Learn how to make this 5 minute DIY sazon seasoning spice blend with a mix of 5 spices. It's perfect for red meat, flavored rice and beans and much more.
This savory spice is a pantry staple in most Puerto Rican households. It's a blend of ground annatto seeds, garlic, oregano, cumin, and coriander.
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Benefits to Making Your Own Sazon
I'm no stranger to store bought sazon.
In a pinch, it's one of the best and most convenient ways to infuse flavor in any dish.
But did you know how easy it is to make your own sazon substitute? I'm willing to bet you already have most of the spices you need in your pantry.
Not to mention, the ingredient list for homemade sazon is way simpler.
We're talking 6 simple spices, instead of a bunch of weird ingredients we can barely pronounce much less understand.
Here's what goes into our homemade seasoning:
- ground annatto seeds (see note for substitute)
- garlic powder
- dried oregano
See recipe card for quantities.
Start by grinding any whole spices you have. In general, whole spices will keep fresher longer, and help to create maximum flavor.
I recommend using ground annatto if you can find it but if you only have annatto seeds and need to grind them up, using a coffee grinder is the best method I've found. For any other whole spices I like using a mortar & pestle.
Once all the spices are ground up, combine in an airtight container, seal and shake until evenly combined.
Store in your spice cabinet for up to 6 months (depending on the freshness of your spices).
Tip: If you can't find annatto seeds at your grocery store or online, feel free to substitute them with ½ tbsp of ground turmeric.
The ingredient list for sazon seasoning is usually pretty straightforward, no matter what household you visit.
That said, there are a few variations you can play with:
- Turmeric - turmeric is a great substitute for ground annatto seeds if you can't find them/don't like them.
- Add some salt - sazon is super flavorful without any salt but feel free to add a few teaspoons if you want.
- Turn up the heat - add a pinch of cayenne or black pepper to add some spice to the mix.
Seasoning with Sazon
You can use sazon on just about anything savory. I recommend sprinkling it in dishes you would use onions, garlic and peppers (or sofrito) in.
For example, in my recipe for empanadillas I use 2 teaspoons of sazon to season my picadillo filling.
When wondering where to use this blend think rice, beans, meat, and veggies. The possibilities are endless!
Storing Homemade Seasonings
Store your homemade seasonings in your spice cabinet for up to 6 months.
This timeline does depend on the freshness of your spices so make sure to check their expiration dates for freshness before using.
Where to Use Sazon Seasoning
Here are my favorite recipes to use this spice blend in:
- On meat - I've used this as a marinade for chicken, pork and steak with great success. It's a wonderfully savory blend that pairs really well with meat.
- Arroz con Pollo - swap out my spice blend for your newly homemade sazon!
- Habichuelas Guisadas - your homemade blend will take the flavors of these beans to a whole other level.
- Alcapurria - I always season my picadillo (meat filling) with sazon and this is the perfect recipe to take your seasoning for a spin.
- In just about anything savory - I'm serious, once you get started, you'll find yourself using this stuff on everything from eggs to lamb.