Homemade chili seasoning (mild)

A side view of a small Mason jar with a label that says "Chili Seasoning".Since I’ve been cutting back on my sodium intake, I’ve been finding it challenging to find spots to cut back on salt. I never really used to cook with a ton of salt to begin with — or so I thought. I suppose I should actually say that I never really added extra salt to cooking because it already exists in so many of our foods already!

Take a look at canned tomatoes. While I understand that sodium is used a lot in preserving foods, I know they have cut back on some things, marking them as ‘reduced sodium’ or ‘lower sodium’. So I compared two cans of diced tomatoes of the same brand. For half a cup of the regular brand, it was about 450 mg of sodium, but for the ‘reduced sodium’ can, it was only 25 mg. What a difference!

I didn’t even want to guess how much sodium was in a package of chili seasoning. Too much, I’m supposing. So I scoured the web, took some advice from a few different recipes and came up with my own chili seasoning to cut back on the sodium levels. Keep in mind that this is relatively tame compared to other seasonings, but in higher quantities in the crockpot, it can have a bite. My tastes prefer mild seasonings, so bump up the hotter ingredients if you prefer it spicy!

Here’s what I did:


  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl together until thoroughly mixed.
  • Store in air-tight container until ready for use.

Makes: roughly 1/2 cup of seasoning

I found that this made roughly 1/2 of a cup of seasoning (give or take). I had just enough to use in my crockpot of chili and then store the rest in a small Mason jar.

Note about the brown sugar: I like to add a tiny bit of sugar to my chili to cut some of the tomato’s acidity/bitterness. You don’t need to add it to the mix.

Nutritional value per 2 teaspoons (with brown sugar): 19 calories,  4g carbs, 0g fat, 1g protein, 54mg sodium, 2g sugar
Nutritional value per 2 teaspoons (without sugar): 14 calories, 3 g carbs, 0g fat, 1g protein, 54mg sodium, 1g sugar

Compare that to Old El Paso Reduced Sodium Chili Seasoning per 2 teaspoons:  15 calories, 3g carbs, 0g fat, 0g protein, 270mg sodium, 0g sugar.

The sodium difference, to me, is staggering. And when I used my own seasoning recently, my mom raved about it and about how she preferred this version of my chili than any other in the past. That says it all. 🙂

A downward view into a small Mason jar shows homemade chili seasoning.

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