Use this homemade fajita seasoning to make restaurant worthy fajitas and more.
Below you’ll find a recipe for a full 1/2 cup (4oz.) batch of fajita seasoning. In addition, in case you’re trying to make a recipe that calls for a packet of fajita seasoning and you just want to make that amount, we’ve also given a recipe below that makes the exact same amount as a packet, 2 tablespoons. We hope you find this helpful!
What’s the secret to those sizzling pans of restaurant fajitas? In addition to squeezing fresh lime juice over the blazing hot cast iron skillet just before bringing it out to the dining room, the meat and vegetables are covered in a smoky, floral, citrusy blend of spices before being sauteed.
While you may not want to carry around sizzling cast iron in your own home, you will want this fantastic homemade seasoning blend.
What’s In Fajita Seasoning?
Fajita seasoning uses many of the same spices that are in taco seasoning, like cumin, chili powder, oregano, and garlic, but taco seasoning tends to be a little heavier on the chili powder and doesn’t contain any citrus.
For the paprika, use smoked paprika rather than regular paprika when you can, which will add another layer of smokiness to the mixture, along with the cumin. The cumin is also floral and citrusy, much like the coriander in this recipe.
To mimic the citrus flavors, most store-bought fajita seasoning mixes use citric acid in their blend. My recipe uses fresh lime zest to achieve the same flavor, along with ground cumin and coriander I mentioned earlier.
Using Fresh Citrus Zest In Spice Blends
The lime zest stays well preserved from the salt in the recipe, which draws out the moisture and flavorful oils in the zest. Just make sure to give it time to work its magic before storing.
Once all the ingredients have been combined, let the mixture stand at room temperature for about 20 or 30 minutes to allow the salt to draw out the moisture and oils from the zest and infuse the lime flavor into the seasoning blend. Break up any clumps that formed and then transfer the mixture into air-tight glass jars like these.
Store in a cool, dry, dark place like a pantry up to three months. This recipe can easily be doubled or triple as needed.
How Much Fajita Seasoning Is In A Packet
A standard packet of store-bought fajita seasoning is around 1 ounce and contains about 2 tablespoons of seasoning. So, if you have a recipe that calls for a packet of seasoning, you’ll use 2 tablespoons.
Sometimes, you won’t want to make a full batch of the fajita seasoning though. For instance, if you are happy to buy the packets but just forgot that you ran out, then you only need to make a small amount to get you through. Or, if you’re cooking something and you just want to quickly measure in some spices to approximate fajita seasoning, then you don’t need a full batch either.
Below are the amounts to mix up 1 packet of fajita seasoning. This is the amount to use for 1 pound of chicken or beef strips, or 1 pound of peeled shrimp.
|To Make 1 Packet (Which Is 2 Tablespoons) of Fajita Seasoning, Combine:|
• 1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
• 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 3/4 tsp. onion powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. chili powder
• 1/4 tsp. dried coriander
• 1/4 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika
• the zest from 1/4 of a lime (optional)
To Add Spices Directly To What You’re Cooking To Approximate Fajita Seasoning: Use some ground cumin as the main seasoning, then add half as much of dried oregano, of garlic powder, and of onion powder. Add in a bit less than that of salt. You can stop there, or you can add in a bit of chili powder, ground coriander, and paprika. Some lime zest added to the food at the end of cooking would be a nice touch but isn’t necessary.
Using Homemade Fajita Seasoning
Fajita seasoning can be used on more than just making fajitas!
Sprinkle it on popcorn or snack mixes for a fun change and burst of flavor. Mix the seasoning with oil and vinegar to create a marinade, add it to salad dressings, or mix with sour cream to create a dip. Add a little cream to the dip to thin it out for a fajita-flavored crema to drizzle over quesadillas, fajitas, tacos, and burritos. I can’t wait to hear the other uses you come up with.
Of course, you can also use it in any of these great fajita recipes. You’ll want 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning for a pound of meat along with the onions and bell peppers.Print
- 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 lime, zested
- In a medium bowl whisk together cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, chili powder, coriander, paprika, and lime zest until well combined.
- Let mixture stand for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the salt to draw out the moisture and oils from the lime zest. Break up any clumps that form.
- Transfer mixture to an air-tight container. Store up to 3 months in a cool, dry, dark, place.