Chili Packet Substitute

Basic Chili Spice & Herb Mix, Substitute Chili Packet

When I first started making Chili, I used to just guess and add a little of this and a little of that – the problem? Well, other than the need for a lot of adjusting was standing there at the stove thinking, “What is it missing?”

Chili Packet Substitute

Chili Packet Substitute

The other problem? Child: “I don’t like Chili.” Me: “Well, you liked it last time.” Child: “It doesn’t taste the same!” Hard to argue with that!

So here’s a blend I use, suitable, I’d say for most families – a great substitute for a chili packet. This has become my basic “signature” chili. It makes a great flavor base to riff off  of, too, if you’d like to change it up or add additional heat or flavors.

Feel free to use less salt, by all means – I generally make mine with dried beans, unsalted. If you like to use canned beans, you may easily go with half the salt.

Chili Con Carne Mix

  • Servings: abt 3/4 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons generally works well for a pot of chili using a pound of ground beef. This will make about four to five pots of chili.

from the kitchen of

A recipe to get you started:

Saute a diced onion and green pepper in a little oil until soft. Brown a pound of ground beef and drain fat. Add in the chili mixture, and stir around until fragrant. Add in the sautéed vegetables and a 15 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes plus juice. Add a little water or stock until desired consistency. Add a can or two of beans, pinto or kidney; rinse beans first.

Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until flavors are blended and chili is thickened as desired, at least 30 minutes at a simmer.

If you’d like to see more of my spice & herb blends, check out Spice, Herb & Flavor Packet Substitutes. I’m adding as I go along!


16 thoughts on “Basic Chili Spice & Herb Mix, Substitute Chili Packet

    • Thanks! Spices fascinate me -it is interesting to me that Cumin appears in Mexican food so often, and in Indian, too, as prominent flavors. That Coriander (Cilantro – of which I am sure the celery seed is trying to duplicate, but the Coriander seed would be too strong) is both in Mexican food and breads and pickles of Eastern Europe…but then Mexican pickles seldom contain that ingredient!

  1. I will admit, I’m not a huge chilli or spicy person but I have been wanting to try out more spices. I might have to give this blend a try. You’re mix is definitely intriguing me. You’ve outdone yourself

  2. YESSSSSS! I am totally not worthy! I’ve made a whole lot of chili but have not mixed my own chili powder. You are the coolest HF! Thank you for formulating this beauty.

  3. The problem with adding a bit of this and a bit of that is that when you hit the perfect blend you can never replicate it. At least if you start with a basic blend and then increase the amounts, one ingredient at a time, the chances of finding something you really love is more likely.

    • That is EXACTLY true! 🙂 I have a big white board in my kitchen and when I’m experimenting with a recipe, and think I’m close, I write down the ingredients – then a few weeks later, when i’m ready to make it again, I start with those ingredients, and write down any changes, and so on! When I finally get something just how I like it, I write it down – or blog it!!

      Of course, that’s partly due to my memory, too! It just is not what it used to be, and I just can’t rely on it anymore.

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