chili seasoning packets
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas — substitute Southwest seasoning for the fajita seasoning