Homemade Fajita Seasoning

~ It’s so easy to make your own Homemade Fajita Seasoning with ingredients you probably already have on hand! No need to buy store-bought packets (with their sometimes-questionable ingredients). Make a big batch to keep in your spice cupboard, and fajitas are just minutes away! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Make Ahead    Vegan (and Vegetarian)    Gluten Free (see note)    Paleo  

Mexican dishes like fajitas are a staple weeknight dinner for most families – quick and easy, and always a favorite!

Wanna make those fajitas even quicker and easier? (Sure ya do!)

Whip up an extra-big batch of this Homemade Fajita Seasoning for a fajita dinner tonight … and store the rest of the batch in your spice cupboard for fajitas next week … and the week after that.

White mixing bowl containing spices before they're mixed together, with a teaspoonfull of spice nearby and a bowl of sliced fajitas veggies in the background.

With this Mexican spice mix on deck, fajitas are literally just minutes away – quick enough for even super-busy weeknights! And yes … your family will thank you. (Pat yourself on the back. You’re totally winning the weeknight dinner grind, my friend!)

What Is in Fajita Seasoning?

Exactly what’s in each blend of fajita seasoning depends on the cook – everyone has their own special concoction.

But that’s really the beauty of it, actually – as I’ll explain more later, each cook can tweak the mixture to be exactly the way their own family likes it best.

In general, though, fajita seasoning often contains:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • And also, depending on the recipe blend, sometimes salt, cayenne pepper or black pepper (I use black), corn starch, or oregano (classically, you’d probably use Mexican oregano, but I just opt for “regular” dried oregano, which is similar and already in my spice drawer)
  • In the case of store-bought packets, you’ll often also find other ingredients such as maltodextrin, artificial colors, and silicon dioxide (to prevent clumping) … which you definitely don’t need for your homemade Mexican spice blend!

My specific blend is the one I’ve settled on after making fajitas and other similar Mexican recipes time and time again. It’s got just the right balance of flavors and complexity. Super yummy, super easy!

How Do You Use Fajita Seasoning in Recipes?

I recommend gently tossing your fajita meats and veggies with a very little bit of oil (just like I do with my Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas).

I’m truly talking a little bit here: maybe 2 tablespoons of oil for an entire pound of meat and the veggies to go with it (or … lots and lots of veg if you’re going the vegetarian route). You’re looking for just a light slick of oil over all your fajita ingredients, which will help your fajita spices adhere perfectly, without bogging them down with grease.

Once you’ve got that nice slick of oil goin’ on, you sprinkle your delicious Homemade Fajita Seasoning over top, and toss your meat and veggies as needed, to be sure the spice blend is evenly distributed.

That’s all there is to it!

Cook up your fajitas according to your recipe, and enjoy!

When it comes to exactly how to cook fajitas … there are oodles of options. I love to oven-roast my fajitas to sizzling perfection, but there are plenty of recipes out there for skillet fajitas, slow cooker fajitas … even grilled fajitas.

This Homemade Fajita Seasoning recipe can be used with whatever cooking method you prefer. So, get creative and have fun!

Is There Cornstarch in Fajita Seasoning?

Great question! The answer is … well … sometimes.

Cornstarch is often used in packaged, store-bought Mexican spice blend mixes (especially taco seasoning, but frequently also fajita seasoning) because it’s a thickener. If you’re sautéing fatty ground beef in a saucepan, for example, or adding water to your pan to bring a skillet taco recipe together, then you definitely need something like cornstarch to serve as a thickener and binder.

But, I don’t include cornstarch in my Homemade Fajita Seasoning recipe because it’s just not automatically necessary for most of the ways people cook fajitas.

If you like, though, you can certainly add a bit to your blend.

For example, if you’re making fajitas in the slow cooker (which is a very wet preparation), you’ll likely need a thickener. In that case, feel free to add a bit of cornstarch as a thickener (about 1-3 teaspoons should work, depending on how much liquid you have).

How Much Fajita Seasoning Should I Use in a Recipe?

For a “typical” family-sized fajita dinner, you’ll want one bacth of this seasoning mix (which equals about 6 3/4 teaspoons).

When I say “typical,” I’m talking about 1 pound of meat, plus an onion and a couple peppers (sliced up to equal 8-9 cups of uncooked veggie strips).

Closeup of a shrimp and some pepper strips after cooking on a parchment, lined sheet pan, so you can see the detail of some of the fajita seasoning.

You can, of course, vary this slightly depending on how flavorful you want your fajitas or how much meat and veggies you’re using in making your fajitas.

