Homemade Sazón

spices for homemade sazon seasoning
The Spruce / Marisel Salazar
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 2 to 3 servings
  • Yields: 5 tablespoons

A staple ingredient in Latin American cooking, sazón is known for its distinctive savory taste and the red-brown hue that it adds to food. This popular garlicky spice blend is traditionally of achiote (annatto), salt, cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano, and pepper. It adds color and flavor to your meats, fish, poultry, soups, and stews without spiciness. This homemade version is made sans chemicals, preservatives, artificial coloring, or additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), unlike many mass-produced, premade sazón blends from big brands. 

Sweet and peppery achiote gives the spice blend its deep pigment. Cumin, onion, and garlic powders create savory umami. Coriander brings forward a light and mellow citrusy note and oregano adds depth, pungency, and mild astringency. It's a seemingly complex spice blend that's in fact very versatile for flavoring all kinds of dishes and simple to make at home.

Sazón, which means seasoning in Spanish, is commonly rubbed on steaks, pork, chicken, and fish as a marinade before grilling, frying, or baking, sprinkled in soups and stews, added to beans and rice, or used as a taco seasoning. It's also the prime flavor in popular Latin American dishes such as ropa vieja, arroz con pollo, and arroz amarillo.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground annatto seeds (achiote)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for homemade sazon seasoning
    The Spruce / Marisel Salazar 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until spices are well combined.

    spices for homemade sazon seasoning in bowl
    The Spruce / Marisel Salazar
  3. Place the sazón in an airtight, sealed glass, jar or plastic bag.

    spoonful of homemade sazon seasoning
    The Spruce / Marisel Salazar 

How Do You Use Sazón?

Sazón is great for adding color and flavor to foods. Rub on meats, fish, and poultry before cooking. Sprinkle in soups, stews, and while cooking beans. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons of sazón seasoning mix per pound of meat depending on your flavor intensity.

How Long Does Homemade Sazón Last?

 If stored in a cool, dark place at room temperature, sazón can last for up to one year.

Recipe Variation

  • This recipe is for a traditional sazón that also uses onion powder, although there are versions available that include saffron or ground chilis for a touch of fiery heat. Some home cooks substitute turmeric in place of achiote.