There are two types of people in this world: those who love chile lime seasoning and those who have never tried it. Its spicy deliciousness is undeniable, but our one complaint with the widely available pre-mixed brand (Tajín) is the salt content. So, we set out to make a Homemade Tajín Style Seasoning with less sodium that also allows for heat control.
This recipe can be made in under 5 minutes with pre-ground chile powders – just add to a jar and shake. If that’s your speed, jump to the recipe right now.
For a truly special chile lime seasoning with amazing depth of flavor and a chile blend you can customize to your heat preference, we recommend starting with dried peppers to make your own chile powders and then mixing. Using whole peppers is also cheaper than purchasing the powders. Just go to the Hispanic section of your local grocer and purchase small bags of dried chiles in the varieties of your choice. Instructions for both options are listed in the recipe.
There are usually 3-4 types of dried chiles used in chile lime seasoning, each of which adds varying degrees of heat and changes the flavor profile. Common chiles for this recipe include Ancho, California, and Guajillo for flavor and Chipotle, and Chiles de Árbol for heat. We like to add little paprika for sweetness. Choose your own combination to suit your tastes and heat tolerance.
Ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers. These dark peppers have a wrinkly dark skin, mild heat (1,00-2,000 Scoville Heat Units), and an earthy, smoky flavor that adds depth.
California chiles are dried Anaheim chiles, with a purple-brown skin and mild heat (500-1,500 Scoville Heat Units), and a sweet finish similar to a bell pepper.
Guajillo chiles are dried mirasol chiles. These thin red peppers have a smooth skin, medium heat (2,500-5,000 Scoville Heat Units), and a sharp, fruity flavor that adds brightness.
Chipotle chiles are jalapenos that are dried once they are very ripe and have turned red, and they can range from medium to hot (2,500-5,000 Scoville Heat Units), and have a spicy, smoky flavor that hits you right away. Chipotles are a great way to add pleasant and manageable heat.
Chiles de Árbol are small, thin peppers that are bright red and very hot (anywhere from 15,000-65,000 Scoville Heat Units), which is terrifying for wimps like us. They’re the “choose your own adventure” of chiles and will either deliver a hearty kick or melt your face. Use sparingly and with caution. Godspeed.Print
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp True Lime powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt*
- 1 tbsp California chile powder (Anaheim)
- 1 tbsp Guajillo chile powder
- 1 tbsp Ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
If using pre-ground powders, add all ingredients to a glass jar and shake until fully combined. Do not open until the dust has settled. Taste and adjust to heat preference.
- To make your own chile powders, begin with the dried chiles of your choice. We’re using a mild blend of California, Guajillo and Ancho chiles at a 1:1 ratio. If using Chipotle chiles or chiles de Árbol, add in small amounts, tasting frequently for heat. We recommend wearing gloves while handling dried chiles and to never open the food processor, blender, or spice grinder until the dust has settled.
- Snip the top/stem and bottom of each chile off, then cut down one side lengthwise and unroll to flatten. Remove seeds and stringy bits and discard. Stack the cleaned and flattened peppers in separate variety piles and set aside.
- Heat a large, dry skillet over medium heat and once hot, add flattened peppers in a single layer (a few at a time). Let sit for about 10-15 seconds, then flip and repeat. It’s cool if they blister a bit but take care not to burn. This process adds a deep and somewhat smoky flavor and eliminates any remaining moisture in the peppers. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack, after which they should be crispy, brittle, and ready for grinding.
- Once each variety has cooled completely, process in individual batches in a food processor, pulsing at first, and then grinding. For an extra fine texture, run through a spice grinder or bullet blender before transferring to separate small glass jar.
- Add chile powder combination of your choice to a jar, then add paprika, True Lime powder and salt. Shake and allow to settle, then open and taste. Adjust to heat preference and enjoy.
*We usually cook with plain old table salt but in this instance, the larger granule texture of sea salt is preferred. If using table salt, reduce to a teaspoon and work up from there.
Nutrition Estimate Per Serving (1 TEASPOON) – Calories: 7, Fat: .2g, Saturated Fat: .1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: .1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0g, Sodium: 150mg, Potassium: 38mg, Carbohydrates: 1.5g total/.5g net, Fiber: 1, Sugar: .1, Protein: .3, Vitamin A: 5.3%, Vitamin C: 1.6%, Calcium: 2.9%, Iron: 7% (based on 2,000 calorie diet).
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Spice Mixes, Seasoning
- Method: Pan Roasting
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Low Salt
Keywords: CHILE LIME SEASONING, VEGAN, TAJIN, VEGETARIAN, TAJIN SEASONING, PALEO, KETO, GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE, REDUCED-SODIUM, PLANT-BASED, SPICE MIXES, DRY RUB, TAJÍN, LOW-SODIUM