Can I Make Big Batches of Fajita Seasoning Ahead of Time?

Absolutely!

In fact, I totally recommend it!

If you take a few minutes to mix up a big batch all at once, you’ll have it ready at a moment’s notice, any time you want to make fajitas (or other Mexican dishes that could use a little punch of flavor).

How Do You Store This Fajita Mix?

I’d suggest storing it in a glass jar in a cool, dry place. (That means, don’t do the precise thing that most people do … DON’T store your spices over the stove, where they get all hot and steamy.)

Still, just like with the individual spices that you use in making the Fajita Seasoning, your homemade spice blend can become less potent and flavorful over time.

Precisely how long your Fajita Seasoning will keep depends on both:

  • how new all the various spices you used in your Seasoning were, to begin with
  • and how you store the finished spice mixture (again … think cool and dry … not over the steamy-hot stove)

As McCormick (the spice guru company!) says, normally, spice blends last about 1-3 years. (But hey, I’ll just betcha that this gets you making fajitas so often, your spice blend will be all gone in no time flat!)

Can You Customize the Flavors or Make This Spicier?

Of course!

I specifically developed this Fajita Seasoning mixture to be flavorful but not toooooo spicy, since not everyone in my family likes really spicy foods (although my husband and son sure do!).

Feel free to vary the precise amounts of the various spices to suit your own family’s tastes.

White mixing bowl with each of the individual spices in its own little pile before they're all mixed together - tortillas a red pepper and raw shrimp for making fajitas are at the edges of the picture.

For example, if you’re heat-lovers, you could add extra punch by using more chili powder, or even adding in some cayenne. For my family, we generally prefer to pass hot sauce at the table to kick up the heat, instead of adjusting the spice blend – but like I said, that’s only because some people in our fam adore spicy-hot foods, and some don’t.

As always … you do you! Switch it up to make your own, personal, signature blend.

And then, prepare to get LOTS of requests for your “famous” fajitas!

FAQs At-a-Glance

Can This Seasoning Be Used with All Different Types of Fajitas?

Sure! Whether you prefer chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetarian fajitas, this spice blend works well with virtually any type of veggies or protein.

Are Fajita Seasoning and Taco Seasoning the Same, and Can They Be Used Interchangeably?

They’re similar, although not precisely the same. Most fajita seasoning blends contain a few additional spices beyond the more basic ones found in most taco seasonings. (Although that varies among brands and cooks.) And, while fajita seasoning doesn’t always include cornstarch, taco seasoning very frequently does. In a pinch, they can generally be swapped into recipes interchangeably. If you need the thickening action of cornstarch, though, be sure to add it if your spice blend doesn’t include it.

Is There Cornstarch in Fajita Seasoning?

As I pointed out above, there can be. It’s not always needed, but can be helpful if the preparation you’re using to make your fajitas involves a lot of liquid and requires a thickener (which is what cornstarch does).

How Long Can You Store Homemade Fajita Seasoning?

Generally about 1-3 years. It all depends on how fresh the original spices were that you used in the blend, and how you store them. Storing in a cool, dark cupboard is best.

Keep this simple Mexican spice blend stashed in your spice drawer, and scrumptious, restaurant-quality fajitas are truly just minutes away!

Closeup of a shrimp fajita on a white plate, topped with guacamole and a sprinkling of white cheese.

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Closeup of a white bowl with the various individual spices that go into this recipe, each in its own little pile in the bowl.

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

Yield: 6 3/4 teaspoons
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Making your own delicious Homemade Fajita Seasoning recipe is so quick and easy, with ingredients you probably already have in your spice cupboard!

  Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Make Ahead    Vegan (and Vegetarian)    Gluten Free (see note)    Paleo  

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

Instructions

    1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
    2. Use immediately or store, tightly sealed, in a cool, dark spice cupboard (see note).

Notes

Yield: The amount of spice mixture from one batch of this recipe should be enough for making fajitas from about 1 pound of meat, plus an onion and a couple bell peppers. Scale the recipe up as needed for larger quantities of fajitas, or to make a big batch of Fajita Seasoning to store in your spice cupboard.

Gluten free: While most spices are gluten free, some manufacturers may use anti-caking additives that aren't gluten free, or add gluten-containing wheat products as extenders. So, if gluten is a concern for you, be sure to read product labeling carefully to ensure that the dried herbs and spices you're purchasing are, indeed, gluten free.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 3/4 teaspoons Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 6Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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Published on
Updated on July 31, 2021
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