Inside the Spice Cabinet: Chili Powder

updated May 2, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

While crushed, dried chile are the main ingredient it brings the heat, a few other spice cabinet staples help make up this smoky blend.

What Is Chili Powder?

Taste: Spicy, smoky
Most Popular Use: Meat, fish, stew

Chili powder is really just a blend of the spices most commonly found in Latin-American cooking. The base spices are usually are ancho chile powder, paprika, cumin, and Mexican oregano. Other spices like coriander, cayenne, and garlic powder round out individual blends.

How To Use Chili Powder

Chili powder is commonly used in traditional Latin American dishes like enchiladas and tacos. But a spoonful also adds a welcome kick to grilled meats, stew, soup, a pot of beans, and vegetables.

Make Your Own Chili Powder

It’s an easy blend to make yourself, with the added advantage that you can tailor the mix to your own tastes. You can also use whole spices, toasted and ground, for even fresher flavor.

2 tablespoons ground chilis, like ancho chile
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons coriander (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic powder (optional)
2 teaspoons

chipotle chili

Combine spices in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake until evenly mixed, and store in a dark cupboard.

Recipes for Cooking with Chili Powder